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Costco has been eyeing Woodbury since 1990s

It’s taken close to 20 years, but Costco Warehouse could finally open in Woodbury in 2016. 

In a review phase right now, construction on the proposed Costco project could begin next May, according to Theodore Johnson, president of Design Strategies, LTD., the consultant and development director for Costco’s midwest projects. And Costco carries an aggressive construction schedule on its projects — about 110 days in duration, to be exact.

That means, Johnson said at a Dec. 2 open house for the project, that Woodbury’s Costco Warehouse could open in October 2016.

Held at Woodbury City Hall, the open house drew about two dozen residents, most of whom live near Costco’s proposed location on the northeast corner of Weir Drive and Tamarack Road. 

The Costco site covers more than 12 acres. In addition, the company is purchasing an additional 17-plus acres of undeveloped land which will remain undeveloped; instead, it will be held as wetlands and a natural wooded area. 

The Costco building itself is going to be 163,571 square feet in size, with 681 parking stalls outside. While a couple of residents questioned whether the number of parking stalls would be enough, Johnson assured them the number of stalls would be adequate.

“Costco is not going to invest a lot of money in this location,” he said, “and not have enough parking stalls.”

Entrance to the parking lot will be off of Weir Drive. A separate gas station with four islands and 16 pumps will be constructed nearer to the corner of Weir and Tamarack. 

By way of offering perspective, Johnson said the proposed Woodbury store will be slightly larger than the one in Maplewood. 

“It is a large building. It’s 3 acres under a roof,” Johnson said. 

Costco has five different general contractors the company typically uses when building a new location. Those contractors know all of Costco’s building standards and requirements, Johnson said, which helps keep the construction projects on schedule. However, the general contractor does work with local subcontractors whenever is possible. 

The open house was one of the steps necessary in the building’s construction. The project is under review by the South Washington Watershed District. It will come before the Woodbury Planning Commission in January or February, Woodbury Senior Planner Eric Searles said, and go before the Woodbury City Council for final approval after that. 

If the project goes on schedule, Johnson said, construction could begin between May 1-15. 

Some of the residents in attendance were happy to hear that timeline.

“It’s about time,” one woman said. “We’ve been waiting.”

Johnson, too, has been waiting, it seems. He started looking for a site in Woodbury back in the late 1990s. Over the years, he has looked at several different sites around the community, but each one posed one obstacle or another. The site on Weir Drive and Tamarack Road was selected in 2013, and he has been working on getting all of the site considerations approved since that time.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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