City Council approves Woodbury Costco
After nearly two decades, Costco has received the rubber stamp of approval to build its Woodbury location.
On Wednesday, The Woodbury City Council passed the national warehouse retailer’s proposal to build a 163,500 square foot store near the intersection of Tamarack Road and Weir Drive.
The project was delayed several months when the local water district determined the store’s original plans -- which were submitted late last year -- would have a negative impact on nearby wetlands.
The Ramsey-Washington Watershed District recommended the store could reduce the store’s size, building a parking ramp, eliminating a gas station and reducing storm water management areas in order to minimize wetland impact.
Costco said these changes would not work with its stores’ designs and adding things like an underground filtration systems were too expensive. The retailer re-oriented the store from the east side of the site to the west side in order to meet the watershed district’s concerns.
Prior to the setback, the retailer anticipated opening this fall.
Costco will also wholly pay for public infrastructure projects on nearby roadways as part of the agreement, which includes updating nearby traffic signals and turn lanes on Tamarack Road.
The store is expected to open fall of 2017 following these improvements.
In its updated plan, the store will still have a liquor store, pharmacy, eye clinic, tire center and gas station. Its weekday hours will be 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The gas station will open at 6 a.m. and close an hour after the main store closes.
Like other warehouse retailers, the gas station will serve members only and will not have a gas price sign outside of the building.
Costco Development Director Ted Johnson said at last week’s planning commission meeting that the store will also turn its sign and most of the lights off at night with the exception of a few security lights.
"Basically an hour after the gas station closes and the majority of the employees leave, the lights go out," he said."It's a very quiet site after 10 (p.m.)."
The store is slightly larger than the 160,000-square-foot Walmart along Hudson Road and smaller than the Commerce Hill Target.
Woodbury resident Bette Forberg who lives nearby the future Costco said Wednesday evening that she worries about the increase in truck deliveries in the area.
“When a truck goes by, our windows practically rattle,” she said.
Costco Site Selector Mike Stratis said Costco owns most of its trucks and typically accepts deliveries between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Overall, Stratis said the store would get about 12 to 15 truck deliveries per day. “We control when they come,” he said.
Following the council’s 4-0 decision, Stratis told city officials that the Woodbury Costco project has been the longest transaction in his 25-year-long career with the company.
Costco assigned Stratis to Minnesota in 1998, and the first location they wanted him to put a store in was Woodbury. Since then the the company has spent more than $2 million on more than a dozen attempted sites in the city.
"I'm very grateful that you're allowing us to come in and become a corporate citizen," he said to council members. "I think you will be happy."
Costco currently has six other locations in the Twin Cities metro area.