Business

You knew Costco planned a Meridian store, but it’s not where you thought

Mike Wardle, director of planning for the Brighton Corporation, shows a preliminary site plan for the new Costco store planned for the intersection of Chinden Boulevard and Ten Mile Road in Meridian.
Mike Wardle, director of planning for the Brighton Corporation, shows a preliminary site plan for the new Costco store planned for the intersection of Chinden Boulevard and Ten Mile Road in Meridian. jsowell@idahostatesman.com

Costco Wholesale plans to construct a new warehouse store at the corner of Chinden Boulevard and Ten Mile Road, the company announced during a meeting Tuesday night with neighbors.

The Issaquah, Wash.-based company had been eyeing a different location on Chinden, about a mile east, at Linder Road. But it chose a 14-acre site on a parcel that will have room for at least 10 other businesses that could be built on 1-acre pads backing Chinden and Ten Mile.

The store will be Costco’s third in the Treasure Valley. Other stores are in Boise and Nampa.

If the process goes as expected, building permits could be issued within six months and the store ready to open in late 2018, said Mike Wardle, director of planning for the Brighton Corporation.

A majority of the 150 people who attended the gathering, held at Meridian’s Challenger School, raised their hands when Wardle asked how many of them were Costco members.

Even so, many of those members said they had concerns about increased traffic along Chinden and Ten Mile and noise generated by Costco customers and delivery trucks.

One woman said she felt the store’s presence would ruin the quality of life in her neighborhood. She suggested another location as more suitable for Costco and people who would shop there.

“I want to say there’s a lot of land on Ten Mile (south) by the freeway,” she said.

Kim Katz, director of real estate development for Costco, said she did not know why the Ten Mile site was chosen over other locations.

“We’ve studied numerous sites over the years,” Katz said.

Several other people complained that Chinden and Ten Mile will be overwhelmed by the amount of traffic Costco will generate.

“Costco isn’t the problem. It’s the traffic, mainly,” said Rick Padour, who lives in the nearby SpurWing subdivision. “It would probably double the traffic on Chinden.

A traffic study looking at the impact of the Costco development as well as the planned BainBridge North subdivision adjacent to the west of Costco and other anticipated future development will have to be submitted to the Ada County Highway District before the city of Meridian could begin acting on the store application.

One man in the audience said he was skeptical any road improvements could be made before the planned store opening.

“You’ve said Costco wants to open before the holiday season,” he said. “What about the road improvements? There’s no way that can be done before Christmas.”

Wardle said he expects the highway district, which has jurisdiction on Ten Mile Road, the Idaho Transportation Department, which handles maintenance on Chinden, and the city will address traffic concerns after the application is filed and the approval process moves forward.

“When a project like this comes along, it accelerates improvements,” Wardle said.

The Costco property is currently in unincorporated Ada County while several neighboring parcels are in the city of Meridian. A request for annexation into the city will also be made, he said.

A number of people in the audience groaned when Katz said the workday at a Costco warehouse begins at 4 a.m. and deliveries are completed before stores open at 10 a.m. Several people said noise generated early in the morning would be unacceptable.

Eileen Vrbanac, who also lives in the SpurWing subdivision, said the Nampa Costco was about 7 miles away. She didn’t understand why one was needed closer. She also feared that residential property values will be negatively affected.

“We’re very stressed out by this,” she said. “That’s not why we came and bought a home here.”

John Sowell: 208-377-6423, @IDS_Sowell

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