November 03, 2008
The urban Costco

Matt Yglesias points to this story about putting a Costco store in an urban location, in this case downtown Vancouver, and the benefits of such a thing.

The new store is a feat of engineering and an unusual mix of uses. It is built in a hole bordered by GM Place, the Georgia viaduct and the escarpment on the eastern end of Vancouver's downtown. The 127,000-square-foot store, built by Concord Pacific, has two floors of parking below it, two floors of parking above it, and then, above that, another four towers of residential condos with 900 units. [...] To appeal to what is expected to be a slightly higher proportion of downtown shoppers, the store stocks a bigger variety of home-ready meals -- chicken parmigiana, prawns and pasta, souvlaki, lasagna, and the like -- electronics and leather goods, said Ross.

We now have a Costco in a basically urban area as well, the one that just opened in Greenway Plaza. It has some similarities to the Vancouver location, with an apartment complex adjacent to it, though it's clearly more suburban than urban in design, and where it it more urban there are some obstacles to a fuller use of that concept. But the Vancouver store's willingness to cater to a walk-in crowd gives me hope that ours will learn to take advantage of the Metro rail stop that will eventually be near it. At least we know that they're aware of the possibilities at a corporate level.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 03, 2008 to Elsewhere in Houston
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