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A new Costco coming

This ought to be interesting.

Costco will open a new store in the Greenway Plaza area next year in a 24-acre retail and apartment development planned on Richmond at Weslayan.

Trammell Crow Co. said Thursday that the warehouse club operator and an LA Fitness health club will anchor the project, which will break ground this year on the former site of the Houston Independent School District administration building.

The retailers will be stacked, with Costco taking 164,000 square feet on the first floor and the fitness club occupying 45,000 square feet on the second level.

The two-story project, which will be called Greenway Commons, will have 256,700 square feet altogether, including two pad sites and another two-story building with 39,000 square feet.

Parking for Costco shoppers will be served by a surface lot and the first floor of a planned four-story garage. LA Fitness customers will park on the garage’s top floor and on a portion of Costco’s roof.

I wonder how much parking it will have compared to its more standard locations, like the one on I-10 and Bunker Hill. Is this kind of location a departure for them, or a variation that they’ve done before somewhere else?

One thing that intrigues me about this is that the new Costco will be potentially very close to a couple of Universities line light rail stations. For obvious reasons, one doesn’t normally think of big box retailers catering to rail passengers. But you have to think that with thousands of people zipping by every day on the train, it would be in Costco’s interest to try to entice some of them to hop off and come in for something. Convenience foods – good for lunch at your desk, or a quick and easy dinner at home – come to mind as a possibility, though I’m sure the folks at Costco can think of plenty more, if they care to. It’ll be worth looking for, if the rail line does eventually go that way. Houstonist has more.

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One Comment

  1. Kent says:

    I am one of Costco’s biggest fans, and my membership card dates to 1989, long before there were any Costco stores outside the northwest much less in Texas.

    However I have my doubts about the extent to which Costco will really strive to accommodate unconventional modes of transport. None of the Costco stores I’ve been to in the Northwest are in any way designed to accommodate alternative modes of transport. I used to go to the one in south Seattle quite a bit and if any Costco would be a candidate for that sort of thing, the South Seattle store would be. It’s right on a MAJOR bus corridor where most of the south-bound express buses pass. And yet it is quite difficult to access by bus. The stops aren’t really convenient and there aren’t good crosswalks or any decent way to get stuff on the bus. And good luck finding a bike rack.

    For really interesting urban big box models I think you need to look abroad. I spend a lot of time in Santiago Chile and the big box stores down there are really innovative. Due to space constraints they are mostly built right along the street level with several levels of parking and monster size elevators and escalators for shopping carts. Basically they have moving sidewalk-type escalators that move from floor to floor that have a special steel grid that is designed to grip the wheels on the shopping carts. So a store like Costco might have 2 or 3 levels with moving escalators between the levels and also to the parking levels. Works great. For public transit they are often located next to subway stops and there is often a long queue of taxis out front in a special taxi loading zone (like at IKEA) where all the taxis are backed up ready to load their trunks straight from the shopping carts. I’ll see if I can google up some pictures.