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City of Springfield announces proposed deal for first Costco store, infrastructure improvements

(KOTA)
Published: May. 28, 2020 at 10:17 AM CDT
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Springfield Mayor Ken McClure announced Costco Wholesale Corporation is considering a membership warehouse retail store in east Springfield. However, improvements to infrastructure would have to happen.

If things progress as planned, Costco would break ground in spring 2021 and open in fall 2021. Costco operates membership warehouses similar to Sam's Clubs.

“I’m pleased to announce and also confirm the rumors are true that Costco Wholesale Corporation is considering a membership warehouse retail store in Springfield,” said Mayor Ken McClure. “We are so pleased to welcome Costco to our community. We know that there has been a strong interest from our citizens for this store and, in fact, that some Springfieldians drive the 150 miles to get to the nearest Costco. I am positive that Costco will expand our retail base, bringing new customers to Springfield who will surely shop elsewhere while they’re in town. In addition, Costco has a reputation for being a quality employer, offering some of the highest retail wages and a robust benefits package.”

Here's what needs to happen to make it a reality. On June 4 the Springfield Planning and Zoning Commission will consider a preliminary plat for Kirkland Commons as well as a Final Development Plan for Planned Development 298, the first steps in the development of the Costco site, generally located south of Chestnut Expressway at Eastgate and U.S. 65. In order to provide an adequate building site for Costco, the city must relocate Eastgate south of Chestnut Expressway. The city will also make stormwater improvements.

At its June 1 meeting, City Council will consider an ordinance authorizing an access and infrastructure agreement for the required public improvements, which are anticipated to cost $4.8 million. Costco will pay for these improvements and the city will reimburse Costco using a portion of the local sales taxes generated by their facility. This agreement will reimburse Costco using one-half of the 1-cent general sales tax, 1/4-cent capital improvements sales tax and 1/8-cent transportation sales tax. The agreement has a term not to exceed 15 years, however, it is anticipated reimbursement will occur earlier. In any event, any expenditures not reimbursed at the end of 15 years will be the developer’s responsibility. The city will pay the developer interest on the unpaid balance at a rate of 5%.

Costco expects to hire a minimum of 125 people in Springfield – a figure that could rise well above 200 because the company’s model is for employment to grow as sales grow. The average hourly rate of pay for Costco employees is $25.50. A full-time cashier’s annual salary after five years is $52,944.

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