Costco officials apply for permits in Wasilla

Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2008

WASILLA - Representatives of warehouse retailer Costco have filed an extensive application with the city of Wasilla that could lead to construction of a store.

"The ball has started to roll," said city planner Jim Holycross.

A representative of Anchorage-based Lounsbury and Associates, a project management company contracted by Meritage Development LLC, told the Wasilla City Council near the end of the summer that Costco planned to build in the city.

Judging by the company's application, Holycross said, Costco seems serious about getting under way quickly with a new store.

"It's huge," he said of the application. "It's probably the best one I've received in my office since I've been here."

Costco, based in Issaquah, Wash., sells goods in bulk wholesale in a warehouse setting. A membership is required to enter the store. The company has two stores in Anchorage.

Plans submitted to the city show a gas station to be included with the Costco store.

If Costco receives final approval, the store would be built in the yet-to-be-constructed Creekside Town Square just off the Parks Highway near Target.

The application on Nov. 25 will go to the city Planning Commission, which will collect public comment on the project.

Holycross said property owners within 1,200 feet of the Costco site will be notified of the plan.

The city also will notify the Alaska Department of Transportation, which will weigh in on traffic impacts from Costco. The section of Parks Highway where Costco may be built is one of the most congested stretches in the city.

The area around the site likely would change if the store is built. Recently passed road bonds would pay for an extension of Hermon Road that would eventually run from the Parks Highway to the Palmer-Wasilla Highway.

"It's needed," Holycross said of the extension. "It will take a lot of pressure off that intersection."

A representative of Lounsbury and Associates said he expected Costco to fast-track the project when approval is granted.

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