Costco looks to build new 154,000-square-foot superstore on West Broadway
Costco is looking to build a new 154,000-square-foot wholesale superstore on West Broadway, west of Reserve Street, and wants the city to annex the land into city limits. The project is expected to generate 10,482 weekday trips from customers, as the site will also have a gas service station with 24 pumps. The property, which is on the south side of West Broadway about 4,500 feet west of North Reserve, is vacant. The new design, which would include a store about 30,000 square feet larger than the present Costco, would include a massive parking lot. Under the terms of a development agreement with the city, Costco would be required to construct a portion of Mary Jane Boulevard from West Broadway to Camden Street to accommodate additional traffic, including bike lanes and five-foot sidewalks. A new traffic signal at Mary Jane Boulevard and West Broadway also would have to be built. Drew Larson with the city’s Development Services staff said the new roadway would provide “additional egress and ingress” for the additional traffic, some of which would be routed through the Pleasant View Homes subdivision. There are several different options on the table for how the streets around the new development would be constructed to accommodate traffic. Several City Council members expressed concerns for the way traffic would increase in the area. “I don’t want that neighborhood to be inundated with traffic,” said council member Julie Armstrong. “I would request that we have multiple meetings with neighborhood councils to see what they want, because there are so many kids in this neighborhood and bringing more traffic into that would be a nightmare for those families.” David Rogers, a representative with Costco Wholesale, traveled from Washington state to make the request for annexation to the City Council’s Land Use and Planning Committee on Wednesday. He said Costco has been looking for a number of years to relocate its existing warehouse on Reserve to a site that would allow the company to build a Costco “with all the bells and whistles that Missoula deserves.” Rogers did address the fact that there have been rumors that Costco had been looking at other sites in Missoula. “Though I won’t go into where that site is, we had been looking at another site in the city and it was a parcel assemblage and we were not able to come to terms with one of the property owners, which caused us to come back to the site we’re looking at today,” he said. Rogers brought a traffic engineer with him who provided the committee with background on the traffic impact work that has been done to date and how it plays into the annexation element that’s related to the construction of Mary Jane boulevard. He said the company has developed a transportation impact study, which has been submitted to the Montana Department of Transportation, which then accepted it as long as the new traffic signal is constructed. Committee member Michelle Cares wanted to know if a roundabout was a possibility rather than a signal, and the traffic engineer responded that an evaluation showed that the signal was the recommended option because there are already two other signals to the east and another one to the west. Also, the size of the roundabout would have to be large in that area, and there would have been right-of-way issues. Officials from Costco did not say what would happen to the old Costco or whether it would remain open, but they termed the project a “relocation.” The City Council will hold a public hearing on the matter on Monday, Nov. 14.