After years of rumors and even social media campaigns, Costco Wholesale plans a Webster store that likely will lure shoppers from around Galveston County.
Costco will represent the biggest retail project in Webster’s history and stands to attract more retail and development, officials said. The city has worked to lure Costco for at least 12 years.
Webster city officials on Wednesday night approved the development of Costco Wholesale, which is scheduled to open by the end of the year and employ as many as 250 people. Webster did not win Costco through tax rebates and other such economic incentives, but instead agreed to make site and road improvements to accommodate the store.
Costco plans to build on the west side of Interstate 45, on the south side of Baybrook Commons, where Star Furniture is a tenant, confirming the most recent rumors. The 158,000-square-foot membership-only facility also will include a 24-pump gas station with an 8,127-square-foot canopy, city officials said.
Rumors have swirled for years about Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco scouting Clear Lake area sites. Costco manages an international chain of membership warehouses, selling brand name merchandise at prices markedly lower than standard retail stores. Costco sells groceries, spirits, hardware, tires, apparel, electronics and more.
Costco competes directly with Sam’s Club, which is owned by Walmart. Unlike Costco, Sam’s Club is well-represented in the area. Costco has three Houston stores.
“Webster welcomes the world’s second-largest retailer to the city’s west side where Costco will experience great success in this vibrant market,” Mayor Donna Rogers said. “Costco’s advent to Webster is of great significance to the city in many ways, and I will be one of the first customers in line with a shopping cart, as Costco is a leader in so many categories.”
But Webster Resident Herbert Kobayashi at Wednesday’s meeting said he was worried about the amount of concrete being added for the Costco construction and that it wouldn’t alleviate the flooding problem in the Webster area.
“This flooding has been going on for over 50 years now,” he said. “We just had a big flood last August. I think it’s about time to plan something. Rather than building up near FM 528, you should build north of it.”
The Costco parking area will feature landscaping that will meet the city of Webster’s landscaping requirements and help with water runoff, said Michael Clark, president of the civil engineering firm Winkelmann & Associates, which is assisting with the Costco project.
There will be 22 street trees alongside planned Jasmine Avenue that will be 4- to 6-caliper inches, which will surpass the minimum number required by the vegetation ordinance, city officials said. The caliper of a tree is measured by the thickness of the trunk.
The parking area will feature 84 trees, where the vegetation ordinance requires an amount of only 38 trees.
“We are planning subsoil and subdrains,” Clark said. “We are paying a particular amount of detail to the landscaping.”
Costco likely will attract more retail and development, Rogers said.
“Costco will generate new jobs, attract a super-regional clientele and ignite complementary development within Webster’s northwest quadrant,” she said.