Costco plans to open its new Kelowna store this fall | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Costco plans to open its new Kelowna store this fall

Kelowna's new Costco location will have a gas bar, in addition to a larger store.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
January 13, 2021 - 7:20 AM

Kelowna city council has agreed to rezone lands for Costco to relocate to the Baron, Leckie and Springfield Roads area of the city.

During a public hearing for the rezoning yesterday, Jan. 12, a Costco spokesman said the plan is to have the new store open by fall of this year.

It will move less than one kilometre from its existing location at the corner of Highways 97 and 33.

Those who spoke in opposition during the city’s first virtual public hearing complained about things like traffic congestion, the fact the store will not have highway frontage and the loss of land previously designated for multi-family housing.

Mayor Colin Basran agreed to the rezoning somewhat reluctantly, saying it goes against his belief that residential housing should be concentrated in town centres.

“For me, it’s balance,” Basran said. “The comment was made that we need to densify, but it was only in the residential context that it was spoken. I would say that sprawl isn’t just residential. Sprawl is also commercial.

“In this particular instance, what some in our community wanted was for this project to be located on the outskirts of our community. That would have been just as detrimental but in different ways.”

By keeping the store in Kelowna, it means city residents won’t have to drive out of town to shop and, Basran said, he hopes to work with Costco on a transit plan that will make it easier for its soon-to-be 500 employees to take transit to work.

The new store will provide more space for a larger cell phone kiosk, larger freezers, a gas bar and more products, a Costco spokesman said.

It will add 50 to 60 new staff, about half of them full-time. Currently, Costco employs almost 450 staff with more than 55 per cent of those being full-time, a Costco representative said during the hearing.

Costco also pointed out that 67 per cent of people with Costco memberships currently live between the Bennett bridge and Kelowna Airport, emphasizing the need to build in a central location in Kelowna.

Councillors Charlie Hodge and Loyal Wooldridge were the only councillors to vote against the rezoning.


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