Costco tight-lipped on plans to relocate Kelowna warehouse | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Costco tight-lipped on plans to relocate Kelowna warehouse

FILE PHOTO - Customers push shopping carts at Costco in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 15, 2017.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
September 20, 2018 - 4:06 PM

KELOWNA - If Costco is going to relocate to West Kelowna – as some rumours suggest – head office is not going to say anything until the deal is done.

“Real estate issues are very sensitive so it is Costco policy to never, ever comment on them,” Costco spokesman Ron Damiani said from the company’s Ottawa headquarters today, Sept. 20.

He said if it becomes known they are looking to relocate, land prices could go up and if they say they’re not moving, property values could be devalued.

Rumours surfaced recently that the company was going to move from Kelowna to West Kelowna and those rumours were strengthened yesterday when Kelowna mayoralty candidate Tom Dyas distributed to the media a letter he said he sent to Costco.

“If the Kelowna Costco warehouse is moved to West Kelowna our city of Kelowna would lose significant tax revenue which could result in Kelowna residents paying even higher property taxes in the future," Dyas said in the letter. He asked Costco to put off any decision until after the Oct. 20 municipal election at which time, if he became mayor, he would meet with them.

Other rumours have Costco relocating to the Kelowna Airport Business Park and Mayor Colin Basran confirmed yesterday he had met with Costco representatives some months ago about that and other possible locations.

Even though it's no secret Costco is looking for a new site, Damiani refused to say anything more.

“No decision has been made yet” a local Costco manager who would not give his full name told “The only thing we know is they’re looking for spots to relocate. We do not know the time line or where that is.”

He said the search started four or five years ago.

Many Costco outlets have gas bars and sell gas at a discount. That’s not the case in Kelowna, leading to speculation that having a gas bar is a key reason to move.

“It’s nothing to do with the gas bar,” the local Costco manager said. “Obviously, we would like to offer more services, but that (gas bar) is not the prime reason.”

Costco opened its 135,000 square foot warehouse in Kelowna in 1991 and has about 90,000 members.

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