Costco on the move

Costco wants to build a new Kelowna store 770 metres away from the current location. The proposed site is bounded by Springfield Road, Leckie Road, and Baron Road. City council will consider the proposal on Monday.

Plans by Costco for a new store in Kelowna will be considered Monday by city councillors.

Municipal planners recommend council send Costco's rezoning request for a 15-acre, vacant property bounded by Springfield Road, Baron Road, and Leckie Road to a public hearing.

The company says the current building, 770 metres away at the corner of Highway 97 and Highway 33, is too small.

"Costco is proposing to relocate the existing operation to a larger site that would allow for both a gasbar and a larger warehouse building to continue to allow the business to continue to grow," planning director Ryan Smith writes in a report to council.

If approved, the new Costco would be 167,000 sq. feet, or about 25 per cent larger than the current building. It would have four access points, two off Baron Road and two off Leckie Road.

Though the property is currently zoned for agriculture, it has not been farmed for decades, and is designated for development under the city's official community plan. It's currently owned by Victor Properties Ltd, a development firm owned by the Bennett family.

Municipal planners say the site is appropriate for a new Costco because it has good vehicle access and fits into an area that already has big-box stores such as Real Canadian Superstore, Walmart, Canadian Tire, and The Home Depot.

"A more suburban or remote out of-town location potentially makes the facility less accessible to residents of the city and the potential to create greater transportation challenges," Smith writes in the report.

As part of the proposed agreement, Costco would pay to four-lane Leckie Road, and install a full set of signal lights at the corner of Leckie Road and Parkview Crescent.

The company would also pay for improvements at the intersection of Springfield Road and Leckie Road, and future improvements at Highway 97 and Leckie Road.

Plans for Costco's relocation were first submitted to the city in September 2019 and the matter has been under discussion and negotiation between municipal and company officials since then.

Monday's meeting is the first chance for city councillors to comment on the matter, with citizen input possible if the project is advanced to