After about 20 years of on-and-off discussions, Costco has now opened a membership warehouse in Redmond.
The 155,000-square-foot warehouse is located at 7725 188th Ave. N.E., at the intersection of Northeast 76th Street and 188th Avenue Northeast. It will open for business at 8 a.m. Friday.
“We are thrilled to be bringing Costco’s low warehouse prices to the residents of Redmond,” said warehouse manager John Bartlett in a Costco press release. “They have been asking us to open here for a long time, and we already have made an impact on the local job market. We look forward to contributing to the community in many ways.”
Redmond Mayor John Marchione said “Redmond residents have been eagerly looking forward to Costco’s arrival for decades.”
“We first talked with Costco about coming to Redmond in the mid-1990s, when they ultimately chose to locate their headquarters in Issaquah,” he said. “For many years there has been strong interest by the community to have Costco locate a site in Redmond, but the economy and timing didn’t align, until now. I’m pleased to welcome Costco as the newest member of our community.”
Marchione was not the only one eager to welcome the new store to Redmond.
“It’s about time!” Cathy Brydges posted on the Reporter’s Facebook page. “Welcome to the neighborhood Costco!”
Brydges was not the only one on Facebook who is looking forward to the store opening.
“We’re very excited and I hope this eases some of the crowding for the existing Costco warehouses in the vicinity,” Michelle Timpe Quan posted.
With a store now in Redmond, Quan said, “(her) family may even stop hoarding toilet paper.”
The nearest Costco warehouses are five miles west in Kirkland, 11 miles northwest in Woodinville or 11 miles southwest in Issaquah.
Mike Hayes, vice president of operations for Costco, said now was the right time for them to open a store in Redmond because it will help relieve some of the pressure off of the other three locations, which have reached very high volumes of customers.
He said one of the biggest things he is looking forward to with the opening of the new store is being able to provide more convenient service to Redmond-area members and satisfying the members’ needs. Hayes added that with the ever-growing tech industry, he is also looking forward to providing a service for the businesses in the area and taking care of more members.
On Facebook, Tom Sanko posted that he recently visited the Costco store in Kirkland, hopefully for the last time today.
“Redmond needs and deserves its own Costco,” he said earlier this week. “Looking forward to the opening!”
According to the Costco press release, the Redmond warehouse will offer brand-name and private-label merchandise. In addition to allowing businesses to save money on supplies and on items for resale, the release states that Costco also provides a wide range of products and services for personal use, as well.
Costco in Redmond will feature a variety of specialty departments, including a gas station with diesel, fresh bakery, fresh meat, fresh produce, fresh deli with rotisserie chicken, optical department with independent doctor of optometry, photo center, pharmacy, tire center, hearing aid center, food court and beer, liquor and fine wine. Members can also save on Costco services such as travel and auto buying.
On the Reporter’s Facebook page, reader Andrew Ross posted that he is particularly excited about the fuel station in Redmond.
While many responses to the news of the store coming to town were positive, there were some who also shared their concerns on the Reporter’s Facebook page.
Angela Burch wrote that while she is a Costco shopper, she believes it is unnecessary to have one in this area, saying it will “add to the already congested traffic issues of Union Hill.”
Teresa Atkinson wrote that she hopes that the new store’s parking lot will be designed better than the Issaquah location’s parking lot, which she described as “too crowded” and “dangerous to pedestrians.”
Traffic was another concern for Atkinson. In her post, she wonders, looking at the southern access roads to the new Costco, if traffic patterns need to be reassessed. She added that the holiday season will be a good test for this.
“For myself, I’ve already figured out an alternate route,” Atkinson said, though she did not share this route.
Jon Davidson, a 12-year Redmond resident, told the Reporter that he is concerned about the infrastructure in and around the site of the new store.
“My primary concern is that the City of Redmond has apparently not properly planned for all the additional traffic in the area,” he said. “And that was before Costco started construction.”
Davidson added that ever since 188th Avenue Northeast was extended to Northeast Union Hill Road, speeding and street racing have increased on that street, which has posed significant dangers to pedestrians as well as drivers. He said there has already been one traffic fatality and “adding what could be called ‘traditional Costco traffic’ without having properly dealt with the road and traffic-control infrastructure is just asking for major incidents.”