Costco is getting a fresh look. What does it mean for shoppers?

The Costco in Kennewick is replacing its refrigeration system and giving its “freshline” departments an overhaul — and it’s staying open during construction.

In fact, the remodel already is underway. It’s expected to take about seven to seven-and-a-half months and wrap up around September, said Thomas Olson, general manager.

“We’re committed to the future. This is well thought out,” he said, noting that the existing refrigeration system will be replaced with a CO2-based system. “The (new refrigeration) system will carry us into the future as other refrigeration systems become obsolete or aren’t environmentally friendly. We’ll be ahead of the game.”

The overhaul also will “add to a better member shopping experience, and more production and activity for our people here,” Olson said.

The remodel will include building a new bakery, rotisserie, dairy cooler, produce cooler, meat prep and deli, plus a new mechanical mezzanine above the bakery.

“Anything that needs refrigeration will be replaced,” Olson said.

A new grease interceptor also will be built outside.

The Costco at 8505 W. Gage Blvd. has about 530 employees and welcomes about 80,000 to 100,000 shoppers a week.

The remodeling work will cost $3.3 million, according to a building permit filed with the city of Kennewick. The store also plans $1 million in plumbing work.

Lydig Construction Inc. is the general contractor for the remodel.

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