There’s still no official word on whether a new Costco is coming to the Queensgate area of Richland.
But a letter from the retailer to the state Department of Natural Resources, or DNR, expressing interest in a lease sheds some light on what the location could include.
DNR owns the 28 acres of land at the northwest corner of Kennedy Road and Truman Avenue, near Target, where the store would sit.
The eight-page document says Costco initially wants to build “a membership warehouse club (including ancillary businesses, and a ‘last-mile’ delivery facility),” plus a gas station and parking.
Costco is looking to lease the land for an original term of 25 years, with the option to extend the lease for another 30 years at set increments. The rent would start at $400,000 a year, going up every five years to $585,640 a year; after 25 years, a new amount would be determined by an appraisal.
The letter also references major road improvements in the area.
The letter of interest was submitted to DNR in June and lease negotiations apparently are underway.
A DNR spokesman said in early July that there were no updates to share.
A Costco spokesman previously said it’s company policy not to comment about future warehouses or construction until the company is ready to share details about a new location. An official list of new Costco locations coming soon doesn’t include a site in Richland or anywhere else in the Tri-Cities.
The Queensgate area property is state trust land, among the millions of acres granted to Washington by Congress at statehood to provide revenue for K-12 school construction.
The land used to be managed as an orchard, “but as Richland and West Richland grew to surround it, the parcel became more valuable for development,” Kenny Ocker, a communications manager for DNR, told the Journal of Business in June, noting that DNR has a duty as a trust manager to “manage lands for the highest and best use for their designated beneficiaries.”
He added that, “We spent years working with the prior lessee and the city to ensure a seamless transition as the lease expired, and the parcel was rezoned for a variety of developments, including commercial, residential and open space zoning.”
If the Richland Costco happens, it would be the second location in the Tri-Cities.
The existing warehouse off Gage Boulevard in Kennewick employs about 530 people and draws 80,000 to 100,000 shoppers a week. It’s currently undergoing a remodel.
Daily and Monthly NewsSign up now!