|Northgate Mall, Corner of Northgate Dr &
Las Gallinas Ave
|Costco Wholesale Corporation, Michael Okuma
Costco has applied for a Pre Application and Conceptual Design Review for their proposal to demolish the existing multi story Sears building along with the two out buildings (former Sears catalog building and automotive center building) at the southern portion of Northgate Mall. In it’s place, Costco is proposing to build a new 146,958 sq ft Costco Warehouse Center, including a 141,773 sq ft warehouse, 5,185 sq ft attached tire center, along with a detached fueling station. The proposal also calls for 2-3 levels of rooftop parking on top of the proposed Costco warehouse. The Pre Application process has been completed.
Current Status (3/9/2020)
The Pre Application and Conceptual review processes were completed in October 2019 and no further City action will occur on this project. The applicant has indicated they are taking a pause to analyze the City, outside agency and public feedback received during the preliminary process and decide whether to proceed with the project, and if so, how to proceed. The next steps, should Costco choose to purse this project, are is listed below in the Frequently Asked Questions section.
If a formal application is submitted to the City, this web page will be updated and we will use the interested parties list (in the “stay informed section” below) to pass on any updates if we receive a formal application.
The Pre Application process allows an applicant to receive: 1) preliminary feedback from the City, including code requirements, 2) capacity review from utility providers, and 3) roadmap for any subsequent permits or processes required by the City to process the formal application.
In addition, the Conceptual Design Review is a process required by the City for major projects to have preliminary design level plans reviewed by the City’s Design Review Board (DRB) before they are developed too far. The purpose is for the City through a public process to provide preliminary feedback on the proposed design direction.
The City's Planning Commission (PC) reviewed the preliminary application on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 and provided the following comments:
- No PC support for gas component of the project (unanimous)
- Really need a master plan to understand what is planned for rest of mall, how this project would impact that and what that would do to housing potential
- Confirmed the main Costco retail use and tire center are consistent with the current Master Use Permit, but not as designed (lack of integration with mall, circulation issues, height/bulk/mass)
- Need for data to support the benefits to the community and support claims that Costco will bring shoppers to mall
- Concern with the increased height (Exception findings) more than current Sear footprint which results in bulk and mass coming so close to Northgate Dr
- Need for better integration of the Costco with rest of Mall
- Concern with on-site circulation access as noted by staff
- Need project to better respect the design and character of surrounding area.
- Project is solely designed for car access and needs to pay attention to pedestrians
- Ensure that traffic study is comprehensive and extends to greater are than just around mall
The DRB reviewed the conceptual design on Tuesday, October 22, 2019. The DRB provided the following primary comments
- Reduce the scale of the project (i.e., height, lot coverage, etc.) so that it is closer in size to the existing Sears buildings and takes into consideration the lower scale of both the adjacent residential neighborhood and the existing Mall. Making the height Exception findings will be difficult.
- Improve the pedestrian circulation around the project and connecting to the Mall by relocating or eliminating the fuel station element, and converting the proposed new driveway between the project and Mall to pedestrian only
- Improve the visual connection to the mail by incorporating some of the existing material palette i.e., (more stone, less concrete).
- Eliminate tall wall sections by Increasing articulation along all or portions of all elevations, particularly along the south and north elevations.
Please see the City Public Meetings Page for meeting minutes and staff reports.