Costco’s newest California store looks very different

When Californians visit Costco they’re used to a giant, suburban box store surrounded by acres of parking. Even at the retailer’s city outpost in the busy South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco, the outlet sits under two concrete stories of parking and takes up an entire city block.

It seems that model may soon be about to change after a developer announced plans to build a new-look Costco in a mixed-use site underneath 800 residential units in Southern California.

Design firm Thrive Living has outlined a plan to convert an unused five-acre site in Baldwin Village, Los Angeles, into a “mixed-use complex with hundreds of apartments and the neighborhood’s first Costco store,” it said in a statement. The developer says that Costco plans to build a state-of-the-art store with fresh produce alongside optical services, a pharmacy and delivery services at the site. Costco could not be reached for comment on the plans by time of publication.

Costco’s shift to operating out of a mixed-use development in California has caught the eye of realtors who see the retailer’s presence as a potential boon for property values ​​around the location.

Rendering of planned Costco mixed-use site at 5035 Coliseum St., Los Angeles.

Thrive Living

“It’s certainly fascinating and something that people are going to be watching,” Gabe Kadosh of Colliers told commercial real estate analysts, CoStar, “Developers are going to be paying attention.”

Thrive Living shared renderings of the site with SFGATE, which will include 184 apartments, or 23% of the total units, dedicated to low-income households.

“Mayor Bass has declared a housing emergency in Los Angeles, and we’re answering the call,” said Jordan Brill of Thrive Living. “Our company is focused on addressing the severe housing affordability crisis in Los Angeles, while also attracting retailers willing to make long-term commitments and deliver community-serving products and services that enrich the living experience for our residents and neighbors.”

The firm says it will soon file a full application for the planned build at 5053 Coliseum Street with the City of Los Angeles, and added that Costco estimates the store will bring in 400 new jobs.

Swedish furniture giant Ikea made a similar move to “city concept” stores in recent years. The San Francisco Mid-Market location of the mall-like Ikea looks set to open soon, after many delays.

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