CENTRAL POINT — Bigger will be better in many ways as Costco Warehouse gears up to open its long-awaited new store at 8 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 16.
The $13.2 million, 164,000-square-foot retail warehouse and fuel station on 18.28 acres on the southwest corner of Hamrick and Table Rock roads was delayed for more than a year by legal challenges.
Costco Warehouse No. 65 opened on Crater Lake Highway in 1991, but almost immediately the Issaquah, Washington-based company realized it had underestimated the regional market. Within two years, the north wall was knocked out as the retailer expanded to 137,000 square feet. The new location is another 20 percent larger.
The transition from the 26-year-old store to the new one at 3075 Hamrick Road will be seamless. The old one will close Wednesday night, Nov. 15, and the new one will open Thursday morning, fully stocked with fresh inventory. Costco officials say the company finds it more efficient to return merchandise to the distribution centers rather than migrate inventory from one store to another.
Not only will there be more merchandise, but there will be 55 more employees working at the new store, pushing the total to 400.
A change for motorists will be the addition of diesel pumps at the fueling station.
The new store will offer expanded wine, apparel and electronics options, Warehouse Manager Ron Cheek said in a statement. Like many newer Costcos, there will be a walk-in dairy section. Until now, local shoppers found those goods in glass-doored coolers.
The hearing-aid center, pharmacy and optical departments will be clustered in what the chain calls a health and wellness corner. The optical department will be staffed with an optometrist.
Costco reported $126.2 billion in revenue in its most recent fiscal year. The Central Point location will be one of 13 Oregon warehouses, 518 nationwide and 746 globally.
After encountering difficulties in gaining rights of way, Jackson County was forced to delay planned roadwork, which includes widening Table Rock Road. The county will open bids from subcontractors this month, and the construction is projected to start in January and take about 10 months to complete. A traffic signal is being installed where Table Rock and Airport roads meet.
— Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GregMTBusiness or www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31.