Costco terminates negotiation agreement with Placer County for North Auburn store
Placer County officials announced this week Costco Wholesale Corporation will not move forward with negotiations to open a store in North Auburn.
Costco had been in negotiations with Placer County on property adjacent to Home Depot near Highway 49 and Bell Road, according to the Auburn Journal, for a 150,000 square-foot warehouse superstore on county-owned land at the Placer County Government Center.
According to Placer County, the agreement was signed in October 2015. In its letter announcing the termination of its exclusive agreement to negotiate with the county on the site, Costco did not provide details on its reasons for terminating the agreement.
“We respect Costco’s decision to not pursue a store location at the government center campus,” Placer County Public Works and Facilities Director Ken Grehm said in a statement. “We’re still excited about what the future holds for the campus, and we look forward to continuing the conversation with the community about the opportunities the master plan update presents.”
According to a news release, Placer County is updating the 200-acre campus’s master plan, which was last updated in 1993. Planners continue to seek public input on potential uses, including commercial and residential development, as well as a potential community center currently being studied in a separate feasibility study.
Word of the company’s plans to build in North Auburn, along with plans for the construction of a Walmart store in North Auburn, caused concern for Nevada County business and government leaders, particularly in Grass Valley, which conducted a study that showed more than $200 million in retail sales tax revenue leakage outside the community. Placer County’s approval of “big box” store development proved controversial from the outset, with members of the Auburn community rising in opposition.
Grass Valley City Manager Bob Richardson said the company’s decision likely alleviates additional leakage, especially in the grocery sector.
“It will certainly help some of the strain, but Costco has been looking to get into the foothills for the past decade,” said Richardson, who was formerly Auburn’s city manager. “Unless they have slowed their expansion plan, they will probably be looking for a new site.”
But Richardson said it’s doubtful the warehouse club would seek a store location in western Nevada County, because the retailer would be looking for higher population centers.
According to the Auburn Journal, plans for the Walmart store near Luther Road and Highway 49 continue through the planning process.
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