Costco Wholesale has received the green light to proceed with a 1.2 million square foot expansion to double its office space in its worldwide headquarters in Issaquah. City staff is praising the move as way to bolster the local economy and provide family-wage jobs for residents.
Costco this month received its land use approval from the City of Issaquah for the proposed campus expansion. The company chose architectural firm MG2 to design the new facilities.
“It’s an exciting time for our team as we work on another expansion for our key client,” MG2 President Russ Hazzard told the Registry. “It’s another rewarding relationship marker as we continue to do transformative work together.”
Issaquah is home to approximately 28,000 jobs, and the average annual wage was $78,816 in 2017. There are approximately 5,000 employees working at the Issaquah headquarters.
According to Costco and MG2’s memo to the city, the company has made Issaquah its home for over 25 years, however the business has felt limited in the past to expand due to transportation issues.
“To accommodate their corporate growth, they have been buying and leasing space in the surrounding neighborhood,” wrote MG2. “However, their desire is to consolidate their entire corporate population back onto their Pickering Place campus…things are now in place to realize that dream.”
In 2014, the company signed a 30-year development agreement with the City of Issaquah which allowed for a campus expansion, and specified that Costco would help contribute to local infrastructure improvements through traffic mitigation fees.
The expansion would add two new buildings at its headquarters. The additions will be nine stories tall and 620,000 square feet, and 10 stories and 685,000 square feet, respectively. The taller building will feature 35,000 square space on the ground level for showcasing products and vendor exhibits, as well as housing an employee fitness area. The new facilities will be able to hold 4,000 employees.
“This massive expansion is needed to accommodate bringing a large number of current employees back (roughly 2,000) on the main campus, while also providing some additional capacity for the future,” wrote MG2, adding that construction is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of next year and should be completed in 2020.
Keith Niven, City of Issaquah Economic Development and Development Services Director, told Lens that the City of Issaquah enjoys its strong and collaborative partnership with Costco.
“Aside from the new building, Costco is working on tenant improvements to a new office building they have recently leased; they are expanding their tire center; and, they have a number of permits in review with the City to make improvements to the buildings they currently own.”
Costco is Issaquah’s largest employer, added Niven, and assisting the business in its growth and development, as well as keeping its headquarters within the city, was the primary focus of the Issaquah’s Economic Development Department.
“Not only does Costco represent our largest employer, but there are a number of other businesses located in Issaquah solely because of the presence of Costco,” he said.
Once Costco completes construction on its new building and parking garage, the city’s development agreement will allow the business to build another 900,000 square foot office over the next 27 years.
“One of the City’s economic development goals is to allow people the opportunity to live and work within the City,” said Niven. “Given the cost of housing in Issaquah, achieving this goal means we need to grow the number of professional jobs and higher paying jobs within the City. “
Lens reached out to Costco’s corporate office for comment but did not hear back prior to publication.