Escrow closes on Costco

Escrow closed for Costco on Tuesday and, despite apparent difficulties, store construction is running ahead of schedule.

"We're pleased at this point that the project is well ahead of schedule," City Manager John Berkich said.

When the 148,385-square-foot warehouse and a six-pump gas station will open is still up in the air.

"There's a chance (Costco) could open in the fall and there's a chance they could open in the spring," Berkich said. "Opening the story is critically important to our future sales tax, so that's why the sooner the better."

While the property purchase was recorded at $3,679,632, not all that money went directly to the city.

Berkich said the city received $2.1 million in the deal. The rest of the money went for several different things.

"We're estimating spending $450,000 in off-site improvements and grading costs of $637,000," Berkich said.

Berkich credited the sale to the city's project delivery team, along with the support of supervisors.

"We're extremely pleased to have finally closed on the escrow and completed the sale of the property to Costco," he said. Checks in the amount of $2.1 million checks "don't come by over my desk too frequently."

Escrow documents were signed by Tony Unan, corporate counsel for Costco, and by Robin Williamson, Carson City supervisor and chairwoman of the city's Redevelopment Commission.

One of the last blocks to the deal was cleared Friday when Eugene and Judy Lepire, owners of the Comstock Country RV Park, signed the agreement over construction of a 580-foot sound wall between the two properties.

The city sold 16 acres of property across from Fuji Park to Costco. The property was placed in the city's redevelopment district in December 1999 so the city could negotiate directly with Costco without putting the property up for bid.

Negotiations with the Lepires about how the city would mitigate the project's impact on their business were among the items that repeatedly delayed the planned closing date from April. Most of the Lepires' issues were settled in negotiations in June.

The final items resolved Friday involved the alignment of the sound wall to be built between the Lepire property and about three acres of U.S. Forest Service land along the RV park's west edge being used for dirt storage during the Costco construction.

The papers signed Friday also transferred about 4,600 square feet of city property to the Lepires to resolve an encroachment between city and Lepire property and to give the Lepires about 4 feet of space along that line, Burnham said.

Grading began at the site about a month ago.

Plans call for the construction of the store on Clear Creek Road just north of Fuji Park. The intersection of Clear Creek Road and Highway 395 will also be expanded and will include a stoplight.


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