Costco unveils building plans for Fuji Park site |

Costco unveils building plans for Fuji Park site

Amanda Hammon

City planners got their first real look Tuesday at Costco’s building plans for land near Fuji Park.

Senior Planner Juan Guzman said Costco’s three-hour major project review with city staff was devoid of controversy.

“Every issue that was brought up either Costco anticipated or they liked our ideas,” Guzman said. “The major project review is a precursor to the building plan review process and the special use permit process. It’s an opportunity to talk about what the issues might be to make sure we understand what we want to do and they understand what we need to require.”

Guzman said for the most part, Costco’s preliminary plans for the site were well-suited for Carson City.

The outside of the 148,486 square-foot building will be basically box-shaped, but the entrance has elements of a ski lodge. It will sit on the east side of the property next to the Comstock RV Resort with a 766-space parking lot extending west.

The gas station will be on the west end. The building also has brick trim and landscaping to help mitigate the effects of wind coming from the west.

Guzman said most of the concerns with the plans were minor, such as the width of the parking spaces.

“If it comes like the plans, it will be great,” Guzman said.

The city will more than likely assume ownership of Old Clear Creek Road from the state Friday. The State Board of Transportation considers the issue Thursday.

Guzman said plans for Clear Creak Road show the placement of a stop light at the intersection and the road would have to be expanded to four lanes. Costco would bear a portion of the road’s expansion costs.

Guzman said Costco officials hope to have the store open by September and are on a fast-track schedule to start the estimated $6 million project.

The city has been racing equally fast to work the land changes necessary to bring Costco to south Carson City. The plan has passed several committees since the beginning of December 1999 and takes its final stop at the board of supervisors meeting Thursday.

City supervisors acting as members of the Redevelopment Authority will take the final steps to add around 18 acres to the redevelopment district. The change of ownership over the land allows the city to negotiate with one entity rather than go through he public bid process.

Supervisors are also being asked to stipulate that the money from the sale of the property, estimated at $3.2 million, be returned to Carson City to be spent at the supervisors discretion.

City Manager John Berkich is the head of the negotiating team for the city, and supervisors will have to approve Berkich’s authority to act on behalf of the redevelopment authority as well.

“It’s a great accomplishment for the community,” Berkich said. “We’ve made a lot of progress towards that goal, but the deal’s not done until its done.”

Berkich said the city is “in the process of formulating a response” to Costco competitor, Wal-Mart, who at the last supervisors meeting tried to throw its ring in the hat for the coveted piece of property.

“We’re constantly trying to accommodate them and others,” he said. “That’s all I can say at this point.”

The city estimates that a Costco warehouse would send about $1.24 million in sales tax to the city’s general fund each year. An estimated $80,000 would head to the redevelopment district.

Costco time line, all dates are estimates:

Jan. 20: Application for a special use permit

Jan. 20: Final land use changes head to Carson City supervisors.

Jan. 20: State Transportation Board decides on the ownership of Old Clear Creek Road.

Jan. 26: Carson City Regional Planning Commission decides on zone changes for about 18 acres of property to be used for Costco development.

Jan. 31: City negotiating with Costco representatives.

Feb 3: City supervisors review planning commission zone change decision.

Feb. 17: First date city could sell land to Costco.

Feb. 23: Special use permit reviewed by the planning commission.

February or March: Application for building permit

If you go

What: Carson City Board of Supervisors and Redevelopment Authority

When: Thursday, after 1:30 p.m.

Where: the Community Center’s Sierra Room, 851 E. William St.