Boomtown: Springfield Costco’s opening day

Boomtown

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Whether you need to stock up on groceries, glasses, appliances, or giant teddy bears, there is a new place in town to find it all: Costco.

Opening day comes after decades of wishing from shoppers, years of planning by the company and the City of Springfield, and months of construction on the site on Eastgate Avenue.

Sarah Kerner, the Economic Development Director for the City of Springfield, stated, “Costco is one of those stores that are at the top of many Springfield’s lists as far as things we wish we had. And, this is a way that the city can partner with a company to help them make the deal work.

That deal included an Infrastructure Reimbursement Agreement with the retailer.
Before the building could go up, 4.8 dollars had to be made to the site on Eastgate Ave. and Olive St., including relocating roads, putting in stoplights, and making stormwater improvements. Costco asked the city to reimburse it for those expenses using a portion of local sales taxes generated by the store. The city council approved the incentives back in June 2020.

Angela Bauer, General Manager of Costco in Springfield, explained, “It is my understanding that everything went really well. The fact that we were able to open on time speaks volumes about that.” She added, “It shows that it was a very mutual relationship in bringing Costco to Springfield.

“There are people who live in Springfield or near Springfield who travel to shop at Costco. Now that they can spend those dollars here, those are additional sales tax dollars that we hope to capture for many years to come,” Kerner said.

The city says some other examples of this type of infrastructure reimbursement were Target on S. Glenstone, the Lowes on N. Kansas Expressway, and James River Town Center/Walmart Supercenter on Independence Ave.

As for Costco, the agreement runs for 15 years, meaning the retailer will be reimbursed about $320,000 per year during that time frame.

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