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Buzz grows over a potential Costco coming to North Seattle

The company would renovate the old Sam's Club building on Aurora Avenue North in Seattle.

SEATTLE — Here's what could be good news for Costco lovers: The company is looking into opening a second location in Seattle. 

The company filed plans with the City of Seattle this week to potentially take over the former Sam's Club building on Aurora Avenue North for a new location. 

Aurora Avenue is one of the busiest streets in Seattle. The Aurora Reimagined Coalition said that could present a challenge for Costco's plans. 

"Having Costco here is great but we are more interested in all the people that are going to be coming to this Costco. Are they kept safe? Are they kept alive?" said Aurora Reimagined Coalition member Tom Long. 

The coalition has been pushing the city to invest in Aurora and find ways to make it safer and more accommodating for bikes and pedestrians. It's complied years of Seattle Department of Transportation data for the street. The group said the stretch of Aurora Avenue the Sam's building sits along is the most dangerous. 

"Probably twice as dangerous as any place else [on Aurora] in terms of numbers of collisions, number of deaths," said coalition member Lee Bruch. 

The group thinks because of development in the area Costco could see a lot of foot and bike traffic in addition to cars. Right now, the location has no sidewalks across the street and people often ignore crosswalks. The coalition believes a company like Costco moving into the area could help change these patterns. 

"As more businesses move into empty storefront and fill them, the city needs to set a precedent of what it expects for those companies," said Long, "Even if it's not written into the code right now we would hope that new companies coming into the area would be part of the neighborhood and make it safer for everyone who's going to come to that business or just pass by it."

SDOT plans to spend a $2 million grant in 2022 to study the corridor's safety and its plans for the future. The coalition is currently hosting a survey they plan to present to the city. It asks for thoughts on the good and bad about Aurora. 

Costco has 32 locations in Washington state, but only one of those is in Seattle, according to its website. That location is in SODO on 4th Avenue South. 

According to the plans, Costco would keep most of the existing building and parking lot layout of the Sam's Club but make upgrades to several building systems. Those upgrades would include the building's HVAC, electrical, energy management and fire safety systems. 

The company would also refresh portions of the site and the building exterior and rearrange the interior layout to match more closely with the Costco design. 

The estimated project cost is approximately $10 million, according to the plans. 

A Costco spokesperson said it is the company's policy to not comment on future stores until it is ready to share details about the new locations, which is usually two to three months in advance.