Costco is getting an early start Saturday at its new Bakerview store in what is expected to be a very busy shopping weekend.
Officials announced an 8 a.m. opening for the new store at 4125 Arctic Ave., near the Bakerview Fred Meyer. The new Costco replaces the smaller Meridian Street store, which opened in November 1991 and is slated to close at the end of business Friday.
The opening time is 90 minutes earlier than a typical Saturday morning start. Given that it is opening the Saturday before Thanksgiving, shoppers are expected to be busy stocking up on groceries in preparation for the holiday dinner.
Customers will find the new store about 25 percent bigger, with an expanded service deli, hearing aid center and gas station. Other departments include meat, produce, bakery, a tire center and a pharmacy. Altogether the 162,000-square-foot warehouse will employ 330 people.
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The new store will make a big difference for Costco members, said warehouse manager Andrea Lowden. The expanded deli area means they will be able to have 30 to 40 premade meal options, much more than the five to seven items typically found in the store on Meridian. The bigger fueling station will have more diesel options, she said.
Parking is also expected to be easier, with about 500 more spaces. Aisles will also be wider, and there will be more refrigerated areas.
The store opening will be a test for traffic flow in the area. Traffic has increased in recent years as other commercial and residential projects were completed along Bakerview. Some traffic improvements were done to the overpass and near the entrance to Costco, but one major improvement – putting in Mahogany Avenue to the north of the store – isn’t expected to be completed until the second half of 2017.
No announcement has been made yet on what will go into the Meridian building. Leibsohn & Co. list the property’s status as pending on its website.