News


Costco signs letter of intent to acquire 40-acre Johnson Drive site in Pleasanton

Hearings likely to start in February for city's new economic development zone

With 22,000 members in Pleasanton, it's no surprise that Costco Wholesale wants to build a store here to relieve the overcrowded conditions it has at its stores in Livermore and Danville.

With a potential sales- and property-tax base in the millions of dollars, it's no secret that city leaders would welcome the membership-only warehouse club.

It's also no secret that a study now underway to create the city's first economic development zone on Johnson Drive could provide the impetus to bring Costco to northwest Pleasanton.

Costco recently signed a letter of intent to acquire the 40-acre Johnson Drive site from Nearon Enterprises, which bought the property after Clorox moved its research center to a new corporate campus nearby. The Clorox research center that was on Johnson Drive was torn down, and the property, the oldest industrial-zoned acreage in Pleasanton, is now mostly empty.

The goal of the Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone -- known more easily as JDEDZ -- is to transform acreage into a thriving commercial corridor that capitalizes on its location at the intersection of the I-680 and I-580 freeways.

Although no one in local government officially acknowledges that Costco is a leading -- if not the only -- candidate for developing the property, there's been plenty of talk before meetings of the Planning Commission and City Council by a lobbying group opposed to the store.

Bill Wheeler, president and CEO of Black Tie Transportation, has been most vociferous in urging both groups to reject a Costco store, even though Costco has not filed a bid to build one here. Wheeler's office and large garage that houses many of his limousines and buses at 7080 Commerce Drive borders on the Nearon-owned site. He contends that the two-lane Johnson Drive is too congested now to accommodate the traffic a Costco store would attract.

His associates, including the owner of a nearby Shell station where he fuels his cars and the manager of the DoubleTree hotel where Black Tie parks some of its vehicles, have joined him at the podium at council and commission meetings, arguing that Costco would also hurt gas stations and local businesses that sell merchandise and services Costco offers.

So far, none of Costco's 22,000 members has appeared before city or business organizations supporting a Costco store, but that could change.

Once the JDEDZ planning, with an environmental impact report, is completed with a fiscal, traffic and economic analysis, the proposal will first be heard at a joint workshop meeting of planners and the council, probably in late February. If it's decided to proceed, then both groups will hold public hearings to consider creating the economic development zone.

The rezoning plan calls for widening Johnson Drive to four lanes, probably taking away on-street parking that now serves Black Tie employees.

The sharp turn on Johnson Drive near Stoneridge Drive would be straightened, Stoneridge would be widened at Johnson Drive and a dual on-ramp would be built for traffic heading north on the I-680 on-ramp.

Only then, after the development zone is created and improvements identified, would Nearon be able to close a deal with Costco.

The store, like any other applicant for a building permit, would have to go before the Planning Commission and City Council on its own to seek approval. With opposition likely, Costco's bid may closely resemble the controversial application by Wal-Mart to build a neighborhood grocery store on Santa Rita Road.

In the end, hundreds of residents turned out to support Wal-Mart to add a much-needed grocery at that location; 22,000 Costco members would be likely to do the same.

Comments

57 people like this
Posted by Build it!
a resident of Val Vista
on Dec 28, 2015 at 9:20 am

It would be fantastic to have a Costco in town! I am so sick of spending my dollars in other cities. It would be a great thing for the city.


41 people like this
Posted by Roger Smith
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2015 at 9:21 am

I think having Costco in that area would be a big plus for Pleasanton residents. The Shell gas stations on Hopyard and Santa Rita exits just sell gas at inflated prices.


42 people like this
Posted by jaycee
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2015 at 9:37 am

Bring it on!! As long as they provide improved road/traffic conditions it should be a benefit to all and certainly the city of Pleasanton.


36 people like this
Posted by Downtown Res
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 28, 2015 at 9:42 am

Yes, please please bring in Costco! I have a membership and I would use it 3x more if I had a Costco in town, and although it's not that far, having to drive to Livermore for Costco is a pain. While we're at it, can we get an Ikea up in here?


35 people like this
Posted by Bob12
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 28, 2015 at 9:50 am

As much as I would like a local Costco - Stoneridge is already too busy with cut through traffic from the 680/580 grid lock mess that is destined to get worse. The San Francisco Premium shops between Pleasanton & Livermore are expanding and draw considerable traffic to Stoneridge, the completed link of Stoneridge to Livermore has created even more traffic. - - And adding a high traffic retail store like Costco will add even more traffic to Stoneridge without any doubt. - - Just how much traffic can you put on the local main streets of Pleasanton before you destroy our already congested city????
- - - Sorry, but thumbs down simply due to too much traffic already going for Stoneridge - - -


24 people like this
Posted by Gram-ME
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2015 at 9:55 am

Gram-ME is a registered user.

It's about time!!


22 people like this
Posted by Pam Itwin
a resident of Stoneridge
on Dec 28, 2015 at 10:15 am

Obviously none of the respondents backing Costco have attended the information sessions describing the minimal street work to accommodate the store, the fiscal impact on local businesses nor the lack of answers re: how long until the fiscal backing, forgiven fees & tax-payer based road improvements would be balanced by incoming tax.
The only citizens for this project don't live in the area.
I can promise that politicians supporting this plan can expect strong opposition @ their next bid for reelection given how staff & council have turned a deaf ear to those who have expressed concern about this project.


2 people like this
Posted by justwondering
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2015 at 10:41 am

[Removed because it was off topic]


29 people like this
Posted by Dave C
a resident of Old Towne
on Dec 28, 2015 at 10:41 am

I frequent the Livermore store and find it almost impossible to find a parking spot during the week, and yes weekends are impossible to get in. I fully support the Pleasanton plan for Costco. Widening of Johnson was always part of the city's plan. Black Tie should get an employee parking lot like other businesses.


19 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Dec 28, 2015 at 10:51 am

That would' be too bad that black tie limos employees couldn't park on city streets anymore and those she'll gas stations would have to adjust their prices to compete, life goes on, provide parking for your employees, quit gouging people at the gas pumps!!


24 people like this
Posted by westsider
a resident of Oak Hill
on Dec 28, 2015 at 10:55 am

The added income would be welcome for ptown but I am very leery that the roads and proper parking could be adequately designed and built. I travel Johnson daily and the light on Stoneridge at the freeway ramp is already packed at rush hour. Also given the planning commission and council's utter design failure and an amazing lack of parking at the Bernal Safeway center-I am not convinced this will work.


15 people like this
Posted by kates
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Dec 28, 2015 at 11:09 am

Yes to Costco. Also, yes for a IKEA in Dublin, Pleasanton or Livermore. I know Dublin turned down IKEA several years ago.


22 people like this
Posted by Swimmer75
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2015 at 11:40 am

Traffic, Traffic & More Traffic has destroyed this once beautiful City of Pleasanton! Agree with Bob's & Pam's statements above!! We recently SOLD OUR HOUSE that is two blocks from Stonebridge & Newton Drive!! We are tired of living near the Stoneridge Drive FREEWAY?? The beautiful city of Lakewood Ranch, Florida awaits us where there is no traffic, no noise, no pollution, happy people
& beautiful beaches!!!


27 people like this
Posted by Say it isn't so
a resident of Stoneridge
on Dec 28, 2015 at 12:17 pm

The last thing we need is Costco! Smart and final is on the same road and the other two costco's are not that far. This is a horrible idea!


16 people like this
Posted by lisa bradley
a resident of Stoneridge
on Dec 28, 2015 at 1:23 pm

The Costco on Airway is just fine. I do not understand why we want to take a beautiful city and just keep crowding it up. People dont even have patience any more which is really sad. I got ran over by a lady in the coscto line while placing me things on the conveyor belt. She did even say sorry. all she had was a pair of pants. the need for a basket was odd to me. then ry getting out of the parking lot at any Costco Fresno, san jose, Santa clara. What a mess. I love costco. but there has to be a better location traffic is NOT so heavy.


13 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 28, 2015 at 4:30 pm

If you build it they will come.
Bring on Costco, the city needs the tax revenue.


15 people like this
Posted by Please Stop
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2015 at 5:41 pm

The city might need the tax revenue but this is not the place to put a Costco.


13 people like this
Posted by Eric
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Dec 28, 2015 at 5:46 pm

Bring the Costco. My money can finally stay in the city. Black Tie parking? They can do what other companies do and they own their own shuttles. Move to Florida? Yeah, enjoy the hurricanes, humidity, sink holes, bugs, rising waters and Jerry Springer neighbors. Costco will empty the pockets of 680 travelers and their tax dollars can stay in our city instead of ours constantly going to other cities and counties. For us it'll be a 6 mile round trip instead of 30 miles to Danville.


9 people like this
Posted by Dave C
a resident of Old Towne
on Dec 28, 2015 at 6:14 pm

If Las Positas off ramp was completed there wouldn't be so much traffic on Stoneridge and Bernal.


4 people like this
Posted by to Dave C
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Dec 28, 2015 at 7:04 pm

There would still be the same amount of traffic, it might be spread out a bit more, but Pleasanton would still be a cut through community. I did not see that as a goal for Pleasanton, which to the best of my knowledge, is not a good quality for any town unless you run a quick stop 7-11 or a gas station.


4 people like this
Posted by Roz
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Dec 28, 2015 at 7:10 pm

Castro Valley,Dublin,San Lorenzo and Kelly Hill can't wait. Bring it!


12 people like this
Posted by Patriot
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 28, 2015 at 8:21 pm

All for it ! Can't see a morning commute bottleneck ...Costco won't open until 11 am. Less water use as well.


9 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 28, 2015 at 8:48 pm

The owner of Black Tie will change his tune after he has a few of those $1.50 hot dog/sodas.


8 people like this
Posted by Jim
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Dec 28, 2015 at 9:42 pm

Isnt there any land available on the west side of Pleasanton for mega-stores like Costco? Would be nice to spread some of this congestion to the other side of 680...


12 people like this
Posted by Rob
a resident of Mohr Park
on Dec 29, 2015 at 12:47 am

Since nobody lives on Johnson Drive, the arguments about the traffic seem a little silly. The location is perfect


1 person likes this
Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Dec 29, 2015 at 5:39 am

@Jim :"Isnt there any land available on the west side of Pleasanton for mega-stores like Costco? Would be nice to spread some of this congestion to the other side of 680..."

Nope. Sorry. You can have it. But thanks for asking.

:-)


25 people like this
Posted by Tom
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 29, 2015 at 8:31 am

Please build it. The Costco stores in Livermore and Danville are overcrowded and Costco would be the best retail facility that we could hope for on this property. It is ideally located and would greatly benefit Pleasanton. Costco is a great company with great products that would serve our community well. Build it as soon as possible.


10 people like this
Posted by Dave Walden
a resident of another community
on Dec 29, 2015 at 9:16 am

Dave Walden is a registered user.

I support Costco coming to Pleasanton. I have lived in Castro Valley for six years and will be coming back to Pleasanton and I think the added tax revenue from Costco will make Pleasanton a "richer" place to live.

I certainly undertand Bill Wheeler's concerns though. He has worked hard for many many years to build a successful business in Black Tie - I remember his first location and how he explained to his pregnant wife that he had quit his job, therefor lost his health insurance, and had started a limo company. Bill and Jennifer worked hard and built up a significant business for Pleasanton and the east bay. This will hurt him.

In the long run, it will be a good thing for Pleasanton - sorry Bill.


23 people like this
Posted by build it
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 29, 2015 at 9:59 am

I support this Costco. It's a great location and will be a huge source of revenue for Pleasanton.

There are many arguments for and against, most have some merit. One that does not is the potential harm to Black Tie. The Costco will not be built on their site, forcing them off. The free street parking that his employees have used for so long may be a thing of the past but where was it ever guaranteed that he would be entitled to free parking? He can continue to purchase gas at the overpriced Shell stations or he can benefit from the lower price at Costco. I see this as a potential win for his company just due to the lower cost of fuel.

The land is not going to remain vacant. Would those who protest Costco prefer water hungry condos that would add more kids to the already over-crowded schools? Costco is an extremely ethical company. I recently dealt with their corporate office with regard to a vendor who was not paying his suppliers for the product. Suppliers were having problems feeding their families and paying their bills. The corporate office went to the vendor with a list of those who had not been paid and told him to "pay them right now or get your product off of our shelves." What other company would fight for those down the chain in that way? We could not ask for a better neighbor in town than Costco.


8 people like this
Posted by sanity
a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 29, 2015 at 10:14 am

@ build it:
Well said....not to mention all the jobs this will bring to the local economy.


5 people like this
Posted by Look at the Future--Say NO!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2015 at 10:22 am

While people want the convenience of another Big Box store in Pleasanton, they are not paying attention to the eventual costs to bring one here. Already residents successfully opposed a Walmart in Pleasanton, not wanting the city to become another characterless, retail-inundated town like Dublin and lose what local charm and character we still have.

To really evaluate the value of Costco coming to Pleasanton, 'reporters' such as the one who did this article should leave the obvious bias behind and look at the real issues. A place to start would be Web Link

And those 22,000 Costco members that would rise up? I imagine many of them are also frustrated by the rising traffic problems and loss of downtown retailers, and would prefer to continue using the Dublin and Danville/San Ramon stores and leave the traffic and other problems to them.


11 people like this
Posted by Ennis
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Dec 29, 2015 at 10:44 am

If the city can solve the congestion issues through road widening and improved access then why not build?
In terms of development, residential is a non-starter so it has to be either commercial or retail (and the commercial that has been there 'ain't exactly pretty'). We could have a multi-level eyesore similar to those across the freeway.
In terms of harm - if there are 22,000 Costco members in Pleasanton, then the downtown retailers have already been dealing with the effects of the Livermore location for years and have figured out a way to survive. In terms of wages, Costco are lauded for their compensation, benefits, and career opportunities which is why their turn-over is so low (particularly when compared to any other retailers.)
Economic impact - I would assume the taxes generated will be a positive benefit to the city (and the tax $ could be used to address downtown parking needs- wouldn't that be a nice twist.)
Black Tie - there appears to be a sizeable amount of unused parking behind DT.
This isn't greenfield building (which is seriously out-of-hand in the Tri-Valley area) and something has to go there, so why not Costco?


7 people like this
Posted by Rich
a resident of Livermore
on Dec 29, 2015 at 11:55 am

Costco and the other commercial aspects of the Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone (JDEDZ) is just terrible plan. The amount of vehicle traffic that the plan has estimated from Costco, a planned hotel and multiple planned restaurants that will exit and enter Johnson Drive at Stoneridge Drive will cause severe traffic problems. And during peak commute periods, traffic could backup onto 680. Once the public reviews the JDEDZ plan and truly considers the impact, the JDEDZ plan will not have a chance.


6 people like this
Posted by res
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 29, 2015 at 2:30 pm

It seems like a Costco here would actually reduce traffic.

Pleasanton residents today have to drive to Livermore (where they either take the freeway from their homes, or go down Stoneridge towards Livermore). So this reduces traffic of Pleasanton residents.

Since there is already a Costco in Livermore and San Ramon, those who will be using a Pleasanton Costco would be Pleasanton and Dublin residents. Being this Costco is near the border of Dublin, those from Dublin will not need to drive through Pleasanton neighborhoods.

As for big box stores, I don't think the issue in the past with Wal-Mart was because they are a big box store. It is because of their wages. Costco does not have the wage issue as they have good wages and benefits. If you go into the new Safeway, Safeway is starting to look like a big box store. It is huge.


5 people like this
Posted by Ann
a resident of Val Vista
on Dec 29, 2015 at 4:18 pm

It just seems a shame to try an shoehorn in a high-traffic store like Costco into an area with poor access. Plus the EIR states that there are no mitigation measures for the impact on air quality. The City points out that they are putting in bike lanes on Johnson Drive, but Costco isn't the kind of store you run over to for a few items. What the traffic generated by a big box store what it will do is make it even more difficult to access the Alamo Canal trail.

Don't think that this store will only draw Dublin and Pleasanton residents. It is on I680, which means it will also be closer to all the towns to the south of us.

There is a huge vacant lot in Hacienda Business Park at Willow. It is close to two freeway on ramps and BART and within walking distance of the large transit village currently under construction. This would be a more convenient location for a Costco..


14 people like this
Posted by Gram-ME
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2015 at 4:56 pm

Gram-ME is a registered user.

To all of you so against Costco going in that location, look at what's happening to corner of Valley and Bernal! There was opposition to a Home Depot going there supposedly because of traffic. Well now there will be condos, retail and store(s) in there. Some of us Pleasantonians would have much rather welcomed Home Depot traffic than what's going to be happening daily there. Think about it people before you so oppose Costco. P-town can use tax revenues just as much as ant place else. We are not "above and beyond" as many might think.


4 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 29, 2015 at 9:37 pm

Fully support Costco moving in. Bring it. Good company, good products/services, and overall value add to Pleasanton's growth/development.


3 people like this
Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Dec 29, 2015 at 9:46 pm

@Gram-ME: "To all of you so against Costco going in that location, look at what's happening to corner of Valley and Bernal! There was opposition to a Home Depot going there supposedly because of traffic. Well now there will be condos, retail and store(s) in there."

I don't think that it's that simple. The reason that Pleasanton was forced to build more housing by the state was that the ratio of local jobs to the number of local residents was much too high. The state declared to Pleasanton that jobs and housing have to go together. if Pleasanton accepts more businesses, then it also has to accept the responsibility to allow local housing to be built in direct proportion to the number of jobs created, and not expect to just dump the housing responsibility off onto surrounding communities. When we agree to have a Costco or any other large business in Pleasanton, then we're taking on an additional housing burden as well. It's not an either/or proposition.


10 people like this
Posted by Knut
a resident of Golden Eagle
on Dec 30, 2015 at 4:04 am

Does anyone like the dump of gravel Besides Johnson drive? Any one in favor of 580 terrible traffic?
I assume not, so go ahead and bring in Costco. It will save 22,000 Pleasanton members gas to drive to the Airway Livermore Costco. Reduce some traffic on 580.

We will love it. Great idea. Sorry for people with special interest against this idea. There is always people who will protect their own interest in favor of the common good.


2 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Dec 30, 2015 at 4:58 pm

Personally, I think it's worth a shot. There are a couple reasons why I would put it there. One, all of those 22,000 Costco customers in Pleasanton wouldn't have to travel out to Livermore and back. Two, there would be more jobs available which is always a good thing. So overall, I think they should go ahead and JUST DO IT.


1 person likes this
Posted by DJ
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 31, 2015 at 10:09 am

Yes to Costco!
If traffic is too congested at Stoneridge and 680, then build the on-ramp at Las Positas and 680 like we were told (in 1980s when we moved here) would built.


3 people like this
Posted by Gram-ME
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 2, 2016 at 12:06 pm

Gram-ME is a registered user.

@Damon
FYI: You misunderstood my comment(s). I am not against housing in P-town....it's needed. My comments were Re: all those opposed to Costco who are using specifically traffic as excuse. Again, as far as traffic concerns, Home Depot traffic would be less than housing, retail, etc.at Bernal and Valley, across from McDonald's. Be careful what you wish for....the final,outcome could be worse.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Couples: Do you Really Agree or are you Afraid of not Agreeing?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,055 views

Lab scientists find better ways to ID individuals who die in catastrophic events
By Jeb Bing | 2 comments | 342 views