- Costco is trying to open a store in San Rafael, California, and people are fighting back.
- Almost 800 people have signed a petition to stop Costco from coming to the Northgate Mall in the city’s Terra Linda neighbourhood.
- Residents fear that the introduction of the wholesale store would bring an unwelcome change to the neighbourhood’s environment, the Marin Independent Journal reported.
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It seems like almost everyone wants a Costco – except some vocal residents in San Rafael, California, that is.
Costco submitted pre-application materials for a store in the Northgate Mall in the Terra Linda neighbourhood, the Marin Independent Journal reported earlier this month. If built, the store would include a gas station and tire center and be built on the site of a Sears that closed last year.
But some people are not thrilled with the idea of the warehouse store coming to town. As of noon on August 19, almost 800 people had signed a petition to stop Costco from opening in Terra Linda.
The petition expresses concerns with the increased traffic the warehouse store could bring, which people fear would disrupt the neighbourhood and bring negative health effects via the gas station, the Marin Independent Journal reported.
“If you live here you understand the traffic we face,” reads the petition, which is intended for San Rafael Mayor Gary Phillips and other city council members. “You know we already have 4 gas stations across from the mall …. This is our chance to speak out as one community.”
The proposed store would take up approximately 152,400 square feet and be 58 feet tall, the Journal reported.
Often, the introduction of a Costco store to a neighbourhood brings a positive response. When Iceland got its first Costco in 2017, people were ecstatic. Search-and-rescue teams were employed to manage the over-excited crowds on opening day.
But backlash against the warehouse chain is not uncommon. Animal-rights activists protested a San Francisco Costco in 2016 over the store’s treatment of hens.
A representative for Costco did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment.
The proposal for the Terra Linda Costco is still in the early stages, though Stephen Logan, the vice president of Northgate mall owner Merlone Geier Partners, said that he believes Costco would provide an important anchor for the shopping center.
“Costco is an incredible opportunity for a regional shopping center of this kind,” Logan told Business Insider in a statement. “It will elevate other retailers and help start the retransformation of Northgate Mall.”
He added that a comprehensive process will follow the initial pre-application, which will include examining issues related to the warehouse’s opening.
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