Sydney Costco development approved by NSW Government

COSTCO'S first Sydney store is expected to open next year, after the NSW Government yesterday announced it has approved Costco’s $58 million retail warehouse and office in Auburn.

The approved three-storey development includes a retail warehouse with over 13,700 square metres of gross floor area (GFA); nearly 2,000 square metres of commercial office GFA for the Costco Australian regional headquarters; and 745 car parking spaces, bicycle parking, loading docks, landscaping, and infrastructure and stormwater works. The subject land is located at 17-21 Parramatta Road, Auburn.

Costco is the fourth largest retailer in the USA and one of the largest retailers in the world, operating from approximately 554 locations. The construction of Costco's first Sydney store in Auburn follows on from the successful opening last year of Costco's first Australian store, located at Melbourne's Docklands. Costco have indicated a desire to increase their presence in Australia.

New South Wales Premier Kristina Keneally said the announcement was great news. "Costco is a major global retailer and Sydney will be home to its national headquarters," she said. "The site itself is part of the Auburn Council's strategic vision to revitalise this area as a large format retail precinct and will help council as it finalises its local environment plan."

Planning Minister Tony Kelly said the project was a valuable addition to the Auburn area and that Costco made a number of revisions in response to public submissions.

Among the submission were shopping centre owners Westfield and AMP, as well as the Shopping Centre Council of Australia (SCCA). The SCCA said the location of the Costco store was inappropriate and would undermine planning rules. Other concerns raised during public exhibition included traffic congestion and economic and environmtental impacts.

In its planning assessment and recommendation, the NSW Department of Planning said the site is "suitable for the proposed development and that the project will provide environmental, social and economic benefits to the region."

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