A development expected to change the retail landscape of Davenport, Costco Wholesale, should open in October, according to a company official.
While a specific opening date is not set, Midwest Regional Operations Manager Dick Snyder confirmed the 156,170-square-foot store and fuel station will open by late October. Construction began a few months ago at the site on 53rd Street and Fairhaven Road.
"We're excited to come to the Quad-City area and I know there's quite a few people who have gotten good feedback in regards to us coming," Snyder said. "Obviously, we're biased, but I feel like we have a terrific brand out there."
The Davenport store will be the only Costco within a roughly 60-mile radius of the Quad-Cities. Costco has locations in Coralville, Peoria and Chicago.
The Q-C spot will offer everything customers expect from Costco, Snyder said, including brand-name merchandise and membership discounts. According to the city's recent traffic study, the gas station will include 16 fueling pumps.
The company plans to hire up to 200 employees in part-time and full-time jobs. The minimum wage at Costco is $13.50 per hour, and Snyder said entry-level cashiers have an accelerated rate of employment with wages increasing to $50,000 per year after five years.
Last summer, the nearly 18-acre agriculture field was rezoned for retail development, and recently, the remaining farm house and other structures were demolished.
Roadwork is also underway, after Costco agreed to fund a new turn lane and center median as part of the project, according to Public Works Director Nicole Gleason. The company will have two entrances on 53rd Street, and the work includes a deceleration lane, a dedicated left-turn lane and a new traffic signal.
Some residents opposed the development of Costco at city council meetings last year, arguing against increased traffic and a loss of access to homes. The city conducted a traffic study of 53rd Street, and Economic Development Manager Susanne Knutsen said the city is monitoring the potential impact.
In mid-February, a 53rd Street traffic study by consulting firm Shive-Hattery found the highest volume at the Elmore Avenue intersection is between 4 and 6 p.m. on weekdays, and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
The firm expects Elmore Avenue and 53rd Street to operate at a lower level of service during these hours. Level of service is graded from "A" to "F," with "A" representing free-flow conditions and "F" representing a congested roadway. Shive-Hattery anticipates an "E" grade, meaning the intersection will be close to capacity.
The other studied intersections are projected to operate at a higher level of service. Gleason said traffic could be improved after Veterans Memorial Parkway is opened. The city also plans to widen 53rd Street to be five lanes in the coming years.
So far, Snyder said the construction of Costco is on schedule.