Second Naperville Costco excites neighbors, but increased traffic concerns them

  • Costco plans to build its second Naperville store at the site of this former Kmart, which has been closed since 2013.

      Costco plans to build its second Naperville store at the site of this former Kmart, which has been closed since 2013. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer February 2020

 
 
Updated 5/20/2020 12:22 PM

Even the neighbors who brought up traffic safety concerns about a second Costco store in Naperville said they're excited for the company to open a warehouse along East Ogden Avenue.

The store's anticipated second Naperville site is set to take the place of a long-vacant former Kmart in the Ogden Mall shopping center at Ogden and Iroquois avenues on the city's northeast side. It will join the Costco already in operation at 1320 S. Route 59.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We're excited for Costco, but we want this to be done in a considerate manner," said resident Kevin LeFevour, who asked the city and the company to better understand neighborhood traffic before building such a large and popular store. "So far, it doesn't appear that's the case."

After hearing resident concerns during a virtual meeting Tuesday, city council and staff members pledged to keep an eye on traffic counts and speeds after the store opens and to work with the store to improve signal timing and left-turn lanes at the intersection of Ogden and Iroquois.

The future Costco will be built on a 19-acre site at Ogden Mall after demolishing 190,000 square feet of the existing building, including the space rented by the Classic Cinemas Ogden 6 Theatres. Costco representatives said the store will have 918 parking spots -- 193 more than city code requires -- and a loading dock on the northeast side of the building, farther away from neighboring homes than Kmart's had been.

Neighbors said they want to ensure Costco does not result in unsafe traffic speeding down Iroquois Avenue, especially near Arrowhead Park, a busy spot for kids and sports. Resident Brian Colgan suggested the city install speed bumps on Iroquois.

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"This all comes down, for us, to safety, people wanting to protect our kids," Colgan said. "I love the fact that we're getting development. I love Costco. I think you're on the right track."

Bill Novack, director of transportation, said the city will gather traffic volume and speed data six months after the store opens before deciding if any fixes are needed.

Council member Theresa Sullivan, who lives in the neighborhood, said neighbors' emails about traffic concerns took on "a different flavor" as they supported development and safety.

A sales tax incentive granted in February helped Costco commit to a new store on East Ogden, an area the city has been trying to revive since Kmart closed in 2013.

The deal includes a rebate of 75% of the city's portion of the state-imposed sales tax and 75% of the city's own home-rule sales tax until $5.5 million is paid or 15 years passes, whichever comes first.

Plans for the store also call for a gas station, but the city will not rebate any motor fuel tax from gas sales.

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