City Council votes to approve Costco in Lincoln

Posted By: Nicole Cousins

What’s now a cornfield at 14th and Pine Lake, will soon be a Costco.

City council voted 4 to 1 to allow the wholesale retailer to build a new store and gas station at the location sandwiched between Southwest High School and Scott Middle School.

Councilwoman Leirion Gaylor Gaird was the only one who didn’t approve of the retailer’s proposed location.

"We all want Costco in Lincoln, everyone who’s written to us, whose called whose testified has said they want Costco in Lincoln,” she said. “I just don’t believe Costco belongs between two schools."

Council members Roy Christensen and Jane Raybould weren’t allowed to vote because Costco said they were conflicts of interest.

Christensen owns an audiology company that, like Costco, sells hearing aids. Raybould is vice president of a grocery chain that owns Super Saver on 27th and Pine Lake.

For Raybould, not being part of the conversation was especially difficult, because Costco is building in her district.

“I felt as if I have let my constituents down,” Raybould said. “This is my district, my neighbors, my neighborhood and I share their frustration. They have very real concerns about the safety of the school children I have very real concerns about the safety of the school children.”

Costco says it will create a sidewalk on the north side of the property for children to walk through on their way to and from school.

It’s also adding several intersections, including a 4–way stoplight at 16th and Pine Lake to help mediate traffic.

"I think we are gaining a really, really high quality employer,” Councilman Trent Fellers said. “I think we are gaining a really, really high quality company that’s coming to our community."

Raybould, who admitted to me that she herself is a Costco member, says that it’s not her profession that kept her from being supportive of a Costco in Lincoln.

It’s just the location.

She says moving forward, she will do everything she can to keep the area safe for children and nearby residents.

Costco says it plans on hiring up to 200 employees, and the starting salary will be $13.50 an hour.

Officials have previously said they hope to open sometime this fall.

Lincoln shoppers will have more choices soon.

The City Council approved a new Costco in South Lincoln Wednesday evening. 

The council approved the motion with a 4-1 vote for Costco to build at 14th and Pine Lake intersection.

We’ll have details and reaction 10.