When Costco comes to town

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Senior General Manager Corrine Barchanowicz, left, and Vice President Development, Chris Kitchen discuss the artist's renderings for the Patios Connections Development Project at Westfiled Valencia Town Center on Wednesday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Costco first opened its doors in the Santa Clarita Valley in Canyon Country on May 1, 1992, at the Via Princessa location, and not long thereafter, a call went out for one on the west side of the valley.

It appears that Westfield and Costco are teaming up to make that request a reality and much, much more, with the announcement Wednesday of plans being submitted to the city’s planning department for a $100 million investment for the space that was occupied by Sears, next to where Canyon Santa Clarita currently sits.

“Westfield submitted the application (Wednesday), but it still has a process to go through,” said Jason Crawford, manager of economic development for the city of Santa Clarita, adding that the plans would likely be reviewed by the Planning Commission at a public hearing before the end of the year.

“Adding in more movie theaters, potentially more restaurants, creating more additional parking for (Shops at) The Patios, I think, are all positives,” Crawford said. “We’ve heard for a long time that the community has wanted a second Costco.

“It’ll go through a process where everything will be analyzed with a high emphasis on traffic and parking,” he added.

While Crawford emphasized there would still be the usual series of reviews and plans for any project or proposal to look at the potential site for the big-box retailer, a new gym, a luxury theater-restaurant and more, Santa Clarita officials would have plenty to talk about, in addition to the 320 new parking spots near City Hall that are expected to be built as part of the project.

The $100 million proposal, dubbed The Patios Connection, expects to create an additional 486 full-time jobs through direct and indirect impact, as well as generate more than $6 million in revenue to city coffers.

This follows on the heels of a $20 million renovation for the Westfield Valencia Town Center, which houses approximately 180 businesses, and is considered the city’s second largest economic generator, with more than 1,000 jobs associated with operations.

The mall’s developer, UnibailRodamco-Westfield, expressed excitement over the addition of what marketers consider a new “anchor,” or business draw for the area, as they plan for the gym, theater and Costco to be a big draw to increase shopping in the area, as it has done at other Westfield locations.

“Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield has seen tremendous success with the addition of Costco to other high-end centers in both California and Maryland,” said Chris Kitchen, vice president of development for UnibailRodamco-Westfield. “We recently conducted a survey at The Village at Topanga, which showed 55 percent of Costco shoppers also visited at least one other destination within the center on the same trip. Today’s shoppers are looking for everyday conveniences in one location.”

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