Reports of Costco coming to Tulsa appear to be premature.
A deal is in the works reportedly for a Costco Wholesale Warehouse to be built southwest of 101st St. South and S Memorial Drive. However close, no deal is inked, according to commercial realty insiders.
Costco, based in Issaquah, Wash., had no comment Friday. Chairman and co-founder Jeff Brotman, who handles media inquiries, was unavailable, said Jennifer Spadafora, executive assistant. She said in an email: “Our corporate policy is to not comment on specific markets.”
The eventual location of one of the popular membership warehouse clubs in Oklahoma is a foregone conclusion among commercial property development experts.
Costco is among a list of big-name retailers that are “kicking the tires and searching for locations” here — others include Cabella's, Nordstrom Rack, Von Maur and Ruth's Chris — according to Price Edwards & Co.
“While Costco is one of the more exciting retailers on the ... list, it appears that they may be passing on Oklahoma City for now,” Price Edwards said in its just-released 2012 Year-End Retail Market Summary, downloadable from www.priceedwards.com. “They've secured a site on South Memorial in Tulsa for their first Oklahoma store and may see how that store does first.”
Some Costco fans also assume a deal is done or inevitable. There is a Facebook page: Bring Costco to Tulsa.
“Costco is planning to build in Tulsa. Higher numbers on this page will hopefully compel them to build in Tulsa sooner,” the page founder said in a post on Christmas Day.
Who is behind the Facebook page? It says: “Tulsa has many people living here from other parts of the country that want Costco. We are those people.”
The mission: “Our mission is to have Costco build on the land they already own in Tulsa.”
Whatever Costco's stake in the state, as recently as last August Costco was considered a no-go here by retail specialists at an International Council of Shopping Centers Idea Exchange in Oklahoma City — largely because of the state's restrictions on alcohol sales.
Costco in Tulsa, and Costco bypassing Oklahoma City, aside, 2012 was a good year for retail in Oklahoma City, Price Edwards reported, especially for national store chains.
“Oklahoma City probably saw the most national tenant leasing in the last 10 years,” with new-to-the-market names, new concepts and expanding tenants, the firm said. “Newer well-located space is generally well occupied. ... There isn't much space available for tenants in the best locations, which is a hindrance for attracting more national and big-name tenants.
“Consequently, a number of new projects are in some stage of development; expect announcements of new construction in 2013.”
Expect announcements of new construction in 2013.”