New Costco Business Center store under construction in north St. Louis County

A new Costco store is under construction in north St. Louis County, after the future store site traded hands for $15 million.

A new Costco Business Center location at the intersection of St. Charles Rock Road and Interstate 170, inside the I-170 Business Center office park in St. John, is currently under construction, according to signs at the site.

Costco Business Centers are different than a regular Costco and carry some distinct products, according to the retailer’s website. Business centers cater to small businesses and stock more food and office supplies in bulk. The company operates 10 Business Centers nationwide, and the closest ones to St. Louis are in Chicago, Minneapolis and Atlanta, according to Costco’s website.

This will be the fifth location in the St. Louis area for Issaquah, Washington-based Costco Wholesale Corp. (Nasdaq: COST), following the October opening of the new University City Costco and longtime stores in south St. Louis County, Manchester and St. Peters.

The 11-acre property at 8421 St. John Industrial Drive where construction is taking place — an address that Costco previously used for training ahead of the U City location’s opening — sold this year to an undisclosed buyer for $15 million, according to a report from commercial real estate firm Newmark Zimmer. Records for the latest sale were not yet available from St. Louis County, but the property and building previously sold for $14.75 million in 2008, according to records.

The 144,790-square-foot office building, which county records said was originally built in 1949, had previously been used as a call center for Enterprise Leasing, according to county records. The latest sale price came out to $104 a square foot.

Costco has made plans in other cities to rehab former big-box stores as Costco Business Centers.

The sign at the construction site said the Costco Business Center will be “coming soon,” but a spokeswoman for Costco said the retailer does not confirm or discuss upcoming stores until they are two to three months from opening.

The contractor for the conversion of the office building is Chicago-based Novak Construction Co., according to the signs at the property. MG2, a global architecture and engineering firm based in Seattle, is also listed on the signs.

Novak has built hundreds of Costco Wholesale stores throughout the Midwest and South, according to the company’s website. MG2 has been the collaborator on those stores, according to the website.

Costco store construction has a 110-day turnover schedule, according to Novak’s website. The construction company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Brentwood-based commercial real estate firm Pace Properties is the broker for Costco in St. Louis. Broker Ryan Geringer was unavailable for comment.

The new store is only two miles north of the University City Costco location, with the two stores separated by a few exits on Interstate 170.


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