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Longmont plans 187 affordable units on land acquired in Costco deal

LONGMONT — Longmont housing officials have secured funding to buy a parcel of land on Harvest Moon Drive, which will be combined with an adjacent parcel acquired as part of the  public-private partnership that incentivized Costco Wholesale Corp. (Nasdaq: COST) to build a superstore in the city to form the site of a 187-unit affordable housing community. 

The city’s plan, set to be reviewed Tuesday by Longmont City Council, is to use $1.87 million to help buy 7.28 acres of vacant property owned by Diamond G Concrete Co. at 905 Harvest Moon Drive, according to a Longmont planning memo. That money would come from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Innovative Housing Incentive grant program, which itself was funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.

The total price for the Harvest Moon Drive parcel is $3,175,168, which, according to the city memo, “is well below market.” Additional ARPA money would be used to make up the difference.

The city hopes to close on the land by January 2024.

That 7.28-acre site would be combined with an adjacent 9-acre parcel at 200 Bountiful Ave., acquired in 2021 in a three-way deal with Diamond G and Costco, which received significant public support from Longmont to build its 152,000-square-foot store on a nearly 50-acre site near Longmont’s Harvest Junction, close to the combined, roughly 16-acre property where Longmont plans to build an affordable-housing community.

The 187 total units are expected to include 47 single-family homes and 140 townhomes. 

They will be sold — not rented — to buyers who earn between 80% and 120% of Longmont’s area median income, the planning memo said.

Costco opened at 205 E. Ken Pratt Blvd in early May, months ahead of schedule. 

The store, which employs about 200, features a gas station, deli, optometry services, pharmacy, bakery, food court, tires, beer and wine.

Prior to its opening, there were a host of Costco locations along the Front Range — including stores in Superior, Westminster and Timnath — but none between Boulder and Longmont.

Costco’s entrance into the Longmont market, complete with a generous package of public subsidies, has not been without its share of controversy.

After the Longmont City Council approved $12.5 million in city funding and fee rebates for the Costco store in 2021, the company underestimated construction costs and came back to the city for another $2.5 million in incentives. The three-way deal that resulted in the city acquiring the Bountiful Avenue acreage was negotiated as part of the incentives package. 

Longmont city manager Harold Dominguez, who broke the news of the earlier-than-expected grand opening in late 2022 during a meeting of Longmont Economic Development Partnership, said last year that rolling out the red carpet for Costco was necessary to boost the city’s tax base and to ensure shoppers wouldn’t leave Longmont to spend their money at other Costco locations in nearby communities that were competing to host the new store.

The city estimates that the new warehouse store will generate about $4 million in annual sales-tax revenue.

Source: BizWest