Costco deal for more than 17 acres at Beechcraft property is getting closer

UPDATED — Anyone who’s ever done a real estate deal knows it almost always takes longer than expected, and it’s no different with Costco’s potential purchase of Beechcraft property.

It was about this time last year that Have You Heard? first reported that the Issaquah, Wash.-based chain, a competitor to Sam’s Club, was looking to come to Wichita.

In August, sources said Costco was interested in the northeast corner of Kellogg and Webb Road, which was Hawker Beechcraft property.

When the aircraft company changed its name to simply Beechcraft earlier this year and changed all its signs, spokeswoman Nicole Alexander said it didn’t put one back up on the corner since the property is for sale.

No one with Beechcraft or Costco is talking yet, but here’s the latest on the potential deal:

Costco has about 17 1/2 acres under contract. The deal isn’t likely to close until later this year. That’s substantially further out than initial time lines suggested. It looks like part of the holdup was the Hawker bankruptcy filing. There were some questions related to environmental issues at the plant as well.

Also, Costco apparently doesn’t want to start construction if the store can’t be open by the holiday season. Instead, there’s a good chance construction will start in the fourth quarter and be ready to open by this time next year.

The city is working with Costco to put a light at Corporate Hills Drive, which would be the main entrance to the store. The store will face the Kellogg and Webb corner.

An assistant to Costco chairman and cofounder Jeff Brotman says he has a standard statement to release when there are media inquiries to the company.

“Our corporate policy is to not comment on specific markets,” he says.

Look for more information on the deal in the coming months as it winds its way through the city’s permitting process.