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Costco plans to open in Rochester in fall 2012

After months of speculation, discount retail giant Costco has confirmed plans for a Rochester store.

A Costco Wholesale development sign is expected to go up soon on Kwik Trip's development at 19th Street Northwest and West Circle Drive. A site has already been graded and prepared for the store.

Although it rarely discusses new store projects, the Issaquah, Wash.-based retailer did prepare a statement for the developer to share with the public.

"Costco has contracted to purchase from Northwest Investments property located at 19th Street and West Circle Drive in Rochester, Minn., for a new 150,000-square-foot warehouse facility to open in the fall of 2012," read Hans Zeitlow, the lead developer for Northwest Investments and LaCrosse, Wis.-based Kwik Trip.

City officials say Costco has already met with Rochester planning staff to begin working out details for the project.

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Costco has six warehouse stores in Minnesota, all in the Twin Cities area. This will be the first one in the southern part of the state.

This is the first store to be announced for the 108-acre site that is being developed by real estate arm of Kwik Trip, owned by the Zeitlow family.

When the development was announced in 2010, Zeitlow called the land "…The key property on the west side" of Rochester.

"It is not our usual method, but we have been developers before," Zietlow said in 2010. "This is an excellent site, In fact, such a good site we are willing to be developers to make sure we get where we want to be."

Beside Costco and Kwik Trip, the development plan also includes possible spots for a grocery store, two or three restaurants, a pharmacy, a bank and a future phase for 1.5 million square feet of industrial sites.

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