The long anticipated wait is over. Costco Wholesale is finally here in Stevenage with the official public opening on 24 July.
The new Costco forecourt petrol filling station, opened in advance of the main warehouse is sure to be a big hit with Costco members and the only Costco within 40 miles with forecourt facilities. The petrol station was built over the top of the old John Lewis underground oil tanks and excavations went 20 feet deeper than was originally expected in order to remove the old tanks and decontaminate any soil surrounding them.
The project saw the removal of a steel structure extension with loading bays to the north end and the opening up of the loading bay side on the Gunnels Wood road elevation under the lower roof, enabling the creation of a covered parking area underneath the now exposed and unusual grade 2 listed roof structure, one of the unique features for a Costco Wholesale site.
The transformation of the old John Lewis Distribution site has been catalogued on a weekly basis by Indigoplum’s head architectural and commercial photographer Simon Lane who has been in charge of construction site progress photography capturing the historical progress of demolition and construction since June 2018. Indigoplum have also provided the aerial photography which will be completed week commencing 8 July with the final progress ground shots due to be taken on 17 July 2019. Simon will also be covering the VIP launch on the evening of the 23 July and the main opening the following day.
As this article is being written, the warehouse is being stocked in anticipation of the VIP and public launches on the 23 and 24 June respectively.
For Simon Lane, it’s a curious finale to what has been a highly interesting year working on the project. Having started photographing the site before demolition began in June 2018, he has seen the complete transformation and photographed every last inch both inside and out.
“Seeing the installation of drainage and waste pipes under the floors and then the construction and polishing of the floors over the top makes you realise just how complex an operation and conversion such as this one is”. The management of demolition and construction as well as the vehicle and pedestrian access to the different parts of this huge site which has had to change almost on a weekly basis has been a complete lesson in logistics whilst at all times keeping safety paramount.
“As a local of Stevenage and a member of Costco, I can’t wait to start using this amazing new warehouse rather than having to travel over to Watford or Milton Keynes.”
The opening of a new Costco in Stevenage has brought 200 local jobs into the area and is seen as a massive boost to trade and employment for Stevenage and North Herts.