Gamers, geeks and technophiles rejoice: Best Buy is coming to Lodi. During a groundbreaking for big-box retailer Costco at Reynolds Ranch on Tuesday, city officials and the developer confirmed the electronics store would be soon following the membership-only wholesale retailer to the complex on Harney Lane.
Costco plans to build the store in 110 days and open in March 2011. Home Depot should follow in mid-November.
Reynolds Ranch developer Dale Gillespie said Best Buy should open in fall 2011 or spring 2012, depending on whether it can be completed before the holiday season.
Best Buy is especially beneficial to Lodi because currently there are no large electronic stores outside of Target and Walmart, Gillespie said.
“It is 100 percent new business and new jobs to Lodi,” he said. “We are turning the huge steering wheel to keep sales tax in town.”
There are four other spots in the shopping center for other major retailers similar in size to Best Buy. Gillespie did not have any estimation of how many jobs the store will bring.
Costco will be a 154,114-square-foot store and a 16-pump gas station on 15 acres. The retailer will hire 150 part-time employees and 150 full-time workers with benefits.
Councilwoman JoAnne Mounce said she has already heard from young people who are excited to work at the new store.
While Councilwoman Susan Hitchcock did not support the Reynolds Ranch project, she supports the retailers that will be going into the center.
“The center has three very strong anchors that will bring viable, healthy stores to the shopping center,” Hitchcock said.
Mayor Phil Katzakian said it was nice to see Costco break ground while at the end of his first term. He is especially happy to see a local developer working on the project.
“(Local developers) live in the area; they aren’t going to do something that hurts the community because they are part of the community like me,” he said.
Gillespie said he does not know of any other shopping centers breaking ground in the area. He said it is a tough time for developers because rent prices are much lower than they were in 2008.
“It is much harder for us to succeed and it will be in a much more modest way. ... But I’m happy I’m still here to talk about it,” Gillespie said.
Contact reporter Jordan Guinn at firstname.lastname@example.org.