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ISSAQUAH, WA-Issaquah-based Costco Wholesale Corp. has purchased 15.51 acres in San Antonio, Texas, and will build its second store in that market.

The property is in Sonterra Park, a mixed-used development project by local real estate developer Orion Partners Inc. Costco will become one of the retail anchors for the development, said Dean Bundrick, senior vice president of corporate services for Orion. The store, which is set to open in early summer 2002, will be the size of a typical Costco outlet, which is about 150,000 square feet. On average, the stores cost about $11 million to build and employ about 250 people.

Costco recently opened its first San Antonio store on the city’s Northwest side. Retail is doing well in San Antonio, says Marilynn Glasscock, with Dominion Realty Advisory Group Inc. She presented the retail outlook at a recent real estate gathering in San Antonio.

Rents citywide average $11.05 per sf, up 26 cents from 2000 for a new all-time high, she says. The citywide vacancy rate is 15%, which is pretty good considering the closing of Montgomery Ward’s, Bealls and Weiner’s and other big department stores.

The market has about 30.5 million sf in retail space, having added about one million sf since mid-2000. Another four million sf is planned or under construction, much of it following housing development.

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