Costco Leads Big-Box Beneficiaries of Eminent Domain
Costco, a popular Washington-based members-only shopping chain, turns up repeatedly in development projects that involve condemning property. Bill Brody’s commercial building and many other businesses in Port Chester, New York, have been condemned for a Costco and a Stop & Shop. William and Bill Minnich have been forced to sell their family woodworking business in East Harlem after losing their ability to challenge the planned condemnation of their building for Costco and Home Depot. In California, according to a federal court, Costco requested the condemnation of its Lancaster shopping center neighbor, a 99 Cents Only Store. Cypress, California, filed condemnationa proceedings against a Christian center in order to obtain the land for Costco. Planners in Kansas City, Missouri, had to condemn additional properties in an already-planned project area to get Costco to agree to remain in the project. With 400 stores, millions of members, and hundreds of millions in profits each year, one would think Costco could manage to erect its stores without having government condemn land on its behalf.
Sources: All of these cases appear in this report in the sections for their respective cities.