DULUTH – Costco is on track to open its northernmost Minnesota location — just down the road from the Duluth airport — this fall.

While an exact date has not been set, city officials expect it to be open by November.

"Costco is in the process of working on foundation, and the slab for the store has been poured," said Adam Fulton, Duluth's deputy director of planning and economic development. "During the process, we anticipated it would be three to four months from the time concrete is going in to the time they open. It may very well be complete by mid-to-late October."

According to the Metal Building Manufacturers Association, Costco can go from foundation to completed building in about 110 days.

Construction began last August, and much of the work to date has involved clearing and leveling the formerly forested parcel ahead of building the 160,000-square-foot warehouse and 725-stall parking lot.

The company is now hiring for all positions at the store, which is under construction at the corner of Haines and W. Arrowhead roads.

"Costco is known as a very good employer, so we are pleased to have them operating in our region, realizing they pay a competitive salary with benefits," Fulton said. "We are also looking forward to having a broader product mix."

Duluth and St. Louis County fought hard for the members-only warehouse wholesaler, offering a combined $2 million in tax abatement financing for road and utility upgrades at the site.

The company, which has turned a $3.3 billion profit so far in its fiscal year, lacks a public relations department and declined to comment Tuesday.

The Duluth store will be Costco's 13th location in Minnesota. St. Cloud, Rochester and Baxter have the only stores outside the metro area.

Brooks Johnson • 218-491-6496