New IKEA, Costco on the cards near Newcastle

IKEA could open at Boolaroo near Newcastle.
IKEA could open at Boolaroo near Newcastle.

IKEA and Costco are a step closer to opening new stores at Boolaroo, near Newcastle.

The administrator of mining company Pasminco, which owns a former lead smelter site on which the two retail giants hope to build outlets, wants to sell part of the land to pay for environmental monitoring on the contaminated land.

While the Swedish furniture giant and American supermarket wholesaler have previously been coy on any official move to the region, new documents show it is hoped they will be a part of the site’s future.

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According to the Newcastle Herald, an application by administrators Ferrier Hodgson to remove requirements for it to maintain, fund and monitor a 45-metre deep containment cell on the site says the company will earn $57.7 million from selling the land, including $22 million from IKEA and $11.5 million from Costco.

Ferrier Hodgson says in the application that it needs the money to be able to meet the site’s monitoring and maintenance requirements.

“It is unlikely that the sale of the IKEA site will occur until at least December 2019 and accordingly the funds from that sale will not be available to meet the financial obligations of condition 8.8 until that time,” the application says.

But local politicians and environmental action groups say the site’s custodians are shirking their responsibility to ensure the site’s ongoing safety and maintenance, according to the Herald.

The former Pasminco smelter site at Cockle Creek spans 200ha and is already home to a Bunnings Warehouse and took 11 years to remediate after closing in 2003.

Should Costco open a store at Boolaroo, it would be the chain’s eleventh in Australia, having opened about a store per year since launching in Australia in 2009.