Officials agreed Wednesday to pay a store $5.8 million for the right to build part of the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor directly over the store and its parking lot, officials said.
Costco, a discount department store that is part of a Seattle-based chain, agreed to sell the right-of-way for its Cabot Road store just west of Interstate 5. That right of way will provide an alternative for linking the corridor with the freeway. Orange County Transportation Corridor Agencies officials are also considering putting the freeway-corridor link farther south, near Avery Parkway.
Although the Costco route would have more of an impact on the store, that route offers several advantages to area residents and motorists, said Donna Stubbs, manager of public affairs for the agencies.
"It would be farther away from the residences in the area, which makes a big difference as to what the homeowners would look out and see," Stubbs said. "It also calls for improvements to the I-5 freeway and the interchange of the freeway and Avery Parkway, which is a problem the way it is now."
Costco opened the Laguna Niguel store March 1.