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Costco Plans to Build Apartments Above Store (Will They Be Cheaper for Members?)

Costco is the store that has it all, including apartments!

One California developer has a creative plan for a South Los Angeles neighborhood. The company plans to bring a Costco Wholesale to Baldwin Village. Along with it, they’re building nearly 1,000 new apartments for area renters.

But is this a creative use of space or a sign that LA’s living costs are out of control? The answer is that it’s a little of both.Keep reading to find out how Thrive Living plans to combat the area’s housing crisis.

Let’s check it out!

Developer in South LA Plans to Build Apartments Above Costco

A unique housing project is underway in Baldwin Village, a South Los Angeles neighborhood. The development includes a Costco Wholesale store, but with a twist. They’ll build 800 apartment units on top of the retail space.

This concept is planned for a five-acre lot at the corner of Coliseum Street and La Brea Avenue. The lot was once home to View Park Community Hospital. This will be the first Costco in South LA.

The project developer says the store will offer healthy food options and fresh produce. (They didn’t confirm or deny whether the chain’s famous food court will be included.) The location will also offer optometry services, a pharmacy, and delivery options. 

Why Is Thrive Living Building Apartments Above Costco?

Thrive Living, the company behind the project, isn’t just interested in real estate development. Thrive hopes the project will bring much-needed resources to Baldwin Village. The area is a food desert. Some residents travel several miles for fresh produce and meat. Additionally, the cost of living is at an all-time high.

Baldwin Village is in dire need of affordable housing and accessible grocery stores. This makes it the perfect location for Thrive Living’s innovative concept.

In addition to affordable groceries from Costco, 184 of the development’s 800 apartment units are planned for low-income residents. Only ¼ of its space will be used for retail, while the remaining area will be residential. This percentage means the developers are eligible for perks through Los Angeles’s Transit Oriented Communities program.

Food and homes aren’t the only benefits to come from this project. Thrive Living and the store plan to hire and train Baldwin Village residents. The new location will bring 400 jobs to this South LA neighborhood.

Costco store front
Costco is now diving into the real estate housing market.

What’s the Average Cost of Rent in LA?

Rents in Los Angeles aren’t just expensive…they’re 134% more expensive than the national average. One-bedroom rentals cost nearly $3,000 per month, while two-bedrooms are almost $4,000 per month.

Costs are also high for homeowners. The average sale price for a home in LA is about $955,000. In this competitive housing market, most homes sell within a month of being listed.

Monthly bills continue to rise every year. Rental prices rose about 5% in 2022, while home sale prices rose 3.2%. The changes affect the whole city, from wealthier areas to lower-income ones.

Will Costco Apartments Help Rent Prices Go Down in LA?

Something unexpected is happening in Los Angeles: rent prices are falling. The city’s average monthly rent fell steadily in the last quarter of 2022. Some neighborhoods reported decreases of up to 4%. So what’s behind this phenomenon?

According to local realtors, the price drop is due to two factors. New properties are being built, but there’s been a decrease in demand for rentals. Landlords are dropping prices just to get tenants into their properties.

While this may sound exciting to renters on a budget, the change isn’t likely to last. The market will shift as inflation levels out, and the county’s eviction moratorium ends. Affordable housing will still be out of reach for many residents and newcomers even after properties like the apartments on Costco open.

Costco membership card
Costco apartments will hopefully help people save money on their rent and food bills.

5 Tips for Living in LA on a Budget

With its incredible weather, culture, and nightlife, Los Angeles is a one-of-a-kind city. It’s no wonder folks from around the U.S., and the rest of the world, want to move there. However, the high cost of living proves challenging for some.

But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible! Here are five helpful tips for budgeting in the City of Angels.

#1 Split Rent with a Roommate

Splitting rent is an obvious strategy that can save you money in any city, not just LA. Sharing a two-bedroom home is usually cheaper than renting a studio or one-bedroom home alone. If you’re open to living with two or three roommates, the savings climb even higher.

Roommates don’t just cut rent. They also reduce the burden of utilities, certain groceries, and shared household items. And thanks to the high cost of living, you’ll find no shortage of folks looking to share housing.

#2 Consider Taking Up Gig Jobs

Making it in Los Angeles can be tricky until you find your footing. Fortunately, the side hustle economy in this city is thriving. Many newcomers work gigs to supplement their income until they’re established.

If you have reliable transportation, consider delivery services like Uber and Lyft. Shopping for Instacart is another option. Amazon Flex is one of the most lucrative options, offering up to $25 per hour for its freelancers.

Don’t have a car? Don’t worry. Tons of side gigs don’t require one. You can sit houses on the HouseSitter website, walk dogs for Rover, and even pick up a hospitality shift using Qwick. And if you love movies, you can even contract with a casting service to pick up work as a background actor!

#3 Choose Your Grocery Store Wisely

The cost of living isn’t the only rising expense in the U.S. Food prices are skyrocketing too. In a big city like Los Angeles, saving money on groceries pays off.

Before going to the store, check each grocer’s weekly ads to compare. You may find your favorite foods consistently cheaper at other retailers. Places like Aldi and Trader Joe’s are reliable, cost-effective grocers with fresh, healthy options.

Whatever you do, don’t just rely on your closest grocer for all your food. Whether your nearest retailer is Whole Foods or Walgreens, you’re likely to save by doing some research. Even if you’re apartment is literally on top of a Costco, explore other options to get the best deal.

Pro Tip: Make sure you don’t miss any of these 5 Commonly Missed Costco Perks to save money while grocery shopping!

Woman smiling while grocery shopping
Small things add up quickly in LA, so choose your grocery store wisely.

#4 Take Advantage of the Free Entertainment

If you’re watching your wallet, it’s tempting to pass up weekend outings and entertainment. But in LA, there’s plenty to do for free.

Get outside and take advantage of the area’s natural beauty. The city offers endless outdoor fun, whether it’s a day at the beach or a hike around Laurel Canyon. LA also hosts inexpensive activities like free museum days, movies in the park, and discount nights at comedy clubs. Check out local events calendars and keep an eye out for zero-cost or cheap entertainment.

#5 Utilize Public Transportation

“Nobody walks in LA” is such a popular bit of wisdom. The band Missing Persons wrote a whole song about it. The city is massive and famous for its traffic jams. So why not take advantage of public transportation?

Don’t forget about public transportation when factoring in your work commute. The LA Metro system was significantly upgraded a few years ago, including three new downtown stations. And since the city’s gas prices are some of the highest in the country, every penny saved counts. A one-month pass starts at $100, which may cost you less than a month’s gas supply.

Pro Tip: Get affordable and fresh produce at the Original Los Angeles Farmers Market.

Does Living in LA Mean You Need Costco Apartments

Thrive Living’s new housing project is a sign of the times. Housing and food are more expensive now than they’ve been in a long time, especially in Los Angeles.

But the developer’s creative solution is also a reminder that there are solutions. Life in this mega-expensive city is possible, whether it’s affordable apartments atop a Costco or taking side gigs to make ends meet.

Before going to LA, do some research and make sure the move is right for you.

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