UNION GAP -- It looks like the Yakima Valley soon will be home to a second JCPenney department store.
While the retailer has yet to make an official announcement, the city of Union Gap received construction documents and an application for a building permit this week.
The plan is for JCPenney to be built at the former Costco site at 1400 E. Washington Ave.
"Basically, my thoughts are that this is something that has been long-awaited by many people in the community," said Union Gap Mayor Jim Lemon. "It's been something that's been long-desired and long-awaited and people wanted it to return. It'll help more people shop here and provide a lot of jobs. This economy has been pretty tough."
JCPenney was an anchor store at the Yakima Mall, but it closed in 2003.
The closest JCPenney store is in Sunnyside.
Columbia Center mall in Kennewick also has a store.
Valley Mall owner CenterCal Properties purchased the former Costco site for $4.2 million in August.
Fred Bruning, CenterCal Properties chief executive officer, said then that the proposed $40 million, 10-acre property -- Washington Plaza -- would include about 130,000 square feet in new retail space, with two main anchor tenants, a junior anchor and three smaller retail pads for bank and restaurant uses.
It's still unclear what will join JCPenney as a primary anchor on the property, Lemon said.
Bruning previously has said that one anchor tenant is a department store and the other is a sporting goods store.
CenterCal has in recent weeks finished the demolition of the former Costco building. The plan is to have JCPenney ready to open by the fall of 2012, Lemon said.
Once finished, the 10-acre development has the potential to generate up to 350 new jobs and $40 million in taxable sales annually, Bruning said in August.
That's a fact not lost on Lemon.
"I see this as something that will really help us in 2013," he said. "We won't see those revenues until 2013. But it's revenue that will help us maintain and keep us the town where you come shopping."