There is a big debate going right now in Guilford, Connecticut about whether or not they should do some zoning changes to allow for a Costco to be built in the area. The name of the site is ‘the rock pile’, at 1919 Boston Post Road, which doesn’t sound like a particularly attractive area that anyone would want to build on actually. And from reading the comments, it seems that the proposed location is also very near to the dump. I don’t see either of those as being particularly desirable attributes and would think that someone actually wanting to build there, someone that would provide tax dollars and jobs, would be far better than letting the area be all nasty and unattractive. But then, I love Costco and see the benefits of it.
Apparently, last year a development company, Developers Diversified Realty, had gotten approval to build a 25-store retial shopping center on the location, but the recession prompted all tenants to pull out, and construction was halted last year. But now, Costco is interested in taking over the proposed site to build a warehouse and a gas station. On Monday, Costco representatives and employees of Developers Diversified Realty, which is developing the site, made an informal presentation to the Planning and Zoning Committee of Guilford about the plans for the new Costco location. The news story had a quick video clip showing the design of the facade for the proposed Costco, which looks much different than any other Costco so that they can be in keeping with the existing look of the town.
The Planning and Zoning Committee suggested that Costco hold public information meetings to inform area citizens about the proposed development plan. Apparently, the zoning would need to be changed so that the site could accommodate such a large single-tenant building. There are plenty of committee members and town citizens that are not on board with the change in zoning, because they fear it will lead to more big-box retail stores moving in to the area.
Joseph Montesano, principal and regional director of Northwest Atlantic Real Estate Services, which handles Costco’s development work in North America, said in Monday’s presentation that Costco was named sustainable grocer of the year in 2009 and won’t have a bigger footprint than the retail center would have. The store would generate less traffic, wastewater and stormwater than the center, he said. A Costco would also stay within the boundaries defined for the previous project, create around 220 jobs, and generate about $500,000 in property taxes, according to Montesano.
For more information, and to watch the video clip: