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Stewart Moving Costco Forward

Mayor Erin Stewart met with representatives of Costco Tuesday and is ironing out some details, but plans call for them to begin work in February.

Plans for Costco involve building the store on 15.49 parcels of land on Hartford Ave. Three holes on the Stanley Golf Course would be moved to a part of Newington that the City purchased.

Stewart, Tom Cote (attorney from Robinson & Cole) and Joe Montesano, of Northwest Atlantic representing Costco met to talk about where the project is, the issues it is having and where it is going.

“There are a lot of issues with the state and permitting processes,” said Stewart. “But, these are things that can be rectified by a phone call.”

One of the issues involved the entry ways to Costco and Target.

“There are two plans and one has a shared entrance way and one has its own entry way,” said Stewart. “Obviously everyone is leaning toward the shared entry way, but it will be doubled.”

The land owners of Target and the Costco members need to compromise.

“I personally will be making a phone call to the people who own the land on Target,” said Stewart. “And I will try to work something out to make it more accessible and easy. It doesn’t need two entry ways.”

Stewart said this project has been ongoing for four years and needs to get moving.

The other problem is the irrigation at Stanley Golf Course.

“You can’t dig up grass in the winter,” said Stewart. “There is a question of how this is going to affect the golf course and for how long. We don’t want to lose too much business on our course, but we need Costco here.”

Stewart said they were happy to do what they could to help.

“I told them I would do whatever I can,” she said. “I just want to have a shovel in the ground as soon as possible.”

As long as the Army Corps of Engineers and state permitting processes are approved that shovel will go sometime in February.

“Costco is already $1 million over their budget,” said Stewart. “A lot of problems revolved around lack of communication. I’m hoping I can bridge that gap.”

The original plan for Costco was approved under Mayor Tim Stewart. When Mayor Tim O’Brien ran for Mayor he originally said he was against the plan. When he took office he later changed his mind and endorsed it. But, progress remained slow until Mayor Erin Stewart took the City helm.

The project will bring in about $475,000 a year in new taxes and 220 jobs.

Forbes magazine has placed Costco at No. 3 on its top 10 places to work list.

To purchase goods at Costco, a membership is needed; they start at $55 per year. The company says it has more than 50 million members. Other locations in Connecticut include Waterbury, Milford, Enfield, and Brookfield. The company started in an airplane hangar in California in 1976.