Costco files site plan for proposed Pittsfield Township store
File photo | AnnArbor.com
TJ Design Strategies Ltd. of Oak Brook, Ill., is the developer of the project, which is envisioned for Ellsworth Road west of South State, between Airport Boulevard and the Tyner Furniture property.
The company is proposing:
â€¢ A 139,891-square-foot warehouse store. â€¢ A 5,807 square-foot tire center. â€¢ A gas station on the northeast portion of the property, with frontage access from Airport Boulevard.
The property, according to plans, is 17.08 acres now owned by Airport Boulevard Associates.
It's now classified as a business park, and the rezoning request seeks to convert the property to site-specific zoning under a Planned Unit Development.
Officials have said that existing single-story offices on the property will be demolished to make room for the store.
"This is the first step in the process for them to get the ball rolling," said Mandy Grewal, township supervisor. Existing businesses on the property already have begun a relocation process, assisted by the landlord. While the site plan approvals have not been issued, Grewal said she and Jake Haas of Airport Boulevard Associates think it's important for the relocations to happen now.
"We don’t want to have local businesses feel like something is happening and they’re not being taken care of," Grewal said. "... It's not fair to have local businesses hanging we want them to feel like they have a stable place to be in for the long term."
Costco Wholesale Corp., a high-end, member-only warehouse club, is one of the top three largest retailers in the U.S. It's based in Washington.
The company is reporting $70.37 billion in sales through August, representing an overall increase of 9 percent. That increase is based on 4 percent sales gains in the U.S. market and a 20-percent year-to-date increase in international markets.
The Pittsfield Township proposal follows years when Costco sought an Ann Arbor-area location, then a pullback from developing new stores in Michigan.
With the proposal - which will head to the Planning Commission for a public hearing on Sept. 16 - Costco is seeking the largest new retail development project in Washtenaw County since the economic downturn started locally in 2007. A Walmart Supercenter, which opened in 2009 and is located a few miles south of the proposed Costco, was approved in spring 2007.
Steve Puuri, managing director of the Washtenaw County Road Commission, said a traffic impact study for the store proposal soon will be finalized.
"A second round of comments has been given (to Costco)," he said this morning.
Multiple jurisdictions have a stake in the traffic outcomes, Puuri added: Ann Arbor is responsible for traffic on South State Street, including a portion of the intersection at Ellsworth Road. Washtenaw County officials control traffic on Ellsworth.
Meanwhile, no one connected to the store's development has applied for a tax abatement so far, Grewal said by email this afternoon.
According to the plans submitted, the store is located at the southeast portion of the parcel, with a 35-foot setback. A detention basin is mapped on the far eastern edge of the property, bordering the Tyner Furniture parcel.
Also, parking for the proposed store is shown on the west and north part of the parcel - effectively placing the building close to the road, with the parking "behind" the building to someone approaching from the State/Ellsworth intersection.
View Larger Map Map of the proposed Costco location, which is just northeast of the "A" on this map.