Costco meeting with Pittsfield Township and road officials to keep new store plans in motion
Efforts to build a Costco store in Pittsfield Township continue, local officials say.
However, official site plans to build a store northwest of the State and Ellsworth intersection have not been submitted nearly three months after some details were released about talks between the township and Costco.
The Washington-based warehouse club retailer - the 9th largest in the U.S. in 2009 -is meeting this summer with municipal and road officials in preparation for seeking approval to build the store.
“We want to make sure Costco knows what community expectations and needs are going to be,” said Mandy Grewal, Pittsfield Township supervisor.
The township hosted a predevelopment meeting in June, Grewal said, “to keep things moving forward.”
Next, representatives of Costco will be meeting Monday with staff of the Washtenaw County Road Commission to review a traffic study for the area around the proposed store.
Costco has an agreement with Airport Boulevard Associates Inc. - an entity run by Jake Haas - to demolish existing buildings from Airport Boulevard east to the Tyner’s Furniture property and build a new store.
Proposed site plans for the store will have to include results of a traffic study and a mitigation plan to keep increased traffic volumes from adversely impacting the intersection.
So far, engineers have not agreed on how traffic will affected, said Steve Puuri, managing director of the WCRC.
“They’re still debating the right numbers to apply to the traffic volumes,” he said.
The traffic study is looking at an “impact zone” from the I-94 interchange at South State to Ellsworth, then west on Ellsworth to Lohr Road.
The impact on State between Ellsworth and Textile hasn’t been an issue, Puuri said, because it’s believed traffic “would come to their site by and large from the freeway.”
Discussions also involve Ann Arbor officials, since Ann Arbor shares the State-Ellsworth intersection with Pittsfield Township. In addition, part of the impact zone - including the State Street entrance to Airport Boulevard - is in the city.
Agreeing on the numbers for the traffic volume will direct what type of mediation may be required, Puuri said. And he added that it’s too early to say whether options could include adding a turn lane, new signals, a roundabout or other changes.
“All options are on the table,” Puuri said.
Adding non-motorized transportation alternatives to the vicinity also is a goal of the township, Grewal added.
Determining the timeline for submitting plans for the store is up to Costco, Grewal said. Once that happens, the public will be invited to give its reaction. The process will include rezoning.
In the meantime, she described the conversations with the retailer as a “very positive working relationship. We’ve had a respectful and productive dialogue.”