Costco gets rezoning approval for new Pittsfield Township store
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The board, with one member absent, unanimously approved Costco's request and a two-year master plan revision at a special meeting.
The approval of Costco's rezoning request was the biggest hurdle for the retailer, which is now free to submit a final site plan to the Pittsfield Township Planning Commission.
After the final site plan is approved, construction could start quickly — and the store could be open by spring 2012, Pittsfield Township Supervisor Mandy Grewal said.
“I think they’re going to begin preliminary site preparation work pretty much right away,” she said.
Costco wants to redevelop 17 acres along Ellsworth west of South State. The chain plans to build a 148,000-square-foot store with 720 parking spaces and a gasoline station.
Local developer Jake Haas owns the property where the Costco will be built. To make room for the warehouse, several industrial park buildings will be demolished and tenants relocated.
Jack Frank, Costco vice president, previously said the store is expected to have between 200 and 250 employees, about half full-time and half part-time.
The board had given the rezoning request preliminary approval in June.
To set the stage for the rezoning request's final approval, Pittsfield had to approve a master plan revision, Grewal said.
“The reasoning behind that is that the Pittsfield Township board has frowned upon doing rezonings,” Grewal said. “We adhere closely to what’s in our planning books and the Costco use will be consistent with our new plan.”
The master plan identifies six commercial districts in the township where retail uses will be concentrated, acting as a blueprint for future development in the Pittsfield area. The Costco site is located within one of these six districts.
Plans for the store were first proposed in April 2010. Before finding the site in Pittsfield Township, Costco pulled out of a deal to build its first Washtenaw County location in Scio Township in 2006. The chain withdrew the proposal after a large group of Scio residents raised concerns about the development.
Grewal said it has been a “slow, deliberate process,” to bring Costco to the area, but she said feedback on the development has been positive throughout the last year.
“Thus far, there has been very positive feedback from the community,” she said. “Folks are happy with it.”
“We envision a very vibrant community, and I think this project speaks really well to our vision of the community as we move forward.”
Costco is the largest membership warehouse chain in the United States with headquarters in Issaquah, Wa. The chain's closest stores are located in Brighton, two in Livonia and one in Commerce Township.