Costco is finally coming to the Capital Region. Guilderland’s zoning board gave the green light Wednesday to the development of a Costco Wholesale store near Crossgates Mall. It’s the first progress in years as legal challenges tried to halt the project. The biggest concern is that the massive store will cause extra traffic around the area. Residents from the nearby Westmere Terrace neighborhood have also been concerned that the store will add to existing lighting pollution in their community. They also worry about the impact on the Pine Bush Preserve and additional noise from trucks bringing in deliveries.
However, the zoning board ruled that the developers had done enough to mitigate these concerns and that the store fits within the zoning district. The developer, Pyramid Management Group, still needs to get approval for a special use permit and a tax exemption from the town. They are asking for nearly four hundred thousand dollars in sales and compensating use taxes as well as a seventy-five thousand dollar mortgage tax exemption.
The company, which is the largest chain of warehouse club stores in the United States, has a location in Camillus and is scouting locations in Rochester and Albany. The discount retailer charges members an annual fee in order to shop at its stores, which sell groceries and big-box general merchandise. It also offers pharmacy, optical and travel services. In addition, it offers gas at prices that are often lower than those of competitors.