Costco Reps: 'Cautiously Optimistic' to Open in 2013, Store to Bring Jobs, Traffic Improvements

The public hearing for the big box store proposal is expected to be held in September. Officials are "cautiously optimistic" to open in the fall of 2013.

Representatives of Costco Wholesale Club are "cautiously optimistic" they would open the proposed 151,000 square-foot retailer on Route 202 in Yorktown in late fall of 2013.

The big box store, which will be build at an 18.75-acre site that currently houses an abandoned motel, a former gas station, nursery and two homes, is expected to alleviate some of the traffic congestion on Route 202 as well as create 350 construction and 200 permanent jobs, according to Costco representatives.

"It is the jewel and probably the crown of Yorktown in terms of a commercial site," said Al Capellini, the applicant's attorney and former Yorktown supervisor. "The use that goes there has to be something different, has to be out of the ordinary and why does Yorktown have to settle for something ordinary?"

Although Costco representatives said there has been some misinformation about the retailer and fears among residents about a potential big box store coming to town have been spread, they have made limited comments to the public in order to proceed with the project with "integrity," Capellini said.

During a briefing with Yorktown Chamber of Commerce members on Friday, he said he expects a public hearing to be held in September. The town's planning board would have the final approval of the site.

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Nick Panayotou, Costco's project planner and engineer, said many of Costco's customers travel to its other locations in Yonkers, Port Chester or Brookfield, CT, to shop. If the the project gets approved, their trip would be shortened. 

Residents have about increased traffic on Route 202, but Panayotou said Costco along with the state Department of Transportation (DOT) would not only facilitate traffic flow to the project, but take care of the increased traffic and make "substantial improvements."

"You don’t have to be a Yorktown resident to drive along the Route 202 corridor and know there is a tremendous amount of congestion during peak hours," Panayotou said. 

Working in conjunction with DOT's $5 million road improvements at Pine Grove Court and Route 202, Costco would be spending more than $2 million for traffic signals, additional lanes and a sidewalk.

"In order for this location to be successful, traffic has to move," said Phillip Grealy, a traffic engineer with John Collins engineering and also a Yorktown resident. "We don't want to be in a location where [people] can't get in or out. We are not going to solve every problem Yorktown has because it's been left for so long. But we are taking care of a major bottleneck."

If Costco is developed in Yorktown, officials said it would generate $600,000 in school taxes, $88,000 in town taxes and $9 million in county and state sales tax revenue. Costco also contributes back 1 percent of pre-tax dollars to the community in which each store is located – which is for Yorktown.

The project would include a gas station for Costco members only. 

In addition, the developer has  and pay for the installation of lines and the connections to the homeowners on Old Crompond Road. 

"The people that are opposed to this are not only opposed to Costco, they're opposed to everything," Chamber of Commerce President Joseph Visconti said. "To me, I look at this like it's Yorktown's Tappan Zee Bridge. It’s a tremendous project, it’s expensive, the benefit for years to come will be enormous. It’s the gateway to the Route 202 development project."

Opponents to the project have sited increased traffic, extra police force needed, time lost in traffic and competition with small business owners as some of the negative impacts they believe Costco would have on the community. 

Vince Ferrandino, a planning consultant for the project whose firm has represented both small and large businesses, said they've made inventories of the businesses in Yorktown's hamlets to compare the goods of those businesses to those of Costco's. 

"There will be some competition," said Ferrandino, who grew up in Yorktown and used to work as a landscaper at the old motel when he was a youngster. "Competition is good."

He said in all of the communities where there is a Costco, shops have grown because Costco brings people to shop in the area. 

"Costco has a very unique product," Panayotou said. "They’re not here to put anybody out of business. They serve the local community because they are a wholesaler. And they formulate their strategy based upon quality and what they think the public wants."

The applicant is in the process of revisiting a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the project based on comments from town staff. 

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oliverdog June 04, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Well now this is interesting. I appeared before the town board about a year ago and requested an update on the Yorktown Dog Park. I was told "we are working on it there is alot of red tape involved" you know the same old stuff. My closing comments to the board was I can guarantee Costco will be built before our dog park! Looks like my parting words are coming to fruitition.
Evan Bray June 04, 2012 at 03:03 PM
I'm curious how they can create a new sewer district in Yorktown when there is no capacity to accept the load? If the answer is we'll send our sewage to Peekskill, they may want to make sure that that municipality is on board before they go much further. I went down to Division and Main Streets, looked down, and the word on the street is that there's a snowball's chance they'd willingly give up what precious remaining sewer capacity they have left to facilitate this planning monstrosity.
Bill June 04, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Maybe if you weren't putting your dog park in an abandoned state park with a building that needs to be cleared of asbestos, things would move faster.
Bill June 04, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Maybe the people in Peekskill realize that this will benefit their residents far more than other uses of the sewer capacity.
Evan Bray June 04, 2012 at 09:35 PM
In Yorktown, you'd have better luck putting a parking lot in that parkland than a dog park, like the Winery wants to do. Zing! Sad but true. Yorktown wants to pave over every inch of wetland and parkland to create menial jobs and attract crime.
Evan Bray June 04, 2012 at 09:41 PM
OK, Mr. Bill. Whatever you say. That's a hard sell. "OK, Peekskill, listen up. We want a Costco so you need to give us all the sewer capacity we need. You'll never need it for any future development. Think about the vast benefit to your community by being so close to Yorktown's big-box district. You'll be able to choose whether to get your 10 pound mayonnaise jars at BJ's OR Costco. It's an offer you can't refuse." Mwhahahahahah. Unless their town officials are drunk or doped up or just plain dumb, I don't see them buying into the plan. Quick, approve the Winery's parking lot so we can ply them with some Cab Sav.
Bill June 04, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Yet another comment from someone ignorant of the difference between the two stores.If they were the same, people from the area would all shop at BJ's and not drive 30+ minutes to get to Costco. I am obviously not as well informed as you (nor do I talk to words on the street), but I'd be very surprised if this request would have gotten this far if there was no chance of getting access to a sewage capacity.
Evan Bray June 04, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Al Capellini is right. Yorktown shouldn't have to settle with some ordinary Costco or any other big box for that matter. Let's build a monorail hub on that site. That's truly extraordinary, and Yorktown deserves something out of the ordinary. I've done a quick cost benefit analysis and it would create 1,000 construction jobs, 750 permanent, high paying jobs and bring approximately 1.2 million tourists through town to pump nearly 15 million dollars into the Yorktown economy. Not only that, but it would cut commute times into the city by half. Here's a little video presentation I put together about the monorail proposal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSoa1b-yBUY
Bill June 04, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Thanks for showing how stupid the opposition to Costco really is, and how far you will stoop to come up with ridiculous alternatives.
oliverdog June 04, 2012 at 10:31 PM
I hear you isn't that an awful place to put a dog park - not my choice. With all the vacant land in Yorktown it's a sin to have us go through that piece of garbage at the end of Baldwin Road. Imagine how those poor people will feel with all the traffic going past their homes. Giving us that property was a way for the town to get out of the dog park business and blame everything on the state. No other towns in the area have gone through what this town is making us go through. Good thing dogs can't vote but their master's can.
Vegas June 04, 2012 at 10:52 PM
oliverdog June 05, 2012 at 01:08 AM
You didn't we lived in Disneyworld did you?
Evan Bray June 05, 2012 at 04:30 AM
Oh, Mr. Bill, you don't quite get irony and other literally devices, do you? I'm so glad you volunteered to outline the differences between Costco and BJ's. Please, inform us ignorant Yorktowners exactly how different the two stores are. Seriously. I'm interested in how you think they are so different. I'm so stupid, I can't see much difference at all. I think we should aim for honesty and transparency. I live in Yorktown and have a vested interest in reasonable development of my hometown. Do you? If so, use your last name when commenting on the issue. That's how men debate issues. Don't be a troll.
Bob Edwards June 05, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Evan you are opposed to anything and everything. Good thing you were not around from the dawn of time. Just think what the world would be like without the wheel, electricity or books. I'll bet you still have a map of the world that shows it's flat. Please do us a favor and fall off the edge of the earth.
Evan Bray June 05, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Untrue, Mr. Edwards. I'd love to see responsible development of that parcel. I just don't believe what is being proposed would benefit our town. I work for the largest commercial landlords in NYC and have an architecture degree from the Cooper Union; I work hand in hand with the biggest developers in the United States. You're just excited for Costco to come to town so you can get off the unemployment rolls and get a job as a greeter at the door. I don't see how creating a bunch of menial jobs for non-Yorktowners, adding to the traffic and ignoring our police chief's concerns about the increased load on his department (not to mention there's no sewer capacity for it) is good for us. All joking aside, let's try and elevate the discussion and keep focused on the planning issues. Your acerbic tone doesn't contribute positively to the discourse. I'm pro-development. Just don't see any economic, social or planning benefit.
Bill June 05, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Keep showing your ignorance. Costco is routinely on the list of the top companies to work for. Your claim that there is no economic benefit shows that you're not reading the information posted here. I believe the police chief was talking about the State Land proposal, not Costco. Perhaps you are confusing that piece of BS that the opponents of Costco put out (perhaps you were one of the authors?) that alleged that a whole new police shift might be needed as a result of Costco, without evidence that there is much police activity at BJ's (I've never seen them there). As for your irony, given that your other posts talked about menial jobs and attracting crime, I'm not sure which of your posts are intended to be factual.
Bob Edwards June 05, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Dear Mr Bray, Is responsible develoment being opposed to a Church in your neighboorhood? I believe that you are opposed to the Faith Bible Church expanding in Mohegan Lake. So becuase you work for the "biggest developers in the United States" then that makes you the authority in town that will tell us not ony where we should shop but where the people of Yorktown can pray. Evan, throw out that old map the world is not really flat just ask the "biggest developers in the United States". I'll bet your not opposed to development when there paying you.
Evan Bray June 05, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Mr. "Edwards," you're a troll. There is no Bob Edwards in Yorktown. Use your real name. Being opposed to insane zoning variances is responsible development. FBC illegally converted two homes and parks way to many cars (over 90 where 23 were approved. I appreciate the plug and anyone interested in the facts can check out http://savemoheganlake.com/ I'm not opposed to the church, I'm only opposed to 3 of 4 zoning variances they didn't need and were parlaying the illegal conversion of two single family homes. What kind of church illegal converts homes without permits? I like my churches to be law abiding. Those are facts and the supreme court will be making a decision based on my lawsuit soon. You're mixing apples and oranges though. I'm happy to have an adult conversation about either project--if you start using your real name. I'm not going to feed a troll and will not be humoring your petty comments unless you reveal your true identity. Have a good day, sir, or mam, whoever you are.
Bob Edwards June 05, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Mr Bray, Do you call everone opposed to you a "troll". As for not being a real person, well I may not have a degree from Cooper Union. In fact I'm only a high school graduate. But I'm very real. Real enough to happy with the job as a "greeter for Costco" as you so eloquently described my new vocation. You see not everyone is so bessed as you Mr Bray, secure in the knowledge that you always know whay is best for everyone. Where to shop. Where we can pray. Who is a "troll" and who is the king. It's good to know that a person may still work hard for a fair wage in this country and not be ridiculed by their fellow man even if they are, as you describe only a lowly "greeter". But who am I to argue wjih the king who is never wrong. Sorry for the audacity of contradicting your royal views. After all I'm just a common man.
Adam M June 05, 2012 at 07:59 PM
A door greeter is a great example of the vast amount of jobs Costco will bring to our community!
Adam M June 05, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Clearly, anyone for the progression of our community who embraces the idea of a lower tax base, vast number of new jobs, lower gas prices, and local economical stimulation, among many other positive attributes, is a troll. Let's just let this eyesore of a spot go untouched for the next quarter of a century instead of welcoming a development that could immensely contribute to the security of our community for years to come, an opportunity that is being handed to us and will not come around again.
Bill June 05, 2012 at 08:23 PM
You forgot that part about rejecting the attempt to actually fix the traffic problem on 202 because a developer is willing to put money into it. Let's wait another couple of decades for the State to not do anything about it so we can continue to complain about the traffic that prevents us from getting to the hospital in a timely fashion (a favorite complaint here). Just like happened the last time development was rejected on 202.
Mike James October 24, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Yorktown really wants a Costco? Costco is a great store and will probably put all the other local business out of business... Not to mention the traffic it will bring..this town will be a one town store and who really wants that? I have no problem driving to Brookfield for Costco...I like my home value and Costco will do nothing accept lower the value
Evan Bray October 24, 2012 at 10:28 AM
I'm in complete agreement, Mike. The application is currently before the planning board. There is significant interest. Next hearing at 730 on 10/29 at the YCC building. Send me an email at YorktownCode@gmail.com if you're interested in penning a letter or speaking at the hearing.


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