Supporters of the proposed Costco in Yorktown are fighting back a group of residents who have been speaking in opposition of the store's development on Route 202.
The newly formed pro-group, "Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown," who are supported by the developer, made their announcement at a news conference at the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce office on Friday.
Comprised of about a dozen residents, including local business owners, the group responded to concerns related to traffic, tax benefits and how the development might affect small business owners.
Rich Leahy, owner of Atlantic Appliance since 1975, who co-owns a portion of the land on which Costco is proposed to be built, said he had turned down a number of offers for projects because he didn't think they were "suitable" for Yorktown.
"Costco is a great company," Leahy said. "It was the best use for the property that I could possibly think of."
Responding to comments made that Costco could put small business owners out of business, Leahy said he disagreed. He said he had been to other Costco stores in the area where the other businesses were "thriving."
"Costco is going to sell appliances," he said, speaking as a small business owner who also sells appliances. "If I thought I was going to be harmed, would I allow something like that to happen? No. You have to be competitive in this world."
The problem, Leahy said was that some people don't want any type of development no matter what it was.
A group of anti-Costco residents spoke at a recent Yorktown town board meeting citing traffic nightmares, air pollution, local businesses going out of business and real estate values going down as some of the potential results the development might have on the town.
Phillip Grealy, a traffic engineer with John Collins engineering and a long-time Yorktown resident, said the traffic concerns haven't been accurately presented. Along with the road improvements Costco is expected to complete and a New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) project along Route 202, some of the traffic in the area would be improved, he said.
The DOT will be making improvements to the intersection in the Route 35/Route 202/Bear Mountain Parkway area. The project, estimated to cost $7 million, will be completed whether or not the Costco project gets approved.
Costco in turn would spend $2.5 to $3 million on their own project by widening Route 202 in the area of Stoney Street, Chase Bank and BJs Wholesle Club. Grealy said the improvements would not only help with the anticipated traffic, but also alleviate some of the current problems.
Some of the improvements include sidewalks, signal-timing improvements to traffic lights and adding turn lanes.
"In essence what will happen is along that entire stretch you'll have a five-lane cross section: two lanes in each direction and turn lanes," Grealy said.
"Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown" group members said Costco would generate $5.2 million in state income tax, $3.9 million in county sales tax, as well as $613,290 to the Yorktown Central School District. In addition, group members said Costco would create 200 permanent and 350 temporary jobs.
Yorktown Chamber of Commerce president Joseph Visconti said no members of the Chamber have told him they were opposed to Costco being built in town.
The 151,092-square-foot Costco store is proposed to be located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Route 202 and the Taconic State Parkway in Yorktown. The property includes the site of an abandoned motel, which residents have described as an eye-sore.
The Costco DEIS was accepted as complete by the Planning Board on Sept. 10. To read the document, click here.
The public hearing will be held on Oct. 15 at the Nutrition Center room in the Yorktown Community and Cultural Center.
For more articles (written by Patch staff) related to Costco click on the links below:
- Costco Relocates Proposed Fueling Area in Site Plan
- [Poll] Costco 'Cautiously Optimistic' to Open in 2013
- Public Hearing for Costco Set for Oct. 15
- No Decision on Costco's Sewer Line Creation Yet
- Yorktown Smart Growth Distributes "True Costs of Costco" Information Kit
- Residents Discuss Proposed Costco and Potential Environmental Impacts
- We Asked Our Readers to Comment on Costco
For blog posts (written by local community members) click on the links below:
- Costco: Not Right for Yorktown and Not a Done Deal
- Costco: Gridlock Alert
- It's Not About Costco
- Costco: It's Not a Done Deal
- What Will Costco do to Yorktown?
- Costco Is Already Making a Difference.
- Yorktown Chamber of Commerce Weighs in on Costco
- The Costco Development Can Come Back to Bite Ya!
- Development of the Route 202 "Economic Development Corridor" in Yorktown
- Mom & Pop Culture Shop Costco
- Yorktown About to Enter New Development Era
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