Costco Pulls Expansion Application, Expected to Resubmit Soon

Public hearing delayed while retailer retunes application.

, one of the town’s biggest taxpayers, has withdrawn its its current wholesale location at 200 Federal Road by 15,186 square feet and is expected to submit a different site plan soon to the Zoning Commission.

“They saw that there was a better way of doing the various components and I expect they will send the new application in the immediate future,” First Selectman Bill Davidson said.

He has said “this is the Zoning Commission’s decision,” but that he is “supportive” of Costco’s expansion plan, since, among other things, it would slightly ease the town’s residential tax burden.

In the initial application, dated June 2, Costco stated that it wanted to purchase the adjacent Union Savings Bank branch and then relocate it to the nearby building.

The company stated that under its proposal its existing building would expand to 141,685 square feet and add a gas fueling station. It also plans to upgrade Federal Road to improve the traffic flow.

The Zoning Commission had planned to hold a public hearing July 14, before Costco withdrew its application.

The proposed expansion apparently would address the competition that will result from the , which plans to build a 124,560-square-foot commercial center in the north section of the , down the road from Costco. The Zoning Commission also has approved plans for an adjoining 3,200-square-foot restaurant.

BJ’s Wholesale Club officials have said they plan to start construction next spring and open for business in 2013.

Costco wrote that “certain aspects of the site design and building have become outdated” since it began operations about 20 years ago along the southern corridor of Federal Road.

The company presented a plan in late 2008 to build a new wholesale center on the 37-acre cornfield at Junction Road, but withdrew the application in February 2009 when it appeared the Zoning Commission would not approve it

Economic Development Commission (EDC) Chairman Hal Kurfehs, who also is a commercial real estate agent, has said Costco considered moving to a site in Danbury after it withdrew its application two years ago.

Merchants along the southern corridor of Federal Road were concerned about Costco’s possible departure since it attracts many customers that shop at the smaller outlets in that commercial district.

Davidson has said he encouraged Costco officials in December 2009, during his first week in office, to remain in Brookfield.

The first selectman said he believes BJ’s Wholesale Club and Costco can easily co-exist since they have locations near each other in several other towns.

The Federal Road corridor between Costco and Stew Leonard’s, which is located just over the border in Danbury, generates a huge volume of traffic, which has grown over the last 15 years as several furniture stores have opened.

Davidson said largely because of the commercial establishments along the southern corridor of Federal Road, Brookfield, a town of about 16,400 people, ranks in the top 25 percent in the state in generating sales tax revenue.

Steven DeVaux July 24, 2011 at 11:52 PM
Is the Irving gas station across the street going to close or just become a larger Dunkin Donuts?


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