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Update: Costco Application Approved; Makes Concessions

The store is expected to bring in $25 million dollars to Route one

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved last Tuesday, Costco Wholesale’s application to build a 143,416 square foot warehouse on the site of the. The 12-acre site is west of Richmond Highway and north of Ladson Lane.

According to Costco, the project would bring in $25 million dollars and 250 new jobs to the Route one corridor.  The retail chain says it boasts some of the highest wages in the industry, with the average wage close to $20 per hour.

“Costco is a very good application and it’s going to be a good citizen of our community,” said Mount Vernon Supervisor Gerry Hyland at the public hearing. Hyland is up for reelection in the fall.

On the eve of the Board’s vote, elected officials, Costco representatives and the New Gum Springs Civic Association negotiated several changes to the retail’s chain application to address

Primarily, Costco agreed to modify its site plan to keep open the median break at the intersection of Richmond Highway and entrance into the Spring Garden Apartments. If the median break were to close, the entrance to the Spring Garden Apartments would function as a right-in/right-out entrance providing access only to the northbound traffic on Richmond Highway.

“How much further should these residents travel along Route one southbound to access their homes? Why are these residents being treated like second-class citizens?” wrote New Gum Springs Civic Association president Queenie Cox in a letter to Mount Vernon elected officials before the vote.  The Virginia Department of Transportation will have the final say on whether the median stays open.

Costco also plans to pay for a study by the either the Virginia or Fairfax County departments of transportation that would test the feasibility of extending Landson Lane into the Spring Garden Apartment complex.

The comprimises come after Costco was criticized at a planning commission meeting, for not reaching out enough to residents in the Gum Springs community about the proposed transportation changes. County staff maintained at the planning commission meeting that Costco followed protocol in regards to notifying local residents.

In its traffic impact analysis submitted to the Planning Commission, Costco analysts predicted that 737 new peak hour trips on Saturday and 4,496 new daily trips on weekdays would occur after completion of the store. According to the Virginia Department of Transportation Route one handles about around 60,000 vehicles per day.

Delegate Scott Surrovell said that while he welcomed development to “to one of the most blighted properties on route one,” but he still has concerns that the store would add more cars to an already-congested route one.

“The Costco development is probably going to have biggest impact on traffic in the next year,” he said.

Last Wednesday, that the Board of Supervisors approve the project.

Under Costco’s plan, the customer entrance and loading dock would face north towards the Walmart on Richmond Highway. The store plans to include 575 parking spaces. It would be open Monday through Sunday.

The store would be built using sustainable materials, including all recyclable material for the exterior of the building. The retail chain says over 70 percent of local businesses in the Mount Vernon area have a Costco membership. Greg Riegle, a representative for Costco, said the store could be open as soon as the summer of 2012.

Previous Story: On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Costco Wholesale’s application to build a 143,416 square foot warehouse on the site of the. The 12-acre site is west of Richmond Highway and north of Ladson Lane.

According to Costco, the project would bring in $25 million dollars and 250 new jobs to the Route one corridor.  The retail chain says it boasts some of the highest wages in the industry, with the average wage close to $20 per hour.

The store would be built using sustainable materials, including all recyclable material for the exterior of the building. The retail chain says over 70 percent of local businesses in the Mount Vernon area have a Costco membership.

“Costco is a very good application and it’s going to be a good citizen of our community,” said Supervisor Gerry Hyland at the public hearing.

Last month, that the Board of Supervisors approve the project.

More to come on Fort Hunt Patch.

Steven Larsen April 28, 2011 at 03:35 PM
Naomi, the photo of the approved plan is unclear, and Fairfax County has not yet posted to their website. Is there a link to the approved traffic management plan anywhere? Traffic will be a huge concern regarding this project. Lots of questions to be raised, from the obvious: "Do we know where the entry points are to this new Costco? Through the existing WalMart and/or Route 1 and/or Ladson Lane?" And - "Should there be an additional entry/exit point for the Audobon Community and the Mount Vernon Athletic Club?" But additionally, input is needed from a very wide group of stakeholders. Local residents and businesses have voiced some of their concerns, but all who use this corridor should also have input as well. Saturdays and evenings are already a parking lot on Route 1.
Adam Froehlig May 02, 2011 at 08:40 PM
The Spring Grove entrance should've been built opposite Ladson Ln to begin with. This haphazard, leapfrog style of development is part of the reason why there are traffic issues along the corridor to begin with.
Mike Smith August 26, 2011 at 01:42 PM
Naomi, this article says "More to come on Fort Hunt Patch" but I haven't seen any updates. Do they have a timeline as to when the new store will be built and a tentative date as to when it will open?
Mike Smith October 11, 2011 at 03:27 AM
Has anyone heard anything more about the Costco?

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