YORKTOWN, N.Y. - Costco Wholesale Club is "cautiously optimistic" of opening its first store in northern Westchester off Route 202 in Yorktown in 2013.
Representatives of Costco and developer William Breslin updated members of the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce on Friday about plans for a 150,000-square-foot Costco with 610 parking spaces on 18.75 acres.
"We're on our way to completion. We believe we see the end of the tunnel," said attorney Albert Capellini, a former Yorktown supervisor. "It's an underutilized precious assest of the town and a jewel of the Town of Yorktown in terms of commercial properties. The use that goes there has to be something different, something out of the ordinary. The site is a regional site."
Valued at $30 million, it is estimated the property, which once housed a motel, nursery and a gas station, if developed with a Costco, would generate $600,000 in school taxes to the Yorktown school district, $88,000 in town taxes and $9 million in sales-tax revenue for Westchester County.
"To me I look at this as if it's Yorktown's Tappan Zee Bridge," said Chamber of Commerce President Joseph Visconti. "It's the gateway to the 202 development project. To me this makes 100 percent sense. The people that are opposed to this are not only opposed to Costco, they're opposed to everything."
A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is currently being prepared for the project for submission to the Yorktown Planning Board. Capellini said he expected a public hearing would be held in September.
"It's a pretty tight and functional layout," said project planner/engineer Nick Panayotou. "The vision of the town is to have the 202 area have reasonable growth. To have reasonable growth you need to have an anchor. We will alleviate what is a blight condition and clean up the site. We're taking the extra time to make sure all the agencies are on board with what we're doing on the site."
Philip Grealy, a traffic engineer with John Collins Engineers and a Yorktown resident, said many traffic improvements are planned to handle the additional traffic Costco will attract to an already congested roadway.
Working in conjunction with the $5.5 million improvements the state Department of Transportation is finalizing at Pine Grove Court and 202, Grealy said Costco will be spending an additional $2.5 million for a new traffic signal, wider lanes and a sidewalk.
"In order for this to be successful, traffic has to move. We don't want to be in a place where people can't get in or out," Grealy said. "We're not going to solve every problem Yorktown has because it's been left so long. We will be able to get rid of a bottleneck."
The project, which will also include a gas station for Costco members, is slated to produce 350 construction jobs and 200 permanent positions.