East Lansing Costco could open by end of year

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Area Costco fans soon won’t have to travel far to fill their carts with warehouse club deals. Costco is planning to open a store in East Lansing by the end of the year.

This past December the city of East Lansing and Meridian came to an agreement with the development of Costco in a TIF deal for $1 million, which would be developed on the old Four Winds golf course that was closed in 2002.

A TIF deal is a tax increment financing deal, which allows townships to use tax revenues from other businesses and entities in town to develop an economic development that benefits that town.

The land being used to develop Costco was previously owned by Meridian Township but was annexed to the city of East Lansing in 2001. Now that the land is free building a Costco was the next big thing after other ideas were shut down.

Peter Menser, senior planner for Meridian Township said now that the deal between them and East Lansing is done, the project is now handed over to East Lansing Township to start demolition and the ground breaking.

Even though the project is in the hands of the city of East Lansing, they have to comply with rules and regulations based on Meridian’s building and development codes. Meridian has stricter rules than East Lansing has in place said Julie Brixie, Meridian Township’s treasurer.

She deals with all the financial aspects of the board and any projects that the township takes part in.

East Lansing’s Director of Planning and Development Tim Dempsey said: “Not a 100 percent certain when we will start but no sooner than March. We have some pipeline work that needs to be done.”

Dempsey said that building construction is supposed to start in the spring around May.

Unfortunately, it is our company policy to not comment regarding future Costco locations,” said Nikki Chellew, a corporate communication coordinator for Costco.

The development of Costco is huge for employment in a college-populated area as well as for people older that have a tough time finding somewhere to work. It offers hundreds of jobs that weren’t in existence before.

“We have a sharing agreement with East Lansing, some of tax revenue earned will be given back to us,” said Brixie “We also receive half of the building permits used to develop the project,” said Brixie.”

The development of Costco helps financially with the city of Meridian, giving it back money used to help develop other things that community needs or projects to better the town, as well as providing countless number of jobs to the people of Meridian.