Costco ceremonially broke ground on a new big box in New Britain on Wednesday after winning a tax break from the city government.
Four years ago, the developer's preferred site was a forest along Hartford Road across from Target and Stanley Golf Course.
But as the mayor at the time, Tim Stewart, put it, "people who call themselves environmentalists" were able to persuade officials the forest was worth preserving.
The alternative, Stewart said, was building on the golf course, requiring the purchase of land and redesign of some holes.
Then, after Costco complained that the site would add $2.1 million to its cost, the city government approved $2.1 million in property tax abatement last month.
Costco is projecting 225 jobs after it opens in Fall 2015, after construction, which should require 400 jobs.
"We look forward to bringing good jobs and the community benefits that come along with our buildings," said project manager Joseph Montesaro.