Costco isn’t giving up on New Britain. During a city council round-table meeting on Tuesday night, the Fortune 500 company revealed new plans to build a warehouse on Hartford Road next to Target.
Its original plan to relocated three holes at Stanley Golf Course to the park across the street was met with fierce opposition. Costco now wants to buy 15 acres of state-owned land along Route 9 instead and move the holes there.
“The proposal is no longer to take parkland and turn it into commercial space, but to take unused property and turn it into commercial space. That seems like a much more palatable situation for everyone involved,” said council president Michael Trueworthy.
Friends of AW Stanley have been fighting to preserve the park. They say the new plan is an improvement, but don’t want the big box store to revamp the city’s golf course.
“There are plenty of other places they could go. I know it's ideal for them to be by Target, but it's setting a precedent that any corporation can come in and buy whatever they want,” Elaine Lechowicz, a member of Friends of AW Stanley, said.
Costco officials said the city council needs to rezone the land from single-family to commercial before the company invests anymore in New Britain. The company promises to bring 220 jobs, $475,000 in taxes and hundreds more dollars in permit fees.
“We want the jobs. We want the tax revenue. We want the building permit fees. The only sticking point through the whole process was the location. My initial reaction is that has now been remedied,” said Trueworthy.
The council could vote to rezone the property at its meeting next week.