Branford residents will still have to travel out of town to buy their bulk paper towels and mayonnaise by the gallon at Costco. The wholesale giant its backing out of plans to build a new location off Interstate 95 after almost two years of planning.
In a letter Branford’s first selectman received this week, Costco said it was “business decision” that prompted the cancelling of the development that could brought with it an estimated $800,000 in taxes and several hundred new jobs.
People getting their groceries at the Stop & Shop not far from the site of what would’ve been the new store told NBC Connecticut they weren’t happy about the news.
“I like to buy in bulk, so to be able to have something closer to home would be nice,” Emily LeQuin, of North Branford, said.
“I was waiting for them to come up here. Going to Milford is kind of far. I have my membership and I don’t use it that often because it’s that far,” MaryAnn Ferrucci, of East Haven, said.
Branford’s first selectman, James Cosgrove, said he learned Costco was scrapping its plans through that letter, which was sent to town hall, and is disappointed about all of the jobs that now won’t be coming to town.
“We’re all aware of the fiscal constraints of the state. That burden is being shifted down to the municipalities and the residents and the taxpayers of Connecticut and Branford,” Cosgrove said.
But not everyone sees the news as a loss, including residents who said the presence of a retailer the size of Costco would’ve been a nightmare for the community.
“It’s a small town and I understand there has to be growth, but you still want that small town flavoring,” Kim Healy said.
Cosgrove said Costco didn’t offer more information about why they backed out of the plan, but said the retailer would’ve been welcome.