Canada: ‘High traffic volumes’ concern for Costco project

Fachada de una tienda de la cadena Costco


Plans to construct a new Costco store in Brantford appear to be hitting heavy traffic.

Concerns about the impact from increased traffic generated by the warehouse retailer have been identified as a problem, according to information provided by the city and Ministry of Transportation.


The store is proposed for a seven-hectare site bounded by Highway 403, Wayne Gretzky Parkway and Morton Avenue.

«The developer’s independent traffic review has identified that the high traffic volumes associated with this development will have a detrimental effect on the local road network, including at Highway 403 and the Wayne Gretzky Parkway,» Liane Fisher Bloxam, the ministry’s communications co-ordinator, said in an e-mail reply to questions from The Expositor.

«The City of Brantford and the ministry have provided the developer with guidance. However, next steps are up to the developer, including revising their traffic impact study to address the conflicts.»

The property eyed for Costco was once the home of Nu-Gro Ltd. It was purchased by Toronto’s Rice Commercial Group, which is looking to develop the site for a Costco.

The city’s planning and transportation departments are in discussions with the applicant, said Maria Visocchi, the city’s director of communications and community engagement.

«The city also continues to engage with the Ministry of Transportation, who are providing direction with respect to specific infrastructure requirements that must be met in order to accommodate anticipated traffic volumes related to a retail establishment of this scope and scale.»

Mayor Chris Friel said he remains upbeat about the project.

“I am confident that city staff are working through this process diligently, and doing everything they can to move this significant development forward through the proper channels.”

Late last year, a Rice Group representative said they were hoping to get city council approval for the project in the first or second quarter of 2017. If that happened, the property then would have been turned over to Costco in July with plans to open in November.

However, those timelines were said to be hopeful and it was suggested the project might take longer, with a possible opening next spring. It was also suggested that the project might take longer due to traffic concerns.

On Monday, a Rice Group representative declined to comment on the traffic issues or the status of the project. A Costco spokesperson didn’t return a call seeking comment.

Although large traffic volume has been identified as a problem, no one has commented on a possible solution.

In July, Costco opened a 154,000-square-foot store in Orillia that employs about 225 people. The store is bigger than most of the company’s locations in Canada.

The retailer boasts more than 10 million members in Canada with a renewal rate of 90 per cent. Costco operates more than 90 stores in Canada, which is the greatest number of stores in any market outside of the U.S.


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