Canada: Traffic studies big part of Costco project plans

Fachada de una tienda de la cadena Costco


Construction of a new Costco store in Brandtford  remains months away.

«If we get council approval in the first or second quarter (of 2017) and went right to the site-plan agreement, we could turn the pad over to Costco in July to open in November,» said John McGovern, vice-president of Toronto’s Rice Commercial Group, which is developing the seven-hectare site at Wayne Gretzky Parkway and Morton Avenue for the U.S. warehouse club giant.


«But that’s being hopeful. If it takes longer, opening might be in the spring (of 2018). But, perhaps, by the end of the year people will be working there.»

A Facebook link being shared on social media indicates that Costco has started its hiring process, with nine positions needed for January. McGovern dismissed the link as «click-bait» — designed to attract attention to a particular web page.

«They won’t start their online campaign until four months before they anticipate opening,» said McGovern. «And they’ll be hiring a lot more than nine people.»

He said that a great deal of work is going into traffic studies to ensure the new store’s customers don’t overwhelm the existing road network. A proposal diagram shows almost 900 parking spaces for the project.

«We’ve been through meetings about traffic volume and on- and off-ramps and I think we’ve got the solution worked out. We’re hoping for a final revision to be submitted (to the city) in January.»

The property was the home of Nu-Gro Ltd. The Rice Group purchased the land from Agrium Advanced Technologies, which owns Nu-Gro Ltd.

Zoning for the property, which is in Ward 4, must be changed to commercial from industrial.

Ward councillors Richard Carpenter and Cheryl Antoski said there are still steps to complete.

Read Also: Local grocery store will continue to source Alberta products

«It hasn’t been municipally approved yet,» said Antoski, «But it’s coming to the committee of the whole in February and then to council.»

After that, a change to the city’s official plan is needed, which would require provincial approval. A timeline to bring forward the official plan amendment is late spring.

Carpenter said the project is tied to the official plan.

«It’s a process: you can’t do an official plan amendment when you don’t have a certain amount of available land. We’ll have more land after the transfer (from Brant County) on Jan. 1 and our option is to redo the plan and move some land into commercial.»

Carpenter said he frequently hears from constituents eager to apply for jobs at Costco.

«They treat their employees really well. I tell people to apply in Hamilton and then make a transfer to Brantford when it’s announced here.»

Carpenter said he cautioned people that the process could take up to two years to complete.

«It’s a full-service Costco with a gas station. I’ve see the drawings for the plan.»

Costco spokesperson Ron Damiani declined to confirm this week that a store is planned for Brantford.

«We don’t think it’s ethical to comment until the i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed,» said Damiani.

«We require highway on and off ramps and zoning and there are all kinds of levels of government involved. So, deals can go sideways real quick.»

Read Also: 4 workers at Halifax medical marijuana dispensary face drug charges

In August, Costco announced it would open seven locations in Canada, almost double its most robust annual rate.

«We’ve already opened Waterloo, Barrhaven, near Ottawa, and South Saskatoon, a business centre in February or March and then Orillia with a date that’s not finalized,» said Damiani. The other two locations are under wraps at this point.»

The company’s website lists only openings for January and February: Taiwan, Korea, Mexico and two in Florida.

«We have a track record of being a good employer,» Damiani said of the interest in jobs at the as-yet-non-existent warehouse.

«But we’re not recruiting for jobs until we announce we’re opening in Brantford.

«Cashiers here make considerably more than what the industry pays and, in return, we get loyal staff and heightened productivity.»

Costco has sales of close to $21 billion in Canada and more than 90 stores across the country.

Costco’s Canadian members pay a $55 annual membership fee to shop there.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here