Controversy swirls around plans for Costco in Guilderland

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GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Right now, if you live in the Capital Region and want to shop at a Costco, your best bet is to head to Vermont, Connecticut, or Massachusetts. There are plans, however, to bring one to Guilderland in the future.

Some business owners in the Crossgates Mall area of Western Avenue are hopeful that a Costco would increase traffic to their stores. Even those who oppose the plans for the big-box store say it would be a positive shopping experience.

“I’m actually a fan of Costco. I used to shop at Costco when I was in California,” Steve Wickham of the Guilderland Coalition for Responsible Growth, a group against the plans for Costco, tells News10, “at least, when I knew them they were very good employers. They treated their employees well.”

Even so, Wickham doesn’t want the Costco built on the site at all.

“It would appear that the more logical thing to do would be to put the Costco in [Crossgates] Mall,” Wickham says.

Wickham’s coalition has concerns about the negative effects the Costco will have on traffic and the environment.

Plans for the big box store and associated gas station would sit between Rapp Road, Gabrielle Terrace and Western Avenue, and cover over 160,000 square feet.

The land includes a neighborhood of about 15 homes, almost all of which are vacant. Pyramid Management Group, the same company that owns Crossgates Mall, owns them.

“Pyramid basically bought these properties over time,” Wickham says.

Peter Barber, Guilderland Town Supervisor tells News10 that the plans from Pyramid to build Costco are included in the same Environmental Impact Study being done for apartment plans on another parcel the company owns. 

Barber tells News10 Both Costco and the Rapp apartments are “in the town’s Transit Oriented District, which takes advantage of the CDTA’s busiest station, and an underused four lane ring road with direct access to the Northway.”

The environmental impact study by Rapp Rd Development LLC, which shares the same address as Pyramid, was delivered to the planning board on December 24.

“They’ve got 45 days in the first round to decide whether or not it’s complete,” Wickham says.

Jackie Coons, Chief Building and Zoning Inspector for the Town of Guilderland says she currently can’t proceed on the Costco application because the proposed light poles are too high for the code, and the company has yet to make a decision on whether they’ll lower the poles or apply for a variance on the code.

A spokesperson for Pyramid and Crossgates could not be reached on Saturday night.

In summary, there is no specific timeline as to when you’ll be able to shop at Costco in the Capital Region.

Last month we reported that a single property owner is holding out and not selling their property to Pyramid on the land where Costco will be built. Wickham says to the best of his knowledge, that’s still the case.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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