Preliminary site plans for a Costco Wholesale store in Fayetteville are posted on the Cumberland County Development Review Finder website.
It would be the first Fayetteville location for the international retailer that has warehouse club stores in eight countries.
The Fayetteville location – which plans say would be 151,000 square feet over 21.39 acres -- would operate near the convergence of Interstate 295 Bypass, Bragg Boulevard/N.C. 24 and the All American Freeway, according to the online plans.
The plans, which list Costco as the client, are up for review by local officials.
Plans for a Costco in the Military Business Park were presented to the Technical Review Committee of the city Development Services Department on Aug. 1 for a courtesy review, according to the city of Fayetteville.
The Technical Review Committee includes city administrators and representatives of agencies such as the Fayetteville Public Works Commission, N.C. Department of Transportation and Cumberland County Schools, according to the city’s website. It is charged with reviewing planning and zoning matters.
“It’s like a practice run before final approval,” city spokeswoman Jodi Phelps said Tuesday. “If you want to develop, it’s a courtesy review.”
The process is meant to assure that development plans comply with the city’s development ordinance.
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Dohn Broadwell, president of the 230-acre Military Business Park, said Tuesday that park officials are “negotiating with a major warehouse retailer” on a business plan.
Asked whether that retailer is Costco, Broadwell said: “I don’t think I can say anything beyond that.”
The prospective site is in the area where Amazon has pursued plans to open a call center, Broadwell said.
“All of it’s part of the same development,” he said.
Currently, the nearest Costco stores are in Raleigh, Apex and Garner.
Fayetteville is not listed among the locations for new stores on the Costco Wholesale website.
A Costco spokesman was not available to comment for this story. The retailer says on its website that it does not have a public relations or media department.
Costco, which is based in Seattle, is a membership warehouse club that says it offers discount prices on brand-name merchandise.
It is similar to BJ’s Wholesale Club and Sam’s Club, which both have stores in Fayetteville.
“I’d love to have them. They’re the one I grew up with as a kid,” said Robert Van Geons, president and CEO of the Fayetteville Cumberland County Economic Development Corp. “We know we get looked at by a lot of retailers here.”
Asked how Costco would fit into the local market with a couple of similar membership retailers already here, Van Geons replied, “I think for them and for other national retailers, time and time again we’ve proven there is no more receptive community for retailers than Cumberland County. I have no doubt they would be successful if they chose to come here.
“Fayetteville is a great place to be a retailer or restaurant,” he said.
According to its website, the company's first location opened in 1976 under the name Price Club in a converted airplane hangar in San Diego.
“Originally serving only small businesses, the company found it could achieve far greater buying clout by also serving a selected audience of nonbusiness members,” the company’s website says. “With that change, the growth of the warehouse club industry was off and running.”
Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView. He can be reached at email@example.com.