The city plan commission gave the go-ahead Monday for the construction of a multimillion-dollar wholesale outlet in north Fort Wayne and the relocation of a prominent Chevrolet dealership.
Members of the Fort Wayne Plan Commission unanimously approved the development of a Costco store on a 29-acre plot on the northwest corner of Lima and Progress roads.
Costco Wholesale Corp. of Issaquah, Wash., plans to build a nearly 150,000-square-foot outlet on the former grounds of Seyfert Foods. The members-only store will carry various foods and merchandise, much of it in bulk.
Costco started in 1983 in Seattle. It has more than 600 locations worldwide, employing 160,292 workers. The business recorded about $89 billion in revenue in 2011.
A phone message left for a Costco representative was not returned Monday evening. After a previous public hearing on the matter, a Costco official said the local store will create about 200 jobs – half of them full time – with a total investment between $25 million and $30 million.
Kelley Chevrolet also will relocate near the Costco grounds. The two entities submitted a plan together.
In March, DeHaven Chevrolet dropped a lawsuit trying to stop General Motors Co.’s endorsement of Kelley’s move from East State Boulevard to the intersection of Lima Road and Interstate 69.
Under a 2001 Indiana law, dealerships were prohibited from moving to within six miles of an existing competitor of the same brand, but during this year’s legislative session, state lawmakers led by Rep. Phil GiaQuinta, D-Fort Wayne, changed the law.
Connie Haas Zuber, president of the plan commission, said Kelley plans to begin construction this fall and that Costco hopes open for business in late 2013.
Haas Zuber, who’s also editor of Fort Wayne Monthly Magazine, said Costco was one of the top 10 businesses that readers of the magazine wanted in the city.
“I’m very confident there is built-in support for the Costco part of the project, and of course, Kelley has been in business here for decades, successfully,” she said.