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Costco searches for land in Woodbury

The City of Woodbury has initiated an environmental study for a site where the wholesale retail company Costco is interested in building.
The city opened an Environmental Assessment Worksheet for six parcels of property near the Tamarack Road and I-494 interchange for public review and comment on Aug. 17. The proposed development includes a 155,000-square-foot retail store. Woodbury Senior Planner Eric Searles confirmed that retailer is Costco.

“They have been identifying property around Woodbury for several years,” Searles said. “We’re very happy they have considered Woodbury.”

Costco has not filed a development application to date. The first step is to find out if there are any environmental factors that may hinder or encourage construction of the development at that site, Searles said.

The EAW only provides an assessment of the environmental factors that may impact construction at the property, he said. It does not look at land use or zoning, or construction plans or timing. That information comes with the development proposal, and the development proposal comes after the application. And that application has not been filed yet, Searles added.

The comment period for the EAW continues through Sept. 16, 2015. It is a document that is available for viewing by the public, as well as county and state agencies.

Once the EAW comment period closes, a full development review will occur, Searles said. That part of the process will include neighborhood meetings. The planning commission and city council will also provide opportunities for public comment if the project progresses.

“The EAW is the first step of a multi-step development process, with plenty of opportunities for public review and comment, as well as review by the planning commission and city council,” Searles said.

The proposed development also includes a 50,000-square-foot commercial area, open space and parkland, an extension of Nature Path from Bielenberg Drive to the Tamarack Road/I-494 ramp intersection, and a 158,500-square-foot mixed-use commercial development.

Besides Costco, Searles could not comment on what the other commercial tenants may be.  

“That’s all part of an overall, long-term development for the Tamarack interchange area,” he said.

Searles said it is too soon to speculate on an opening date, or whether Costco will build on that site for sure.
“They are pursuing the site,” he said, “but again, we have not received an application to date.”

A copy of the Environmental Assessment Worksheet is available online, at www.ci.woodbury.mn.us/tamarack_eaw.pdf.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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