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Costco project revived after land deal struck
Work halted last summer after disagreement
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Forsyth County News

CUMMING — It appears the development of a Costco in Cumming is back on track.

Emory Lipscomb, who with Jim Butler owned property off Ga. 400 at Bald Ridge Marina Road (Exit 15) where the store is set to locate, said a land purchase agreement was sealed Friday with company officials.

“We have now closed with Costco … and Costco now owns the property,” Lipscomb said Friday afternoon.

Clearing and grubbing of the site began in May 2013, but construction was halted a month later in an apparent dispute between Costco representatives and Lipscomb and Butler.

Since then, the parties have been in closed-door negotiations to finalize the land deal and move forward.

Lipscomb said he was happy that process was finished.

“I’m looking forward to them coming,” he said. “I think it’ll bring jobs and tax dollars and shopping opportunities that will be very helpful to the community.

“It’ll bring other businesses [since] they are sort of a bell cow for other businesses to follow.”

Lipscomb said he didn’t have any information about when construction would restart at the site or when the store would open.

Costco representatives did not return phone calls Friday seeking that information.

According to its website, Costco is a membership warehouse club with hundreds of locations worldwide that offers the best possible prices on a wide selection of quality, brand-name merchandise.

At the time construction was halted last summer, the store was slated to be about 148,000 square feet with more than 650 parking spaces off Bald Ridge at Market Place Boulevard.

The city of Cumming had also cleared the way for the store by awarding two bids for utility projects needed to support it.

Those included a 12-inch water line along Market Place for about $734,000 and a force main gravity sewer system along Bald Ridge at a cost of more than $1.6 million.

City leaders also signed off on a conditional use permit that would allow Costco to sell alcohol by the package.

City Administrator Gerald Blackburn said Friday that he was pleased to see the project moving forward again.

“The city and a lot of people have put a lot of time and effort into it, and we’re looking forward to [Costco] coming to town,” he said. “Of course, that will encourage some other people who are trying to make a decision to locate to this area to come on.

“It’s been quite a while in the making, but we’re thankful that they have put their name on the dotted line.”