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Official: Costco aims for August opening
Work resumes after lengthy stoppage
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Forsyth County News

CUMMING — Less than a week after the land deal was finalized, work is moving along at the site of a new Costco in Cumming.

Scott Morgan, planning and zoning director for the city of Cumming, said construction restarted last week on the property at Market Place Boulevard and Bald Ridge Marina Road.

“They’ve been hard at work … and I think we’ve hit the ground running and they’re committed to trying to have the store open by August,” Morgan said.

Clearing and grubbing of the site began in May 2013, but construction was halted a month later after talks between Costco representatives and the then property owners, Emory Lipscomb and Jim Butler, stalled.

After months of closed-door negotiations, the land purchase deal was finalized March 7.

Costco now owns the 22-acre site, which is near Ga. 400 at Exit 15. The project is being handled by T.D. Farrell Construction Inc., which according to its website specializes in building large-scale retail facilities.

Morgan said plans include the store itself, which will be about 148,000 square feet, as well as a gas station area.  

“I’d say they’re going to have about 16 pumps in four distinct islands that I imagine will be covered by a large canopy,” he said.

According to Morgan, the gas pump area will be near the only customer entrance to the complex, at Bald Ridge and Market Place, while the store will sit more toward the northwest corner of the property.

“As you drive in, they’ll have the gas pumps right there close to Bald Ridge Marina Road and you’ll wind your way around, kind of like an S-curve, to the parking lot and then the building will be in the back, left corner,” Morgan said. “They want the building close to 400 because they’ll … use the building as a sign. They want that good visibility from 400.”

The project also includes about 675 parking spaces and road improvements such as a traffic light and turning lanes at the entrance.

The city has completed several utility improvements in anticipation of Costco and other potential development in the area. Those included a 12-inch water line along Market Place, a force main gravity sewer system and a new pump station, both on Bald Ridge.

Jon Heard, director of the city’s utilities department, said all those projects were completed some time ago.

“They’re in place and ready to go,” he said. “The sewer system was sized for the basin for all the property owners in that area … and then the water system was improved to provide adequate fire flow to that entire area.”

Morgan said he and other city leaders were happy to see the project under way again.

“We’re real happy to get them,” he said. “They’re definitely a very strong company. I imagine this will be a busy site for them. This is the farthest one north in Georgia, with the next closest being the one down in Alpharetta [on Windward Parkway].

“I’m sure they’ll be folks coming from several counties for this [Cumming location].”