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What's Going Up: Developer reveals plans for new Costco at Newmarket retail complex

Warehouse planned for next phase of under-construction area near Highway 404 and Davis

The developer of a new retail complex near Highway 404 and Davis Drive in Newmarket has unveiled plans for a Costco Wholesale warehouse retail centre. 

The municipality posted the submission package from developer Rice Group this month for the next phase of the massive retail project, with the first phase already under construction. The documents indicate Costco Wholesale will occupy the largest building within the complex, near a gas bar, a parking lot with approximately 1,356 parking spaces and several other stores on the 1250 Davis Dr. and 1240 Twinney Dr. property. 

The developer is seeking a site plan amendment to make the next part of the project happen. Rice Group development vice-president Michael Mendes said he looks forward to working with the town.

“We appreciate the town working with us to streamline the approvals for this project,” Mendes said in a Nov. 1 letter.

The project has faced several months of pandemic-related construction delays, with eight commercial buildings slated in the ongoing first phase of the construction. The bulk of the construction, taking up most of the land area within the development, will occur in the second phase.

The proposed 160,691 square-foot Costco building would include dozens of retail aisles, in addition to optical sales, an outdoor garden centre, and a tire centre. The gas bar slated for the complex would also be Costco’s.

A Costco Wholesale spokesperson said the company has no comment at this time. The Costco media policy states the company does not comment on new stores before they are three months till opening. 

Rice Group also did not reply to a request for comment before publication.

A traffic study from T.Y. Lin International Company was included in the development package, modified from a previous one, to factor in the additional stores. It states the complex would generate 822 additional trips at the p.m. peak hour and 1,142 trips in the Saturday peak hour. The study said the a.m. peak hour should not be impacted, with the complex projected to be retail-based and opening later in the morning. 

Floor plans for the other buildings in the second phase do not yet indicate who the occupants might be. Although the first phase is under construction, Rice Group has not yet publicly released anything on the slate of stores. 

The town approved an agreement with Rice Group last month so the developer could secure a discount on development charges by paying ahead of time. It said the developer was waiting on pending tenant confirmation before moving forward with this application.

The application is under review and has not received municipal approval, with no public meeting yet scheduled.

If approved, this could be the second area Costco, with another one located at 18182 Yonge St. at Green Lane in East Gwillimbury.

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Joseph Quigley

About the Author: Joseph Quigley

Joseph is the municipal reporter for NewmarketToday.
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