Guelph’s Costco project is heading to city council again, this time to apply for a noise exemption which would extend the construction hours on the new superstore.
The project, which was approved by council on November 5th of last year, has had to endure community resistance, zoning changes, legal challenges and a slew of other hurdles on its path to fruition. Fortunately, this latest application should be relatively painless for the developers. Councillors seem receptive to the idea and the move would allow them to open in time for the Christmas shopping season.
The Costco store is expected to have a strong economic impact on the west end of the city. Over 100 construction positions were established to create the big box wholesaler, with another 250 positions expected to service the store once it’s opened.
The store, which sells everything from big screen TV’s and laptops to frozen meats in large quantities, was a point of contention for Guelph residents when it was first proposed. It brought back memories of the Guelph vs. Walmart saga, though on a lesser scale for certain. Guelph as a whole has never been a proponent of big box development, opting to stay true to its roots with smaller stores and markets providing the retail opportunities in the city. Despite Costco’s entrance into the marketplace, the downtown revitalization is contributing to Guelphites’ freedom to shop however they please. What this development does is provide options to the Guelph consumer. People can shop freely within their means and beliefs, wherever those lead them. It also creates a more competitive marketplace, where the consumer usually wins.
Happy shopping, Guelph.