EAST LANSING, MI (WLNS) – You might as well call mid-Michigan a grocer’s hub. We’ve got Meijer, Kroger and even Sam’s Club; but if you still think stores here are just so-so, you might change your mind with a new Costco.
Right now, East Lansing city officials along with Meridian Township staff are considering a vacant former golf course to be the wholesaler’s new home.
The land has been vacant for more than a decade and officials said it could be put to good-use like many popular retail stores that have come to mid-Michigan like Whole Foods, Costco is something officials said the public has been excited about since the idea started circulating and even though plans are in its early stages, it could soon become a reality.
“Since the word got out, there were rumors and rumors, I think all the township board members have experience where people are saying “Costco, hooray!” Because everybody knows about Costco, we don’t have one in this community, the closest one is in Brighton or Grand Rapids,” Ron Styka, Meridian Township Board Trustee said.
But now, the multi-billion dollar warehouse retailer has it’s eyes on this 66-acre land in East Lansing.
It’s the former Four Winds Golf Course and it’s been sitting empty for the last 15 years.
Just a couple of months ago, talks began with city officials to turn a proposal, into a big project.
“So obviously quite a while with that land sitting as it is unused or underutilized,” East Lansing City Manager, George Lahanas said. “So I think that obviously it would benefit the area, benefit both East Lansing and Meridian Township. It’s something that since we’ve heard the name Costco, a lot of residents have been excited about, which is a great thing.”
Costco officials have not yet submitted a formal application for this property, however in a letter to surrounding property owners last week, a Costco representative invited them to discuss the plan and it’s potential during a meeting in June. The proposal says the retail store will be equipped with an attached tire center and gas station.
This piece of land located at 5800 Park Lake Road in East Lansing, is part of what’s called an Urban Cooperation Agreement between the city of East Lansing and Meridian Township.
Before anything happens, Meridian Township officials have to sign off on amending that agreement to allow the zoning there to be changed.
“So because of those restrictions, East Lansing and Meridian would both have to change that agreement to permit a broader retail use and to be able to use more than 20 percent of it’s site for that use,” Lahanas said.
“It is a very, very good place to shop,” Styka said. “Of course we have a lot of other good places to shop, we don’t want any of them to go out of business, but I think people are looking forward to it.”
There will be a public meeting on June 2 at 6 p.m. at the Meridian Township Hall, where representatives from Costco will talk about the proposal, welcome questions, and address concerns.