Shoppers head to a Costco warehouse in Sheridan, Colorado, on Aug. 15. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Whether or not you see Costco built near Crossgates Mall in Guilderland in the metropolitan area, the suburban Seattle-based warehouse club operator is gaining momentum with its new brick-and-mortar location.

In fiscal year 2022, which ended last month, Costco Wholesale Corporation opened 23 new member-only stores. There are 25 more planned for fiscal 2023, management discussed earnings on a conference call last week.

As of August, Costco has 838 stores worldwide, 578 of which are in the United States and Puerto Rico.

However, the Guilderland site proved to be a challenge.

The project was embroiled in a lawsuit against the town and mall owners, Pyramid Management Group. The Pyramid Management Group attempted to develop the land around Crossgate, which some viewed as encroaching on nearby housing and sensitive environmental areas.

Ultimately, the Albany Intermediate Court of Appeals ruled in May that the town had fully considered the cumulative impact of Crossgates plans on the three sites identified for development. One of the 16-acre Costcos off Western Avenue. 1/3 of the 11 acres is also near the west and has no plans yet.

A Pyramid Management spokesperson declined to provide updates on the Costco project this week.

Guilderland town planner Kenneth Kowalczyk said Costco’s application is “still active” and a town review is underway for necessary road improvements.

“Significant improvements to road safety and pedestrian traffic are proposed for Costco-related Rapp Road/Crossgates Mall Road,” he noted in an email this week.The two roads are off Western Avenue. There are plans to extend a third road, Gabriel Terrace, which provides access to the Mall and is adjacent to the Costco site, from Western to the Mall.

The proposed store is 160,000 square feet, has 700 parking spaces and a gas station, and requires a special use permit from the town. Kovalchik said the town’s zoning and planning commission would be involved, which said it would start reviewing the site plan, the first step in the process “in the next month or so” after Pyramid’s revision of the final application. We are planning to do so.

Costco declined to respond to my e-mailed inquiry about how important the Albany-area location was, citing the company’s policy not to comment on future stores. We have a store in Syracuse, but the closest store is in West Springfield, Massachusetts, about 90 minutes away.

The company offers “the largest and most exclusive product category under one roof,” with grocery, bulk merchandise, electronics, electronics, pharmacies, eyewear, travel and other service outlets. It is advertised as “one of the choices”.

Costco executives said last week that three levels of membership, with annual fees of $60 or $120, will account for $4.2 billion in total revenue in fiscal 2022, about $227 billion in total.

Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said a fee hike due to inflation is not yet planned, but said “the question is not if it will happen, but when.”

Marlene Kennedy is a freelance columnist.Her opinions expressed in her columns are her own and not necessarily those of the newspaper.Contact her [email protected]

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