ST. CLOUD, Minnesota – St. Cloud shoppers could have a new super market to get their bargain deals from. At Mayor Dave Kleis’s weekly town meeting, business owners expressed their concerns for the addition of a Costco to the Granite City. The meeting was held at Stearns History Museum, which is one of the tentative neighbors. John Bodette, the museum’s Board Chair, is mostly concerned about traffic. The new development would increase traffic, which could potentially make some of the museum’s buildings inaccessible. Despite this concern, Bodette does support rezoning the museum’s property to commercial, saying it would help the value of their footprint. A public hearing on the traffic portion of the development will be held on February 26th.
The super store would be built along 33rd Avenue South and 2nd Street South in Heritage Park, where the St. Cloud Skate Plaza currently resides. Mayor Kleis says skateboarders were upset at first, but many are now excited about the possibility of upgrades in a new location. Bodette supports relocating the Skate Park within the property, under the conditions that the new location does’t interfere with the museum’s parking or restrooms.
Another concern is that trees must be cleared in Heritage Park for the construction of the Costco. However, if the agreement settles, Kleis plans to use the proceeds of the purchase agreement for park maintenance, and to also purchase two St. Cloud parks; Talahi Woods and Frederick Park for public use. Kleis explains that people have been asking for a Costco for years, and this development would answer their call, as well as benefit the parks of St. Cloud.
The Costco would be built strategically close to Walmart. “Of course, Costco wants to build where Walmart is” Kleis says. The competition between the two has the potential to stabilize prices and ensure quality, according to the mayor. Kleis adds that the store would present employment opportunities, saying, “Costco was listed last year as the number one employer in North America.”
Zoning must be approved at a public hearing Monday before plans can continue. Once the zoning is approved, the purchase agreement can be made. If all goes according to plan, the site will begin construction by the end of the year.