Business

Costco sign reveals when latest Charlotte-area store will open at Lake Norman

Costco will open its third Charlotte-area wholesale club “this summer,” off Interstate 77 Exit 35 in Mooresville at Lake Norman, according to a Costco sign posted off the exit with the company’s insignia last weekend.

Costco will anchor a 41-acre retail center at Brawley School and Talbert roads off the exit. The development also is scheduled to include an Academy Sports + Outdoors and outparcels facing Talbert Road for smaller retailers, according to plans the developer of the project filed with the Mooresville Planning Department.

Wholesale clubs appear to be popular with Mooresville-Lake Norman residents. A Sam’s Club and a BJ’s Wholesale Club compete off Exit 36 (N.C. 150), a mile to the north of the planned Costco.

Other Charlotte area Costcos are at 500 Tyvola Road in south Charlotte and at 2125 Matthews Township Parkway in Matthews.

In an email reply to The Charlotte Observer on Tuesday, a Costco spokeswoman declined to say when the Mooresville store is expected to open.

“Unfortunately, it is our company policy to not comment regarding future Costco warehouses until we are ready to share details about the new location (usually 2-3 months in advance),” the spokeswoman said in the email.

She said the company posts “upcoming locations” at www.costco.com/new-locations.html.

By the end of the business day Tuesday, the general contractor for the Costco project had yet to pick up the already approved building permit from Iredell County’s Building Standards Division in Statesville, according to Lynn Niblock, Iredell’s director of development services. A contractor must pay for and pick up the permit before construction can begin, Niblock said in a phone interview.

Although the site has been graded, persistent rains, combined with a recent snowfall that refused to melt for days, have left the ground “sloppy, absolutely sloppy, just as it is for every other project in the county,” Niblock said.

Costco representatives have told town of Mooresville planning officials that it doesn’t take long to finish one of their buildings “once vertical construction begins,” Rawls Howard, Mooresville’s planning and community development director, told the Observer in an interview Tuesday. Neither Howard nor Niblock said they have been given an expected opening date from Costco.

Citing traffic and other concerns by neighbors, including one of the largest churches in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, the Mooresville Board of Commissioners voted 5-1 against a rezoning for the retail center in March 2016, The Charlotte Observer reported at the time.

About a year later, the commissioners reversed themselves and approved the center. Iredell County Superior Court Judge Mark Klass ordered the second vote after nullifying the town board’s original rejection of the rezoning.

Mooresville commissioners “misconstrued the meaning of the term ‘Large Box’ in such a way as to make it appear to be disallowed at Exit 35 when it was not,” Klass ruled in part, referring to large chain retail stores.

The project’s developer, Hammerford Development Co. of Toronto, Canada, has promised $2.5 million to $3 million in improvements to Talbert and Brawley School roads, the Observer previously reported. The development will mean an immediate combined 400 jobs from Costco and Academy Sports, a Hammerford representative told Mooresville’s commissioners during a public hearing.

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Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.
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