Costco to open in Wheaton Wednesday

A much-debated new Costco store will open Wednesday in Wheaton, but its gas station will not.

Wheaton has long been known for its small and locally owned businesses and restaurants, but at its center is Westfield Wheaton Mall, where Costco will open a roughly 148,000-square-foot store that will be joined by a Dick’s Sporting Goods.

A grand opening party is scheduled for Tuesday evening (Costco’s chief executive, Craig Jelinek, is slated to attend) and the store will open its doors to the public Wednesday at 8 a.m.

County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) has supported Costco in opening a Wheaton store from the get-go. In 2012, when plans for the Wheaton store was announced as part of a partnership with developer Westfield Group, Leggett said in a press release that, “Costco is a stellar corporation and their opening at Westfield will provide an exciting new retail outlet for County residents – and contribute to our ongoing redevelopment efforts in Wheaton.”

Costco has not succeeded, however, in winning county approval to open a 16-pump gas station adjacent to the new store. After vocal opposition from a group of neighbors nearby, the Montgomery County Planning Board voted down the gas station proposal 3-2 last month. The county Board of Appeals is likely to consider the gas station proposal.

Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz

Jonathan O'Connell has covered land use and development in the Washington area for more than five years.

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