Costco to open new Maryland store

Issaquah, Wash. Costco Wholesale Corp. said late Monday it is in talks with officials in Maryland to locate a new store in the Montgomery County city of Wheaton, in Washington.

According to a report by the Puget Sound Business Journal, the retailer is discussing a $60 million project that would put the retailer in part of space formerly occupied by a Hecht’s department store.

The county has been asked to contribute a portion of the project’s construction costs, though Steven Silverman, director of the county’s Department of Economic Development, wouldn’t confirm the amount.

The Washington Examiner reported the figure to be $4 million.

As the deal currently stands, Costco would share part of the multi-story space with another retailer, the identity of which Silverman would not disclose.

Silverman said the county’s contribution would not be an incentives package, but rather a contribution to construction costs. Previously, Montgomery County contributed $6 million to build a parking garage for the Macy’s in the same shopping mall.

Costco is expected to make a decision on the project in the next 30 days, Silverman said. Costco spokeswoman Therese Wontorek told the Business Journal that company policy is not to comment on specific markets.

If Costco goes forward with the Wheaton project, construction could begin by the end of 2010, with an opening sometime in 2011, Silverman said.

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