Is Costco coming to Belleville?

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| Published , updated April 19, 2024

In November 2019, the City approved $13.5M as well as millions of dollars received from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) – Rural & Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund in order to widen Bell Blvd from 2 to 4 lanes to prepare for the added traffic that a Costco would bring to the area. The road work was done throughout 2020 and 2021.

The approval of the project was given months before the the COVID-19 pandemic, which could have been the cause of the plan falling through.

As of September 2023, the property (32-26 Bell Blvd) that Costco was to approved to be built on was put up for sale by JenLand Properties Limited (owned by the Belanger family) for $35M. As of April 19, 2024 the price had been reduced to $9M

The city would have received about $2.1M in development and application fees as well as $1.3M in annual taxes from Costco.

Timeline

September 2023 – 32-36 Bell Boulevard property (proposed Costco location) put up for sale for $35 million

Quinte News reported that Rice Group, a GTA developer which works with Costco had a lease agreement for the parcel of land on Bell Boulevard. It is believed that agreement was extended a few times, but has now lapsed.  An official at Rice Group confirmed they do not have a Belleville location they are working on.

Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Belleville Rod Bovay says at last check, the location was okayed by the Costco head office in Washington State.

The Belleville site is still owned by JenLand Properties Limited (owned by the Belanger family) was never officially sold to the Rice Group or to Costco, even when the site was rezoned by council in early 2019. It is part of 255 acres on both the north and south side of Bell Boulevard.

John Belanger, Real Estate Agent of ReMax Quinte is the representative for JenLand Properties.

A 15 acre portion of the property was put up for sale in late 2023 for $9 million:

The listing includes the following video promoting the newly expanded Bell Blvd:

This site has been recognized as one of the Prime Vacant Land sites in Eastern Ontario for new Industrial/Commercial Development. Jenland Properties is situated in the City of Belleville, adjacent to Highway 401, one of the busiest highways in North America.

The Jenland lands consist of approximately 255 Acres of vacant land fronting onto Highway 401. The property is bisected by a new arterial road that links the property with two interchanges on Highway 401. Located on Bell Boulevard in the North West Quadrant of the city, access is from either Exit 538 at Loyalist Wallbridge Rd or Exit 543 at Hwy 62. The parcel of land on the north side of Bell Boulevard is approximately 153 acres and the parcel of land on the South side of Bell Boulevard is approximately 100 acres. Municipal water and sanitary sewer services have been extended along Bell Boulevard to service new development on this site.

Infosheet

November 2020 – Mayor Panciuk: it’s not a question of “if”, it’s a question of “when”

Adding the COVID-19 pandemic forced many companies to re-evaluate the timing of projects and how they were executed.

May 2020 – CAO: Rice Group: Belleville is definitely on the list for a Costco

According to information the city has received from the developer, Rice Group, “Belleville is definitely on the list for a Costco”.

March 2020 to September 2021 – $20 million Bell Boulevard widening from two to four lanes

Traffic is expected to increase once it opens so the city is paying to expand the boulevard and add traffic lights to accommodate the traffic. The road expansion has been added as $13.5 million Bell Blvd. Widening – Sidney St – 1.5km Westerly in the 2020 Capital Budget (approved November 2019) to be funded by:

Improvements along Bell Boulevard and Sidney Street leave the city well positioned for future growth.

September 26, 2019 – Environmental Assessment Exemption request granted by Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks

The City requested an exemption under the Environmental Assessment Act to ensure safe and efficient access along the road corridor. In accordance with the City’s Master Transportation Plan, traffic volumes are expected to exceed the road’s current capacity by the end of 2020. The City is also concerned that project delays may cause potential impacts to businesses.

April 8, 2019 – Council approves zoning bylaw changes

Belleville city council unanimously approved a recommendation for an amended zoning bylaw from the Planning Advisory Committee to make way for the development.

The development will feature three entrances off Bell Boulevard: one at the hotel entrance, one at Jack Ellis Way and one in between the two.

It was announced Costco will anchor a retail development with 14 stores and a gas bar on a 14.6-hectare parcel of land on Bell Boulevard adjacent to the Study Area. The project will create close to 850 new jobs. This development benefits not only the City of Belleville, but also the entire Bay of Quinte region through job creation and further economic spin-offs.

What a great day it is for the City of Belleville, that after a lot of work from successive councils back to when Bell Boulevard expansion was first looked at, that today we are in a position that we can now officially go forward

This facility is not just about 155,000-square-foot warehouse membership club that will be first constructed along with the gas bar in terms of the Costco facility. It’s also about the additional 14 pads that will fill out the rest of the 40 acre site of 184,000 square feet of commercial/retail space, it’s about the 800 plus full-time jobs that will be coming when this project is fully rolled out, it’s about the approximately $2.1 million in initial start-ups fees, application fees and development charges, and the approximately $1.3 million each and every year in contribution to the city’s tax base. These are staggering numbers that are so much more than what we considered with the Quinte Mall in the 1970s, so this is a very, very important day for us

Working with the Jenland Properties and the Belangers I just want to say thank you and congratulations to them in successfully negotiating this terrific new addition to the City of Belleville, but I also want to thank the Rice Group who are the developers of this whole property, for coming. They have brought a top notch professional application.

Mayor Mitch Panciuk

March 4, 2019 – Planning Advisory recommends rezoning to allow for further commercial uses

Pending a positive outcome of this zoning by-law amendment there will be at least one site plan control application if not more. A site like this will take a few years to develop, so there are other steps forthcoming

The anchor tenant is obviously critical to get things off the ground and the anchor tenant would like to be in the ground by the summer of 2020, so we’re talking just over a year from now

… right now Jenland Properties is the owner and it has to transition through to a number of owners, but if one has read our reports in detail you’ll see the tenants that we’re testing for and the tenant that we’re testing for is Costco.

Mike Keene of Fotenn Consultants Inc.

2019 – $450,000 for Environmental Assessment of Bell Blvd Widening – Sidney St to Wallbridge Loyalist in 2019 Capital Budget

Funded by Casino – Development ($200k) / Development Charge ($250k)

2019 – Fotenn Bell Boulevard Planning Justification Report

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B Burley

We need a costco!! Why are we not getting one. If not Bellville then Trenton Brighton or cobourg.
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Creole

I doubt this is even coming… i was talking with a kingston Costco person who said it was axed a while ago, so everything the media / government is saying in Belleville are lies. Just go to Kingston

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