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Cherry Hill Approves Plan For Costco At Former Racetrack Site

A Costco Wholesale store

A new retail giant will be added to Cherry Hill's bustling corridor.

At 1 a.m. Wednesday, the Cherry Hill Planning Board voted unanimously to approve a site plan for a 154K SF Costco Wholesale store, accompanied by a nine-pump gas station. Though the zoning plan requires no variance for size, a separate 7-2 vote approved changing the designated use of the site from office to retail, the Courier-Post reports.

Part of the site plan calls for 4,500 SF and 15K SF stores neighboring the Costco, although no potential tenants have been named.

The corner of Route 70 and Haddonfield Road already boasts a sizable shopping center, including a Wegmans grocery store, on the former site of the Garden State Park racetrack. One board member who dissented on the rezoning vote voiced concerns that the addition of a gas station, especially one with prices lower than nearby competitors, would add "significant adverse impact on traffic safety and property values.”

The planning board meeting lasted over five hours, with many residents voicing opposition to the plan. One of the issues was the change away from a more varied community at Garden State Park to even more, and larger, retail.

Owners of a ShopRite in the neighboring Garden State Pavilions shopping center filed a lawsuit in 2016 against an ordinance that paved the way for the zoning vote, alleging that it was drafted specifically to benefit the Costco plan. If the suit is successful, the zoning approval would be voided.