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Lawrence Costco Seeks to Build Gas Station

Mega store needs approval from Town of Hempstead.

is looking to add a gas station at its warehouse store on Rockaway Turnpike in Lawrence, which would be the first on Long Island for the members-only store.

The Town of Hempstead board expressed concerns about traffic and parking on the busy street, which has the final say on the needed permit for Costco’s plan.

If approved, Costco would convert 163 of the Lawrence store’s 822 parking spaces into a 22-pump gas station. The store seeks a permit to install three 30,000-gallon storage tanks at the southwest corner of Rockaway Turnpike and Nassau Expressway.

Only members of the store would be allowed use of the gas station, according to Costco’s attorney, Daniel Baker.

The plan would leave the store with 659 spots, less than the town requirement of 775 spots for a store of Costco’s size. John Harter, a traffic consultant for Costco, said during the store’s busiest month in July, 682 spaces are needed. Hempstead’s board of appeals may have to grant Costco a parking variance if the plan goes through.

Costco may be able to extend its lot to 915 spaces with undeveloped land it leases month to month from New York State. A contract for the land expired earlier this year.

5TResident May 08, 2012 at 02:55 PM
This is a bad idea. The traffic around the Costco area is bad enough - the last thing we need is for hulking gasoline trucks to make it worse. There are plenty of gas stations around the Costco area. Unless Costco plans to sell the gasoline at $2 per gallon, there is no need for another one.
Mary Cooper May 08, 2012 at 04:31 PM
This is a great idea as long as it goes with the usuall where members get a discount as compared to prices locally. I do agree with the previous comment and suggest that they adress the issue fully. Although only 682 spots are used during the busy season; that number will increase due to the additional people stopping in for only gas and those not leaving right after shopping to gas up. Those numbers will not apply.
Felicia Ruditz Slavin May 08, 2012 at 04:33 PM
It really depends on the positioning of the gas station. If it were positioned towards the side rear of the Costco lot, it would not make the traffic on Rockaway any worse. Having come from a place where Costco had a gas station, the prices (while not as low as $2/gallon) were definitely better than any other station around. Unless you own a competitive gas station and assuming that Costco can make it work in terms of positioning and the resulting traffic studies, this should be a no brainer.
Mark Cohen May 09, 2012 at 11:21 AM
I agree with 5TResident - it would make traffic on Rockaway Boulevard even worse. And after the work Howard Kopel did to force New York City to retime their lights to ease the bottleneck and improve traffic flow around the 5 Towns Shopping Center a few hundred feet away, a gas station would foul it up again. This doesn't even consider the fact that I counted 6 other gas stations within a mile last night .... adding another one to the mix in a bad location is not the right thing to do.
Alisa Henderson May 09, 2012 at 02:57 PM
I think this would be a great idea. They have a parking lot that isn't being fully utilized. It's not like they are going to build it on Rocakway Turnpike. In addtion to that you would have to be a member of Costco to utilize the the gas stations anyway. They have gas stations like these in Virginia on their property.
ftptch May 09, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Driving in that parking lot is already a disaster with no obstacles. If they open up a gas gas station I'll probably not renew my membership.
steve June 22, 2012 at 02:46 PM
anyone who even drives past the cosco parking lot knows that the whole area on the side of the building along 878 is always empty no matter how busy the store is-there is plenty of room for a cue that would help alleviate traffic not create traffic like the existing stations whose lines regularly back up into Rockwy tpke- bring in competition - lower gas prices are a matter of survival !
Sidney Leventhal September 24, 2012 at 02:30 PM
The opponents to Costco's application for a gas station are probably the same businesses and corporations who opposed the the completion of the Nassau Expressway years ago from its current northern end near the airport all the way to Burnside Ave. This historiccal fact and the present day delay to Costco's wanting to install a gas station on its property in Lawrence belies the Republican's claim to be the free enterprise party.

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