By The Associated Press
July 31, 2012
NEW ORLEANS — The City Council signed off Thursday on a package of financial incentives for the planned Costco warehouse store in the city’s Carrollton area.
The incentives, which could total nearly $6 million, include infrastructure improvements and tax breaks.
The measures, backed by Mayor Mitch Landrieu, were approved unanimously.
Officials said Costco plans to invest $45 million in the 148,000-square-foot store, its first in Louisiana.
The membership-only facility will occupy the vacant 14.7-acre site of the former Carrollton Shopping Center near the campus of Xavier University. Like other Costco stores nationwide, it will sell general merchandise and food and will have a pharmacy, tire center and gas station.
Costco officials, who hope to open the store in summer 2013, originally requested $9 million in incentives, but the administration and the New Orleans Business Alliance agreed to provide no more than $5.775 million.
Included is $3.3 million in tax breaks to help pay for site elevation needed to meet federal flood mitigation requirements.
Earlier this month, the council approved architectural plans for the project, removing or modifying some provisos recommended by the City Planning Commission that company officials had opposed. In the most important change, the council agreed to let Costco have 670 on-site parking spaces, well above the 499 the commission recommended.