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The Daily Tar Heel

Open to big boxes; A big box store could have a lot of bene?ts

Costco definitely won’t be coming to Carrboro, but Chapel Hill is still a viable — and desirable — option. A Costco would be a welcome addition to the local economy, especially given our current situation.

N.C. Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, D-Orange, has fought for a Carrboro Costco for years. She says that Chapel Hill would be an ideal location as well.

Although she has gained notoriety for this topic in the past, Sen. Kinnaird has indicated that she is no longer going to press the issue fiercely.

However, now is a good time to have the last word about how Costco might figure into the town’s future development.

Costco would introduce needed jobs, broaden the tax base, and provide a place to shop closer to home for customers who usually leave town to find similar stores.

And a big box store would bring in much-needed sales tax revenue, lessening the burden on property owners, who pay notoriously high property taxes.

Given all of these potential benefits — customer convenience, increased sales tax revenue, and relief for the jobless — a Costco in Chapel Hill could have much to offer.

Now, nobody wants a big box store on Franklin Street, and understandably so.

But a site a little farther away, such as the potential location across from Southern Village, would make an excellent choice.

A Costco on Eubanks Road would be well within the range of bus lines and very accessible to students who do not have cars.

Expanded food options have been a concern in the past, and a Costco would certainly go far to satisfy part of that need.

The benefits of allowing a big box store to be built near campus far outweigh the costs.

As long as the site is not in the middle of downtown, the community would be much better off.

Sen. Kinnaird has brought unique zeal to this issue for so long. Hopefully, the town remains open to weighing the option in the future.

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