Let me clarify, once and for all, that yes, in a few months, construction will begin on a new Costco at the site currently occupied by the former Mount Vernon Cinema, otherwise known as the “Gooey-Plex.” You remember the MV Cinema, don’t ya? That’s the one where a where a grand opening for an Oscar-winning movie might attract a Brownie troop and a few senior citizens looking to take advantage of their AARP discount cards.
For years, as the rumors were flying that the Cinema would soon be closing, there were a lot of behind the scenes discussions going on about who might be interested in taking over the property. There was talk about a new Wegmans, but they ultimately decided to locate at the corner of Telegraph Road and Beulah over in Springfield. Then, our old buddies at WalMart expressed interest in expanding their current store to that site, which would make it a Double-Super-Duper WalMart. Then, we heard that there was some talk about a residential complex or a town center, but those ideas just never panned out.
And now we’re stuck with Costco — another box store.
Of course, when I say “stuck” it means that I am, at the best, very ambivalent about a new Costco. Personally, I enjoy (“enjoy” might not be the exact word I’m looking for) shopping at Costco once I’m inside. I appreciate the cheap prices, good vegetables, the salmon, and the cheap golf balls to replace the ones that are at the bottom of the pond in front of the 16th hole at the Mount Vernon Country Club. And, if the entire Seventh Fleet is coming over for lunch, I can get a lot of mayonnaise for a great price.
On the other hand, here comes more traffic, folks! You all know what that area is like on a regular Saturday afternoon. Now, double it. Imagine all of those people coming from the south trying to make a left hand turn into the parking lot. Patrons sitting in the booths at Elsie's, nibbling on the special of the day (“Macaroni and Cheese sandwich for $2.99!") will get a great view of the gridlock.
Our local Supervisors, Gerry Hyland and Jeff McKay (the property is technically in Jeff’s district) are not thrilled with this development. They both would have preferred something a little more upscale than another box store. But they were getting barraged from constituents who grew weary of watching the theater fall further into disrepair and there weren’t many other options on the table. So, it was a Hobson’s Choice for them. (Finally - I’ve always wanted to use the term “Hobson’s Choice” in a column!)
So, if you need to buy enough cans of pork and beans to recreate the campfire scene in “Blazing Saddles,” Costco is your place! If your hubby needs another 13 flannel shirts to wear during the playoff games, hurry on down to Costco! And, if you are already sick and tired of the parking lot that is Route One, buck up.
It’s gonna get worse.