FeaturedNewsOconee Observations

Costco Is Coming to Epps Bridge Parkway

The Oconee County Industrial Development Authority on Tuesday agreed to issue $16 million in bonds and waive property taxes for 15 years to entice Costco to locate in Epps Bridge Centre II.

The Board of Commissioners followed by agreeing to cover the costs of the bonds, since the Industrial Development Authority has no ability to raise taxes on its own.

Courtney Bernardi, president of the Oconee Chamber of Commerce, which is handling development work for the county, told the authority and commission members that Costco plans to build a 155,000 square-foot store with almost 700 parking spaces on 23 acres now owned by Frank Bishop, the developer of the Epps Bridge Centre complex.

The store, which could open in May or June of 2022, would employ 250 to 275 persons and generate $94 million annually in sales in its first year of operation, she said. By 2030, the expected sales would be $150 million, she said.

County Attorney Daniel Haygood, using a $100 million as an annual sales figure, said the county would be compensated fully for the needed bond payments by the $1 million in Local Option Sales Tax revenue the store would generate.

That would leave $1 million in Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenue for the county, $1 million for the county’s schools through the Education Local Option Sales Tax and another $1 million for county transportation spending if voters approve that new tax in November, he said.

Late on Tuesday evening, Bernardi put out a news release saying “Costco is coming to Oconee County.” The press release contained a statement from a Costco spokesperson saying, “We are excited to be joining the Oconee community”

For more, visit Oconee County Observations.