BUSINESS

Should Costco move in?

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Danila Sheveiko hasn’t given up the fight.

His home in Kensington Heights abuts the planned Costco at Westfield Shoppingtown in Wheaton Mall – the site of the old Hecht’s Building – and he and many others feel that the county is giving the popular wholesale club a blank check.

Especially worrisome: Costco wants to put in 16 gas pumps. That means fumes and traffic.

Some are selling their homes. Others are selling their membership to the community swim club. But some officials cite a broader concern – a cash-strapped county giving malls millions to lure a company with already deep pockets.

“There are companies that have come to us and we've said, 'sorry, we don't have money,’” said Marc Elrich, a Montgomery County Councilman. “If we're going to do economic development, there are better things than pouring money into a mall.”

Not all are anti-Costco. Some said the box store is critical to saving a down-in-the-mouth mall. And some are looking forward to cheaper gas.

“The gas stations around here charge way too much money for gas and I have to go over to Beltsville to get gas for 30-40 cents cheaper,” said resident Dick Hospital.

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