ST. CLOUD - Costco is moving into town. St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis has confirmed that Costco is the major retailer planning to move into the Heritage park land. It will be built between Highway 15 and 33rd Avenue South, just to the south of 2nd Street South/County Road 75.

He says they are still working on a purchase agreement, and are in the final negotiating stages to sell the 18 acres of land. The price for the land has not been revealed yet.

Kleis says the project will still need to be approved by various boards and commissions, before final approval from the city council. That process should begin as soon as next month. Costco's developers are not asking for any TIF money. But, the land will need to be rezoned.

Kleis says he is confident you'll be able to shop at Costco in St. Cloud by Christmas time next year.

The project appeared to be in jeopardy earlier this month when the Stearns County Board voted against a request to reconfigure that section of 2nd Street South/County Road 75. But, Kleis says the developers representing Costco have agreed to move ahead with their plans anyway.

The city plans to use the money from the sale of the land to buy additional parkland in southeast St. Cloud.

Costco's arrival is expected to generate an additional $400,000 in property taxes and $200,000 in half-cent sales tax for the city.

Costco has eight stores already in Minnesota, including in Baxter and Maple Grove.