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Costco deal continues to pose problems

In an update to a story previously covered on this blog, the New Orleans City Council has taken steps towards resolving the difficult process of approving development arrangements for a new Costco location. Those who are looking into starting a business can take a lesson from both the positive and negative sides of this story.

The facility was set to be built at the location which was formerly the home of the Carrollton Shopping Center, but has run into some problems on the road to development.

Costco is expected to spend nearly $45 million dollars into the location, which will serve its members only. In addition to this new facility, the city intends to invest $2.5 million into improvements to streets, sidewalks, and lights in the area.

Many of the problems with the approval of the proposed development reportedly stem from the rapid fire way in which it was originally approved. Due to the fact that the issue of the development's approval was added on at the last minute, some regulatory compliance issues were overlooked in the process. For example, council members made the decision to remove some provisions recommended by the City Planning Commission prior to reviewing the commission's full report. To make matters worse, city engineers were unprepared at the meeting to discuss the topic in full detail.

This week, the council took the necessary steps to rescind their previous vote and re-vote on the issue. They unanimously approved the development without discussion. This includes re-approving the architectural plans and also agreeing to extend a tax cut to Costco.

For those who are interested in learning from these ongoing negotiations, there are lessons to be noted. There may be economic incentives to those who wisely approach the process of getting their new business approved. Yet, the process of getting a development approved through the various necessary stages can take some legal finesse. In order to be best prepared for the ups and downs of opening a new business, it may be helpful to seek legal assistance from an experienced professional.

Source: Nola.com, "New Orleans City Council wraps up more Costco arrangements," Bruce Eggler, Aug. 9, 2012

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