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LAKE FOREST, IL-A decision on a controversial plan to build a Costco store in the Conway Park office complex could come as early as next month. City officials will hold another public hearing on Field Partners’ project, slated on a 40-acre parcel north of Route 60 along the Tri-State Tollway, on Aug. 1.

Among opponents to Costco are the Chicago Bears, whose offices and training facility are located just east of the development site, owned by the Dalitsch family. City officials, who note they have been criticized in the past for allowing revenue-producing developments go elsewhere, note a Costco could generate $19.2 million in net revenue over the next 15 years. They also note a 600,000-sf office development could be built on the site, which would generate more traffic. An average Costco generates annual sales of $115 million, according to a study commissioned by the city.

Costco, which has outlets in Glenview and Lake Zurich, has 1,500 members in Lake Forest households. If the company is turned down in this North Shore suburb, alternative locations could include nearby Green Oaks or Vernon Hills.

A study commissioned by the city concludes a Costco would not cannibalize sales from existing businesses in the suburb’s Downtown area. “Downtown Lake Forest is already positioned as a high quality, high selection, high service shopping cluster that very successfully competes with existing value-oriented operations like Costco,” according to Evanston-based Business Districts, Inc.

The city also may relocate some municipal operations to the Costco site, which now is within the village of Mettawa’s corporate limits. The city council could vote on annexing the land and the Costco development at its Aug. 1 meeting.

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