Costco has its building permit from the City of Orillia.
The company earlier this week picked up the permit.
"The last hurdle Costco needed (to clear) before they could commence work is they needed a permit from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change regarding their gas bar, which is part of the project," explained Mayor Steve Clarke. "That all really came together in the last number of days and allowed them to come in and pick up their building permit."
He anticipates there to be some activity on the University Avenue site as early as a week from now.
"I think they're quite eager to get going," said Clarke. "I would suggest (a groundbreaking) will happen before the end of July. They have made a request to the city to cordon off part of a lane on University Avenue so they can have some equipment or construction trailers there to help with the build."
Orillia has not had a development project of this scale for a long time, Clarke noted, and with the giant retailer coming in, the mayor expects it will take some property-tax pressure off of residents.
"We believe and hope there will be some other projects and retailers that may want to come and co-locate with Costco," he said. "They're quite a drawing card. They'll bring in people from all areas, north or south, and other retailers will look at that with interest."
Another advantage Clarke hopes Costco will bring to the city: more jobs.
"Initially, I think, about a third of those would come out of their Barrie office for training and continuity purposes, but that still leaves about 175 jobs for people in this area," he said.
Despite the permit having been picked up, Kelly Smith, the city's chief building official, could not confirm what Costco's building schedule would be until the company calls the city for the first inspection. That would take place before the first load of concrete is poured, she said. Digging, however, can commence without inspection.