The opening was not without a whole lot of drama; First off, Price Club had initially signed a deal with Joe Ramia to construct their new warehouse beside the already built Gallery 1 in Highfield Park. The finality deal had a line in it that said final approval was contingent on approval from Price Clubs Board of Directors. However, before that approval, another deal was stuck with the City of Halifax. What a different scene it would have been for the future of Highfield, Dartmouth Crossing and Bayers Lake. Ramia 5 years later received an undisclosed out of court settlement.
The second controversy then stemmed from the land deal with the former City of Halifax. The City bought a 16-hectare piece of land at the time referred to as the Lacewood Extension for $3.2M and then paid $2.1M to pave and prepare the land. They sold 5.7 hectares to Price Club for $1.65M
After the store was finished, the property assessment was set at $5.5M (the Province initially assessed the property at $2.64M, but the City appealed) Their 2017 property assessment is set at $10.8M. The Downtown Halifax Business Commission also questioned why the City was pouring $27.5M total to develop what is now Bayers Lake and investing an additional $19M over five years.
(If you want to figure out in 2017 the inflation calculator from 1992 to now is ~1.55)
The third controversy was resistance, the Urban Development Institute (developers) and Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (Sobeys, IGA, Loblaws) leading the charge. The latter was telling the public that Price Club would be hiring 250 people at minimum wage with no benefits. Today we know Costco is known as one of the best retail employers with good pay, benefits and staff retention.