That’s how Jay Gardner, the Flagler County property appraiser, describes it: “A big-box type thing, it’ll be something that everyone in the county will be happy about.” The big store will anchor a commercial development with restaurants and other out-parcel type businesses planned for the land fronting the south side of State Road 100, from just east of Bulldog Drive, going toward the RaceTrac station near Seminole Woods Boulevard.
Gardner knows about the plan–which is still in the due diligence phase–not because he’s part of it, but because he owns the acreage he is selling in order for the plan to go forward. The developer is Matthew Development, the Melbourne-based company that’s developed big stores, restaurants and convenience businesses like Publix, Petco, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, Walmart, BJ’s (the wholesale club), Wawa and self-storage businesses. Gardner wouldn’t wouldn’t say which one it’ll be, having been sworn to secrecy for now. The company intends to have a decision on the property by December.
Since the article originally published, we have since learned on Tuesday that the big box will be a wholesale club. There are only three such clubs–Sam’s, Costco and BJ’s. Sam’s is in Daytona, Costco is building in St. Augustine and Palm Coast doesn’t have the population density to support either which, by elimination, appears to leave BJ’s as the mystery store to come.
Gardner, under the company name of Flagler Pines LLC, owned the State Road 100-fronting parcel that became Airport Commons, the shopping center that now includes a Planet Fitness and Smoothie King opposite Wawa and Bulldog Drive. Gardner sold that parcel in 2019 for $800,000. He’s only planning to sell part of the 40-acre parcel to the east. In the same stretch along 100, he still owns 39 acres under the name of Flagler Pines and 24 acres under the name of Flagler Airport Industrial.
The plan is coming to light because Matthew Property is applying for a zoning change on both parcels that seeks to switch 40 acres of them from their current agriculture zoning to industrial, a surprising change in the heart of Palm Coast–though that Airport enclave and vast lands surrounding it still remain part of the county, not the city. The zoning application is going before the Flagler County Planning Board Tuesday evening.
“Years ago they were going to change it to industrial, for me, we went through this long drawn out process,” Gardner said. The process stopped when doubts arose about Palm Coast’s position regarding the rezoning. But the rezoning would be consistent with the county’s Future Land Use designation. In other words, it theoretically would not conflict with the long-term intentions of land use there. But there are over a dozen reasons listed in Flagler County’s code that could prevent the switch if the county finds that the rezoning fails to meet certain criteria, from resulting in the loss of “significant amounts of functional open spaces” to creating “isolated or ribbon patterns” of development. The rezoned designation must also be compatible with its surroundings, according to county code.
In this case, Gardner sees the rezoning as enabling commercial development along State Road 100, and either commercial or industrial development “in the back, which wouldn’t bother anybody, the airport certainly wouldn’t care.” But the type of industrial development is not clear. A few years ago the county and a business owner had planned a manufacturing plant on the grounds of the airport itself, much further south than SR100, a plan that drew then Gov. Rick Scott’s attention (and presence) and was billed as heralding 300 jobs. None of it happened. But it was a reminder that industrial uses in land surrounding the airport have been considered.
The county’s staff report states: “Intended development of this parcel is for Industrial development. The owner proposes to allow development of the parcel with multiple uses. The Industrial zoning allows for a range of uses.” The development plan appears contingent on the rezoning going through. The planning department is not making a recommendation, leaving it up to the planning board.
Adam Mengel, the county’s planning director, said the development is likely to annex into Palm Coast, which will be providing water and sewer. Mengel said the zoning change is consistent with a land use amendment that passed a few years ago. “This is the zoning catching up to that land use amendment,” he said.
The rezoning is scheduled to be heard at 6 p.m. at Tuesday’s planning board meeting, then at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 13 before the Flagler County Commission. Gardner could say when construction would begin, if the deal goes through. “They’re pretty close. I actually feel pretty good about it,” he said. “I think they’re going to move forward, as long as the economy keeps humming.”
This is ridiculous. With so much land off of US1 West and North of Palm Coast why are we cramming somemming so much in this little town’s Palm Coast Parkway and 100 area. The overbuilding in Palm Coast is getting out of hand and we need to start moving West and North. Before you know it we will be as big as Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville.
John Stove says
You build shopping areas close to where people live not “out in the country”
Tony Mack says
Clearly you’ve not driven US1 lately. There are more than 2100 homes being built just east of Old Kings and another development being built on Belle Terre near the fire station and the schools.
There is massive growth going on in this area so much so that Publix is going to build another store near the high school. Yes, US1 should see further development…
Keeping my fingers crossed for a Sprouts or Tracer Joe’s. We had both back in Tampa and they’re awesome!!
Maybe because Mr Gardner doesn’t own any land there?
Call me Big Red says
BJ’s!!! And can we get a Trader Joe’s, please?!!!!!!!!!!
We have Aldi, we likely won’t get a Trader Joe’s, as they try not to compete for market, as they’re related companies back in their homeland.
So disgusting what this town has become. Orlando twins!!
Frank Wierenga says
Well if Disney builds here I would agree with you.
South Side Resident says
Please don’t be Wal-Mart.
Agree no more Walmarts. Please be a BJ’s and a Home Goods – there are no stores in palm coast for home decorating
A Costco would be great
John Stove says
100% agree with you….we go to the Jax one. The new one being built in World Golf Village area pretty sure means we wont get one but with the county growing who knows???!!
Oh goody, more crappy retail jobs. I’d really like to see more professional development here in pitiful Palm Coast, but I guess that’s too much to ask of this town.
You can thank the progressives for this crap. They ruined their northern cities so bad they chased massive amount of their population to leave the northern blight and move south.
Uh … Hahahahahahaha omg
Annette Bower says
Agree, ignorance showing here.
jim lang says
The will rezone it. Greed, greed and more greed. The rezoning board could care less what the people want or don’t want.
A Super Walmart would be great. The one we have now is the worse I’ve ever been to. Costco is coming to World Golf Village and Sam’s is close on LPGA Blvd. in Daytona and BJ’s is no bargain.
Marion Hensman says
A Costco would be much better than BJ’s. I was a member at BJ’s for less than a year. This store is no comparison to Costco. Trader Joe’s would be nice too, but I’m thinking that’s never going to happen in my lifetime.
We don’t want it! I couldn’t find you one person in this county that wants a big box store. This county is becoming gross and saturated. The last this we need is to build more useless big box stores with crappy jobs. Is this the plan for Flagler County? So sad to this place fail and fall from what it could have been
John Stove says
You need to read the comments, seems like a lot of us want it ( including me) and I live in the county
Annette Bower says
Many do not want massive over-development of residential and big box developers. This complaint is showing in many articles about the massive development proposed. Big box development is a plight on the land, on nature and on everyone’s quality of life that lives here. This massive development will destroy this area; have you seen the grid-lock on our roads lately? No planning whatsoever is being done. We do not have the infrastructure to support this massive development proposed. After the major overload on the roads; then they will decide we need larger roads to support the growth. You throw in major road construction after the growth has happened and you have a massive nightmare for the residents of Palm Coast and Flagler County. Like I said; absolutely no planning is being done by Flagler County or the City of Palm Coast. The residents will suffer terribly from the incompetence.
Wrong mark. Just wrong
More crowds, more people, more death and disease.
Sandi Pressley says
Costco and Trader Joe’s would make me happy
I think that one of the reasons we don’t get nicer stores to shop in is because so many people are shopping online all the time and the on site stores can’t compete so they close and Amazon becomes richer and the money we spend with them doesn’t wind up in our community. So we are sort of doing it to ourselves by not supporting local business much. Not just here, but everywhere.
There are FB pages and hundreds in Palm Coast have signed. Please go there or to Trader Joe’s website and tell them.The more signed the better chance
Just a thought says
For those that do not want development like this, I suggest you buy this land and keep it as is. My guess is this was zoned agriculture when Flagler County was a small community of farmers and 100 was a two lane road. As Palm Coast grows, so does the needs of residents and an educated guess is most the complainers are not native to Flagler County. Did you think building would stop the moment you arrived? Progress happens.
Annette Bower says
LOL! Sadly, the majority of people living in Flagler County are not native to Flagler County or Florida for that matter.
I hope it’s a Race Trac or Kangaroo. They seem to thrive here. :)
A dual dollar tree/dollar general would be great! Do they build super dollar general or super dollar trees?
Let’s throw in a couple nail salons too and we’ll be good to go!
Land of no turn signals says says
Don’t want anymore crap built here but if you have to which it seems, how about a whole foods.Tired of the over price with one on every corner Publix.
Costco or Trader Joe’s please! I’d take a Whole Foods too while we’re dreaming.
Bought land in Palm Coast in 1972, but was never able to build. Mentioned at that time, it was to be as large as Detroit and we all know how that city is fairing lately.
We have vacationed in PC just about every year. This last trip to on Palm Coast Parkway was just too much with congestion trying to get to crazy Walmart or Publix! Ended up crossing toll bridge to small Publix on A1A.
Have never traveled past Walmart to see what’s further up the road, but know there needs to be more shops/stores available north of the European Village.
Land in Daytona North in Bunnell had loaded promises as well that’s been overlooked and undeveloped.
Just my two cents from up North.
Am I reading correctly? Does Jay Gardner own that land.? Since he is property appraiser there seems to be some conflict of interest her.
Lizbeth Alberts says
We need a light coming out of Madison Green apartments next to Tom Gibbs Chevrolet right in the middle of their traffic is gotten overbearing there’ve been quite a few accidents there and it is very very dangerous
herewegoagain . says
Yes, indeed, more traffic lights, more stop signs, more traffic & congestion ..
OH and a BIG hotel in downtown Flagler Beach
and Strip malls lining Hwy 100 also ..
herewegoagain . says
MY only hope is someone makes me an offer on my home that I can’t refuse,
so I can go live in a Retirement home, sit in a wheelchair with a lap blanket
and look at the Ocean .
I want to out of the madness coming to Palm Coast & Flagler Beach
Spoiler alert . It’s a Costco . I work for corporate and we are ready to start breaking ground very soon .
our city wasn’t built to handle this, and pretty soon they’re gonna have to start knocking down forrests and houses. we only got 2 major east to west thourough-fares, and citation still isn’t really cutting it. they’re clearcutting swathes of land for no reason, right before a recession. It would cost them 6 million to continue citation onto old kings road, and thats including a bridge. but instead they want to tear down and rebuild a 2 million dollar splash pad 5 times and advocate about “SaViNg WaTeR” and neglect a large niche that has to be filled. they refuse to redo rymfire and wadworth skatepark, and doing so could bring an incredible amount of revenue to the area. Nobody wants to stay hear, and Im a senior in highschool, and the general consensus is that Palm Coast sucks. all we can do is go to dry lake and go mudding and make our own fun. thats why everybody flocks to daytona and st. augustine when they’re looking for something worthwhile to do.
What is the outcome of the zoning meeting? Is BJ’S going to be built?
Agreed – I would love to know the follow up to the article or see an updated version published. Thanks!