Costco Wholesale, the giant bulk and cut-rate retailer that prides itself on social responsibility, high pay and low turnover, has filed a pre-application to build a 162,785-square-foot store on 18.7 acres east of International Golf Parkway, at 655 World Commerce Parkway. Once built, the store would be within 36 miles of Palm Coast Parkway, considerably closer than the two Jacksonville locations on Gate Parkway and Parramore Road.
Clearly, the geographical location of the store seeks to tap into the Flagler-Palm Coast market as much as the St. Johns market, cutting into the geographical advantage Sam’s Club has enjoyed in Daytona Beach since it opened there in July 2019.
It’s not a done deal: Costco’s pre-application, first reported by the Jacksonville Daily Record, was submitted on Aug. 25 and is pending approval by the St. Johns County Growth Management Department. The application suggests the store will be similar to the ones in Jacksonville, with a tire center, a liquor store and a gas station.
Rumors have long rustled in Palm Coast about a local Costco. In 2011 a Facebook page devoted to bringing a Costco was created, though it didn’t go very far, nor did a petition occasionally found in the lobby of the Government Services Building in Bunnell. But occasional clamors for the store persist.
“The single most asked questions I’ve heard over the 13-plus years of publishing GoToby.com is, ‘When are we going to get a Costco (or Sam’s Club or BJ’S)?’,” Toby Tobin of GoToby wrote last year. “The answer is, ‘Not until we have greater residential and commercial density.'” What was then the relatively new Sam’s Club in Daytona Beach, Tobin explained, “is surrounded by several multi-family zoning districts that allow up to 20 units per acre. Jacksonville, home of the nearest Costco, allows high-density multi-family zones with from 20 to 60 units per acre.”
The proposed complex in St. Augustine would be slightly larger than the average Costco, which carries on average about 4,000 products. The 37-year-old company last year had 546 stores in the United States and more than 200 additional stores worldwide. It employs more than 200 people per store and pays a starting wage of $13 an hour.
The store in St. Augustine would be built on property owned by World Commerce Center LLP, and would be accessible just off of I-95, south of the International Golf Parkway interchange. The two Jacksonville stores opened in 2000 and 2018.
The publicly traded, membership-only company has seen its stock soar since 2009, rising from $44 a share to $373 a share this week, on annual revnue of $163 billion. The coronavirus pandemic has not affected the company: for the nine weeks ending Nov. 1, the company reported net sales of $30.66 billion, a 16.4 percent increase from the comparable time a year ago, and with e-commerce jumping 91 percent.
Costco is also planning a store further south in Martin County, near Stuart, but that plan is drawing some public opposition because of the store’s traffic implications, compounding the effects of an area already experiencing rapid growth.
Only Me says
Why couldn’t the City of Palm Coast and Flagler County Officials have gotten Costco to come to our area? Once again they are failing at any real development for Flagler County.
They just keep building strip malls that remain empty as with apartment buildings with no one to fill them. Take a ride around the area and see the empty storefronts. I can’t make this stuff up it is right in our eyes to see.
Palm Coast Data and that deal Netts negotiated and now they downsized tremendously so that review is also history.
And the list keeps growing.
Aaron Hendricks says
I’ve been trying to relocate there. I cant find any empty apartments. Please help…
Andrew Bilinski says
Palm Coast bureaucrats are called “business preventives”.
Florida Local says
Because we are the only small Florida town left that hasn’t been over run by giant corporations…. Don’t New York my Florida…
Mary Walker says
This has nothing to do with either Flagler or Sþ Johns County. However we have a very needy county just over 23 miĺes from SJC I am speaking of Putnam County, Florida it would be a plus for Costco to take a look . State Road #207 spans from St Augustine one straight shot @3 miles into Putnam County.this are could support a Costco as the ONLY THING WE HAVE NOW IS WALMART. Please just look around you will like the idea.
Stephanie Presley says
Unfortunately I don’t think Costco is seeing the big picture. By putting a Costco where the Super Walmart was suppose to be would be off of Old Kings and SR 100 would be a great place. Costco needs to understand that by establishing in Palm Coast and Flagler County, the business would not only come from Palm Coast but 4 surrounding counties. All of Volusia would drive here as well as Lake, Marion, Putnam, St Johns counties. Costco would have a pool of able bodied employees ready to go. I have been writing Costco for years for them to see and smell the coffee. Our choice as of now is driving to Jacksonville, Ugg, or to Altamonte Springs, double Ugg.
Now they are thinking to put a 3rd Costco on the border of Jacksonville. What’s the”diff”?
I spend about $300.00 a month at Sams Club, this could be money going to Costco and I know I am not alone.
I hope more people get on the band wagon to get Costco see the light.
I heard Costco was going near Tanger outlets Daytona Beach along I-95. I was told by someone I wrote that they will never announce it until the building permits were received. I told the Costco person I was in contact with “If you build it they will come”.
This person said she will have to send my comments over to Ernie who is in the real estate department. I also tried to get Costco into Palm Coast.
St Augustine, it saves miles going to Jacksonville.
Mario Betancourt says
I totally agree with you, but I think it probably be better if located west of I 95 on Moody near Belle Terre. I just moved to Ormand Beach a couple of month ago and I sure miss not having one near by. I joined Sam’s Club but not really thrilled with them. St Augustine will be an improvement but it would still be to far for me. I had one 5 miles from my house and went there on average 3 to 4 times a month.
Tim Thomas says
A Costco in PC would be nice. But it is all about the money. Our average house price is too low. Too many retired on Social Security only. Only 2 upscale housing developments – Hammock Beach and Hammock Dunes. Population is not compelling either – less than 150,000 people. Daytona would have better numbers and a shorter drive than Jax.
Chef Maria says
They have no idea how wonderful it would be to have a beautiful Costco they have the best wholesale prices and real organic food that’s why they are fighting them. Mostly Publix because they don’t want anyone stepping on their toes. Just like Publix took over lucky market. They were the best we loved going there. Now they took it away. They must have offered a good deal. I worked there when it was Food lion and it was closed for many many years, until luckys came along. I really miss that place.
Missed that one. Always the Bridesmaid never the Bride. I agree with the other commenter that would have been a deal for Town Center. Great location plenty of space. FPCs time swill come. Good luck
As mentioned many times in the past few years, Palm Coast/Flagler does not have the population or traffic to warrant a Costco.
Sorry but I won’t drive 72 miles round-trip to save $2 on trash bags.
John Stove says
Wow…if you go to the store to just buy trash bags….wasted trip.
Been Costco member for years and we save at least $100 – $250 every time we go.
Buy in bulk and stock your house and then limit local trips to Publix for fresh produce.
You cannot beat Costco produce, meat, poultry, bread,milk,egg etc prices!!
Plus with gad station you can get cheaper gas.
I’ll Iike Costco so much. I would work there. Golf pkwy too far from volusia
charles koenig says
I agree not saving much with the price of gas to go 72 miles round trip.
I am happy to read this. It’s nice to have the option, even if it’s not as close as one might wish it to be.
I am echoing the comment of blonde, I personally would not drive 72 miles to any cosco, I would love to have them come to palm coast, I love to shop at cosco it’s about time palm coast accommodate certain businesses in there, they could use the revenue instead of over burdening the residences with yearly property taxes.
Love love Costco great!
Roland Alvarado says
Me alegra mucho pues Costco es una gran alternativa cerca de Palm Coast y con Sam’s Club, en Daytona tendremos buenas alternativas para decidir donde ir de compras, “Bravo”
[I’m very happy because Costco is a great alternative near Palm Coast and with Sam’s Club, in Daytona we will have good alternatives to decide where to go shopping, “Bravo”]
And all we get is pizza joints !!!
Nancy N. says
It would be funny if it weren’t just sad how predictable the comments on this article are. It’s like half the people didn’t even read the article about how Costco has actual criteria for where they will put a store and how Palm Coast isn’t even close to meeting them. Yes, it would be amazing to have a Costco in Palm Coast…or have my house magically clean itself…but wishing isn’t going to make either of them happen.
Mr. C says
Nancy you hit the nail on the head. Some people are not going to read the article, just looking for an excuse to complain about the local government.
Been There says
The general public doesn’t understand how sites are selected. The location chosen would draw from a much larger denser population with More wealth. There is nothing Flagler county has that can compete.
If you had a product to sell would you go to a market of 60,000 people or would you go to a market of 500,000 people?
Logistics also plays a huge part in the decision. Flagler County has no pad ready sites within a mile of an Interstate. Truck accessibility and site visibility are key.
Infrastructure and labor market are driving factors. The workforce is weak here. Less than half the population Flagler county is in the labor market. On top of that we have a commissioner who wants to export our workforce to other counties.
No business wants to locate in Flagler county when they see the dysfunction that is played out in the press here over and over and over again.
Your commission is not economic development friendly. Look at what they did disbanding economic development. Who knows, maybe Costco was in talks with Flagler county economic development and all those conversations stopped went to EOS he was disbanded and the remaining full-time economic development employee was told she was no longer recruiting, that it is the Commissioners who should be selling the county.
This! Notice how once Tanger was built the Volusia mall went under! from a traveling perspective the 4 Flagler county exits are easy to pass up, not excluding the SR-100 exit, that looks like a typical washed up southern interstate exit!
Married Dude says
Doing a quick Google Maps comparison, Sam’s Club is still closer, and I live on the north side of Palm Coast. I don’t see too many people from Flagler County patronizing this new Costco.
For those calling for one here in Flagler County, it would be great and wonderful, but the population here just does not support one (yet).
A Concerned Observer says
Isn’t there an advocate in Flagler County Government whose responsibility it is to actively solicit businesses to build here? A local Costco store would enhance the quality of life to its residents; make it a more attractive choice for people to move here and with the huge possibility of additional revenue to the county from shoppers coming to Flagler County to shop at a Costco? If there is, he or she is sorely failing Flagler County residents.
Palm Coast alone may not have the residential or small business population to support a Costco by itself, but it’s location would be central to greater St Augustine and Daytona, or just about equal to the drive from St Augustine to one of the Jacksonville Costco locations. Town Center would be the logical location to offer the Costco Corporation. It is central to the local population with plenty of room for parking, easy access to Interstate 95, and have minimal traffic impact on our local roads. All-in-all, this would seem to be a no-brainer. How did St. Augustine win and Flagler County lose out on this opportunity?
The site in question is North of St Augustine. I think it’s effectively a third Jacksonville location intended to stretch that market farther south. Not uncommon for Costco to bracket a significant city with locations at all four points of the compass.
Sounds a bit unusual. If you go 36 miles north on I-95 you are about another 20 miles away from another existing COSTCO. Two COSTCOs twenty miles apart?
Natalie Uccio-Mcleer says
Thank God finally a Coscto. Palm Coast. Is behind the times . Get with it. Now we need a trader Joe’s. Longhorns would be good to.
Pacita Ortiz says
Yes hoping we can have more restaurants to dine in Longhorn Red Lobsters Bone Fish more high end like Columbia Restaurant in St Augustine and good Japanese and Chinese restaurants
For special celebrations can dine in Happy we got an Aldi cheaper than Publix
Came to PC in 2/17. I wrote to Costco Corporate to suggest US 1 and I-95; exit 298. Just north of Flagler County line but in St Johns. When it comes to Costco, “ build it and they will come”.
Call me a lazy SOB. When the time comes, I sit in my living room, punch up a few keys on my smart phone, and bingo! Two days later, the Amazon truck shows up with toilet paper, hand towels, garbage bags, etc, etc….No round trip anywhere! But yeah! If a Costco shows up, I may visit. Sometimes you have to leave your house.
Stephanie Presley says
They have delicious hotdogs
Donna Rechichar says
I love Costco I lived in Miami for ten years and enjoyed going to the one on Biscayne ..
Holiday always were so special for they carried amazing items.
King Crab Legs.. beautiful gifting items.
I wish you were coming to Daytona not everyone shop the big box stores.
But I have my favorite and I certainly would shop Costco vs the others.
Sad to see it’s going to be in St Augustine I don’t see the traffic there vs Daytona…
I will not be driving that far..
How disappointed I am for I was a member for years
I also used the Travel guide renting a car was the cheapest of all the rental company.
Charlene Lashinsky says
If Costco wont build in palmcoast why not a bjs
NICOLE REIDY says
Costco is missing the giant growth in the Daytona/Ormond area. Closest Costco is an hour away including this one proposed in St Augustine. Come to Daytona!!
After living in Miami, San Francisco and Dallas all three had Costco locations within the area understood that these were larger cities , but the population here between Flager, Volusia and South St John’s would support a Costco. Driving to Jacksonville 70 miles plus each way crazy. If they don’t do this will cancel memberships ( nice stock to own though) .
P. Lynch says
I relocated to Marion County from a northeastern state with Costco and BJs within 20 miles of my house. Had memberships with both stores for many years.
Now, the nearest Costco is 83+ miles one way, and BJs is 72 miles one way from my house. Too far to travel. I’ve already canceled Costco membership. Will soon cancel BJs membership. Although I can order online, I cannot order perishable foods, including pastries, fruits, vegetables, bulk meats/poultry, & many other items online. What’s the point of continued membership? I don’t care for Sam’s Club, so I spend my time and money between Publix and Good Earth. At times, I even travel to Gainesville’s Whole Foods Market. Wholesome food, even though it costs a little more…worth it.
JoAnn Hester says
I have been waiting for Costco to come to Palm Coast. Take a ride around Towne Center and the Theater. Many new condos and apartments have gone up. A new hospital will soon be built to assist all the population. Boston Whaler is coming to Palm Coast and put many people to work at good salaries. We have the room to build. Flood town hall with your request. I will gladly give up my membership at Sams.
Patricia Ng says
I have contacted Costco in the past about a Costco in Palm Coast and was told it all about the demographics and my answer to that was “if you build it they will come”. The person who I was in contact saicd she was sending my comment to Ernie who is in the real estate dept.
Costco have one in jax. Will build in St. Augustine? Ridiculously because it closer from and to jax and St. Augg.
Best place to build is in Town Center on SR100 because it right in the middle. In build in Daytona beach, it would hurt Sam’s club business. That why it best to build either one in Town Center or on US1.
Just a thought…