Costco finally could be getting its OK next week to build in Stuart
STUART — Costco has wanted a store in Martin County for some seven years. Its fate finally could be decided next week.
The City Commission is to decide Aug. 9 on final approval for the 49-acre project on South Kanner Highway. The vote is coming more than two months after the commission’s first public discussion, which was drawn out until after 2 a.m.
If developer Joe Marino of M&M Realty Partners addresses the commission’s list of more than a dozen requested changes, the project — comprising a Costco warehouse store, 18-pump gas station, 398-unit apartment complex and retail and restaurant space — could be built south of Martin County High School and Lychee Tree Nursery.
The 4 p.m. meeting was moved from City Hall to Blake Library in anticipation of a large crowd. Public comment will begin at 5 p.m. before the development is discussed, said City Manager David Dyess.
Previously:Costco project, with 398 apartment units, gets first approval from Stuart
Proposed Costco in Stuart draws public comment at Local Planning Agency meeting
Stuart planners give conditional OK to proposed Costco project
The commission in May unanimously gave its first approval, as long as developers:
- Reduce the number of apartments by 5% and use the area for green space.
- Rename a proposed road through the project, now referred to as Costco Boulevard, to “something more appropriate for Stuart.” It would connect South Kanner Highway and Southeast Willoughby Boulevard.
- Add fountains to the proposed lakes and an art piece at the proposed roundabout on the connector road
- Provide an in-depth breakdown of tree plantings
Proponents and opponents have been active on Facebook and other social media in recent weeks, pleading for the public to reach out to city commissioners and make their opinions known.
The Costco store would create 150-175 jobs, paying $16-$27 per hour. Apartment rents would be at least $1,400 a month for a one-bedroom and $1,800 for a two-bedroom.
A Costco Wholesale Corp. representative did not respond to a request for comment. The company does not comment on new locations that are more than three months away from opening, according to its website.
Developer Marino and his attorney Bob Raynes declined to comment.
Linda Kay Richards, one of two opponents making a formal presentation Monday, said she wants the public to look at its full scope, not just the Costco store.
“The Costco is just one little aspect of it,” Richards said. “We need people to know it’s not over.”
She and others against the project have cited concerns such as destruction of wetlands, increased traffic and a loss of Stuart’s quality of life and small-town feel.
On Facebook, supporters on the “Martin County Welcomes Costco to Stuart” page say the project would add to the city tax base, create jobs and benefit local business owners.
Lina Ruiz is TCPalm’s watchdog reporter for Martin County. You can reach her at [email protected], on Twitter @Lina_Ruiz48 or at 321-501-3845.
Tags: Costco – Costco finally could be getting its OK next week to build in Stuart