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Here’s the latest on the new Costco store in East Manatee

Permits in hand, stage set for Costco to go vertical

Manatee County has issued the building permits to allow the Costco project at Heritage Harbour to go vertical. Intensive site preparation work was underway this week.
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Manatee County has issued the building permits to allow the Costco project at Heritage Harbour to go vertical. Intensive site preparation work was underway this week.

The State Road 64 -Interstate 75 interchange has attracted the most attention of any intersection in Manatee County during the past year, and it’s not just because of $39.1 million in improvements there.

It’s because a Costco wholesale warehouse is planned on the northeast corner of the interchange, approved as part of the 293,328-square-foot The Landings at Heritage Harbour commercial development.

“What’s the latest on Costco?” is a question readers frequently ask.

The latest is that site preparation work is underway.

A representative in Costco’s Southeast Regional Office said Friday that the Bradenton store is expected to open this summer, but a date is not available.

John Musson, a Heritage Harbour resident, has watched the project develop since the first site clearing commenced, and wished Costco would be more transparent in it plans.

“Costco is using our Heritage Harbour entrance to access their retail plaza. Least they can do is give us an update,” Musson said.

In addition to quietly ramping up development of the new store, Costco reps have been out in the community, recruiting new members, most recently at an art show in Lakewood Ranch.

Building permits were issued on Feb. 3 for the wholesale warehouse, fuel tanks and fuel dispensers at 805 Lighthouse Drive.

Still pending approval are plans for signage.

In a letter dated Nov. 9, Jim Rigo, Manatee County’s principal planner for the project, advised Kimley-Horn, a planning, engineering, and design consulting firm, that Phase 2 of The Landings Project at Heritage Harbour had been approved.

The approval, which covers the Costco wholesale warehouse, was for three retail buildings, and eight gas pumps.

“This approval shall expire after four years. Prior to this expiration, the developer may pursue building permits,” the letter says.

Heritage Harbour residents who walk or cycle around the large lake that borders the construction site have a view of work underway behind a green screen and chain-link fence.

Although no walls have been constructed, curbs, and lighting have been installed on parts of the property.

Once Costco starts to go vertical with its warehouse, progress should be swift, usually about four months to completion. To date, Costco has had no comment on the project, sticking to its policy of declining comment until the warehouse is within three months of opening.

Meanwhile, work continues on the S.R. 64-I-75 interchange.

The Florida Department of Transportation advised this week that crews are paving and striping State Road 64 and the ramps, installing sod, and completing drainage work. The improvements are part of the project to reconstruct the interchange, widen interchange ramps and State Road, and install sidewalks and bicycle lanes on State Road 64. Estimated completion is late 2019.

FDOT is advising motorists that, weather permitting:

  • The State Road 64 eastbound and westbound ramps to I-75 southbound will be closed Wednesday, March 27, during the overnight hours from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Motorists may go to I-75 northbound to Exit 224/U.S. 301 and return to the interstate southbound; or, use local routes.
  • The I-75 northbound off-ramp to State Road 64 will be closed Thursday, March 28, during the overnight hours from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Motorists may exit at Exit 217/State Road 70 and use local roads; or, continue to Exit 224/U.S. 301 and return to the interstate southbound; or, use local routes.
  • One lane closure in each direction on State Road 64 may occur during the overnight hours between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. throughout the project.
  • One lane closure in each direction on I-75 may occur during the overnight hours between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. throughout the project.
  • Variable message signs will be in place to alert drivers that work is underway. Drivers should use caution while traveling in this area.
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