Bradenton-area Costco takes shape, as opening rapidly approaches
Costco announced this week that it expects to open its first Bradenton-area store in August.
To achieve that projected opening, much work remains to complete the vast, sprawling steel skeleton of the wholesale warehouse at 805 Lighthouse Dr.
Walls, roofing, electrical work and plumbing, to say nothing of stocking the store with merchandise and food products, await the construction crew and the staff of the new store.
The Costco is part of a 300,000-square-foot project called the Market Place at Heritage Harbour near the northeast corner of the intersection of State Road 64 and Interstate 75.
What will go into the rest of the space hasn’t been announced, but it is anticipated that it would include name brands such as Chipolte, Panera Bread and Hair Cuttery, to name a few.
Joseph D, Morris, senior vice president for leasing and marketing for M&M Realty Partners of Piscataway, N.J., declined to name projected tenants, saying it is too early in the process.
“At this time we do not have anything beyond pleasant discussions with such operators whereby potential interest has been expressed,” Morris said in an email.
But best-in-class name-brand retail and restaurant operations are among those M&M is interested in pursuing, he said.
“Our more significant focus has been centered on the large box tenants and we are only just finishing our design of the portion of the project,” he said.
“Many of the names mentioned could, and in some cases will likely change. It is for this reason why we are often reluctant to name or comment on prospect tenants in any of our projects until leases are executed and construction is reasonably underway,” Morris said.
Manatee County issued building permits Feb. 3 for the Costco wholesale warehouse, fuel tanks and fuel dispensers. But until the company posted the opening date on its website this week, it had never acknowledged that it was opening a store in Bradenton.
That irked some residents who complained about Costco’s lack of transparency.
“Costco is using our Heritage Harbour entrance to access their retail plaza. Least they can do is give us an update,” Heritage Harbour resident John Musson said in March.
More recently, Jake Miklo, another Heritage Harbour resident, said he is still unhappy with the number of trees taken down for the project and other impacts on the environment.
“I am not anti-development, but you would think the developer would want to appease the neighbors,” Miklo said.
Miklo remains unhappy that shoppers will have to enter Heritage Harbour via Grand Harbour Parkway to reach Costco, rather than being able to access it directly from State Road 64.
Even so, Miklo said he is not anti-Costco and plans to shop at the new store when it opens.
“I’ll go get my wine over there and my six-month supply of Oreos,” he said.