Port St. Lucie approves deals to bring Costco distribution to town

PORT ST. LUCIE — Costco plans to relocate a distribution facility to Port St. Lucie from West Palm Beach and, city officials said, also may eventually open a warehouse store here.

The identity of the company the city has been courting, to build on nearly 200 acres in Southern Grove, was finally revealed Monday as the City Council approved a package of tax breaks for what had been known as code-name Project Everest.

Major economic-development projects often remain unnamed during negotiations, as permitted by state law.

The distribution facility is expected to break ground in the next six months and be complete in about a year, according to Jennifer Davis, director of the city Community Redevelopment Agency.

The big reveal

While there had been speculation based on the company’s description, Wes McCurry, senior vice president of the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County, left no doubt during his presentation to the council.

“Now, with great pleasure, I’m proud to announce this company is” ― McCurry said before pausing and flipping to a slide of the company logo — “the distribution depot for Costco Wholesale Corp.”

Costco’s current distribution center, at 5851 45th St. in West Palm Beach, will close when the new center opens, said Eric Orren, Costo’s director of real estate. It is one of just 24 regional distribution depots servicing its more than 800 stores.

“We’re looking to relocate our West Palm Beach depot to Port St. Lucie because we’ve maxed out our growth there,” Orren said.

McCurry had previously cited a number of the economic impacts the project would bring. Costco has said the new facility would create 265 full-time jobs with an average wage of $55,350 plus benefits. The Economic Development Council projects economic impact of construction at nearly $85 million, while the impact of the new jobs is estimated at about $198 million annually.

‘Working on some other things’

Mayor Shannon Martin stressed that this facility is a distribution warehouse and not a Costco store, but said the city is still “working on some other things” with company, including a possible retail store.

“We’re trying, very hard to get a retail establishment here, and hopefully that will happen in…

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