National warehouse club chain Costco is planning to open its third store in the Sarasota-Manatee market.
The latest location is in Wellen Park, a master-planned community in south Sarasota County. Wellen Park currently has some 9,500 residents, and at full buildout will have more than 50,000 residents and 22,500 homes within three districts: West Villages, Downtown Wellen and Playmore.
The new Costco, according to a statement, will be on U.S. 41, east of West Villages Parkway. “We are thrilled to welcome Costco to Wellen Park,” Wellen Park President Rick Severance says in a statement. “This is an incredible addition for our residents, as they have been very encouraged about what Costco will provide for them.”
Costco joins a list of other businesses continuing to fill out the U.S. 41 corridor along Wellen Park, including Bayside Pet Resort, which opened in early October; The Medical Center at Wellen Park, a three-story 75,000-square-foot medical office; and new additions coming to the Publix-anchored Marketplace plaza.
Costco, from $1.50 hot dogs to luxury reclining chairs, has a cult-like following and often draws big opening crowds. It sells everything from groceries and housewares to sporting goods, TVs, office supplies and automotive supplies. The Wellen Park store will include a gas station and full automotive service center.
The first Sarasota Costco opened in 2012 on the site of the former Dillard’s department store at the Sarasota Square Mall. A Costco in Bradenton, just east of the Interstate 75 State Road 64 exit, opened in 2019.
In addition to offering Wellen Park residents another shopping option, Costco will also come with job opportunities, Wellen Park officials say, from entry level to management. “With all of the development activity in and around Wellen Park, job creation has been a big focus,” says Severance in the release. “There are over 500 people now employed in Downtown Wellen and with Costco opening up nearby, there will be hundreds of new job opportunities for our residents.”