Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Costco Eyeing Southside Wholesale Club Files Request for Rezoning

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Costco Eyeing Southside Wholesale Club Files Request for Rezoning

Article excerpt

Costco Wholesale Corp., the nation's leading wholesale club based on sales, is looking to build a store on Jacksonville's Southside.

According to a rezoning request filed with the city's Planning and Development Department, Costco wants to build a store on 16.2 acres of land located on the northeast corner of the Gate Parkway exit off Butler Boulevard.

The property is owned by the Christopher Forrest Skinner Trust and is managed by Skinner Brothers Realty Co. Duval County Property Appraiser's Office records show the land is part of a 338.69-acre tract that is valued at $5.76 million.

Costco, headquartered in Issiquah, Wash., had been rumored to be considering the Jacksonville market for several months. But the zoning filing is the first confirmation that the retailer is making a play for the First Coast.

Joel Benoliel, senior vice president of real estate for the company, said yesterday that he could not comment and referred further inquiries to Costco Chairman Jeffrey H. Brotman.

Brotman was traveling and could not be reached for comment. A.C. "Chip" Skinner III, who heads Skinner Brothers Realty, was out of town yesterday and did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment.

Before Costco can proceed, the company's rezoning request must be approved by the city under what's called a planned unit development. If approved by the City Council, PUD rezonings allow a developer to construct a building on a piece of property that's zoned for another use.

In this case, the Skinner property is zoned for commercial office use, said Stephen Smith, the city's senior planner; it needs the PUD rezoning before a retailer or wholesaler can use the land.

The planning department's Urban Affairs and Planning Committee will review the PUD request April 18 and make a recommendation to the City Council, which will vote on it. …

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