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Why Doesn’t Palm Coast Have a Costco?

Commercial and residential density. Palm Coast allows multi-family developers to build only 12 residential units per acre. Jacksonville allows up to 60 units while Daytona Beach allows up to 40 units.

By Toby Tobin
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PALM COAST, FL – October 10, 2019 – The single most asked questions I’ve heard over the 13-plus years of publishing GoToby.com is, “When are we going to get a Costco (or Sam’s Club or BJ’S)?” The answer is, “Not until we have greater residential and commercial density.”


Palm Coast is a city in name only. It’s better defined as a sprawling suburb. It has no high-density residential areas or commercial core. The greatest allowable zoning density in the city is multi-family (MFR-2), which allows 12 residential units per acre. Two new apartment developments are under construction in Town Center, the first multi-family permits in over 50 months. The Palms at Town Center will have 88 units with a density of 8.6 units per acre. Central Landings, totaling 233 units will have 10.2 units per acre.

The new Sam’s Club in Daytona Beach is surrounded by several multi-family zoning districts that allow up to 20 units per acre. Jacksonville, home of the nearest Costco, allows high-density multi-family zones with from 20 to 60 units per acre.

A study (by Peter Testa, University of North Texas) of 10 new Costco openings in Texas between 2000 and 2014 shows that only one had a 27-minute drive time area containing fewer than 1 million residents. Rockwall, Texas had only 977,897. Flagler County has 112,067 residents (July 1, 2018).


The Jacksonville Costco on Gate Pkwy is surrounded by high-density retail, business, and residential. So too is the new Sam’s Club in Daytona Beach. The following three-mile views from Google Earth tell the story.

Jacksonville Costco 3-Mile Radius

Costco - Jacksonville FL

Daytona Beach Sam’s Club 3-Mile Radius

Sam's Club - Daytona Beach

Palm Coast Town Center (Landings) 3-Mile Radius

Town Center - Palm Coast

Toby Tobin: REALTOR®, SRES®

I'm a Florida licensed REALTOR®, SRES®, affiliated with Grand Living Realty in Palm Coast, Fla. As a real estate consultant and journalist, I have years of experience and a treasure trove of relevant data. I help developers, builders, homebuyers, and sellers achieve improved outcomes with reduced stress, knowing that their real estate decisions are sound and fact-based.

Call me at (386) 931-7124 or email me at Toby@GoToby.com.

Listen to my radio show, Real Estate Mattersevery Saturday morning right after the 11:00 A.M. news break on WNZF News Radio 1550 AM or 94.9 FM. Download the Flagler Radio App from the App Store so you can hear Real Estate Matters anywhere in the world.

reader comments
Posted by Jamel Wright
Feb 10, 2021, 1:40 am
They have Costco in Royal Palm Beach, and that place is nowhere near dense. Instead of having 6 Costcos in Orlando, they could spread them out to gain access to more people. Folks WILL drive to shop there. Just don't make it a ridiculous adventure just to get there, cause that's how you lose customers.
Posted by Linda Payne
Oct 14, 2019, 4:55 pm
Because we want a Sam's not Costco's
Good Article
Posted by Eddie Rider
Oct 14, 2019, 4:55 pm
My question is, what has happened with the nice warehouse that the company on Roberts Rd. across from the entrance of the boat manufacturer that looks like it is setting empty over several years. Did the city or county give them a break on their property taxes to build that building ? Just asking.

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Don "Toby" Tobin is a licensed real estate professional affiliated with Grand Living Realty. Toby is a member of the Flagler County Association of Realtors®, the Florida Association of Realtors, Enterprise Flagler, Flagler Home Builders Association, and the National Association of Realtors.

GoToby.com proivdes real estate news, commentary, and analysis for Palm Coast and Flagler Country Florida, as well as Realtor® referrals and consultation to buyers, sellers, and developers.