Situated on a sprawling 49-acre site just south of Martin County High School along Kanner Highway, the development encompasses not only the Costco store but also features an 18-pump gas station, a mix of retail stores, restaurants, and almost 400 apartment units.
Developers have made significant strides in the project, having cleared and graded the site, sculpting lakes and retention basins to accommodate the ambitious venture.
A crucial component of the development is a public road, entirely financed by the developers, which will seamlessly connect parallel thoroughfares Kanner Highway and Willoughby Boulevard.
Initially greenlit by the Stuart City Commission in August 2021, the endeavor faced legal challenges that spanned almost two years. A critical juncture came when a resident questioned the city’s land-use designation for the property, leading to a ruling by the state Division of Administrative Hearings in April 2022.
That decision was subsequently overturned in March by the state Administration Commission, composed of Governor Ron DeSantis, Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson, Attorney General Ashley Moody, and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis.
The road to approval was not without twists, as a resident’s appeal to the Fourth District Court of Appeal added complexity. Eventually withdrawn, this action paved the way for the Costco project to move forward. Tom Cosgriff, the project manager for developer M&M Realty, acknowledges the projected 18-month timeline is contingent on various weather factors, introducing an element of unpredictability.
This isn’t the first time Costco has set its sights on Martin County. In 2014, the company proposed a store on Martin Highway, facing setbacks and ultimately abandoning the project after multiple plan revisions and failures to meet the county’s stringent review process.
In the face of these challenges, a new Costco in Stuart seems poised to reshape the retail landscape in the area, offering not only a shopping destination with other