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The Villages
Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Costco news prompts cheers but also fears over congestion

A new Costco Wholesale store proposed for The Villages has prompted plenty of cheers along with fears over increased traffic and congestion.

News broke this past week that Costco is eyeing a location near Hobby Lobby at Buffalo Ridge Plaza.

For many Villagers, the long wait for a Costco is finally over.

“So excited to be getting a Costco,” said Villager Judith Porter. “I’ve only been wanting one since we moved here in 1999.” 

Porter represented the sentiments of the vast majority of her fellow residents.

But others are worried that the droves of shoppers who will be headed to Costco will bring more traffic to an already congested area of The Villages.

Costco has sumbitted this site plan to the Southwest Florida Water Management District
Costco has submitted this site plan to the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

Wilkin Chu of the Village of Bonnybrook pointed out that Buffalo Ridge Plaza is already home to a very busy Walmart and the new Hobby Lobby, as well as other retailers.

“Wouldn’t that create a lot of congestion? Why not on U.S. 301 south of County Road 466?” Chu asked. “U.S. 301 can be widened to accommodate the traffic.”

Villager Patricia DeArmond is also concerned about the site chosen by Costco.

“The location will be a nightmare,” she said. “I hope it won’t eliminate the ability to use our golf carts to other stores in the area.”

Another resident offered an idea for reducing traffic.

“Maybe developers should stop building rentals to cause less congestion,” said Ellen Grivas.

Villager George Graham believes Costco waited too long to answer the call to come to Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.

“The Villagers have been asking for Costco for years but they ignored the requests. Sam’s and BJ’s heard the call. I was a Costco customer for years until I moved full time to The Villages,” Graham said. “But driving an hour or more to get to Costco was not practical. We joined Sam’s for two years but did not renew the membership. We joined BJ’s Wholesale and found that we like it even better than Costco, so we will stay with BJ’s.”

Share your thoughts on the new Costco at letters@villages-news.com

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