Costco eyes Cypress Creek Town Center for new store

The world’s third-largest retailer is looking to set up shop in Pasco County, and become the first major store associated with the Cypress Creek Town Center.

Costco Wholesale Corp. is set to meet with county officials just before Christmas about opening a 153,000-square-foot store at the shopping center, located near the intersection of State Road 56 and Interstate 75. It is slated for an 18-acre outparcel part of the overall property currently controlled by Pasco 54 Ltd., Pasco Ranch Inc., and JG Cypress Creek LLC.

This would be Pasco County’s first Costco store, and the first one to be built in the Tampa Bay area north of Brandon. The only other location in the region is in Clearwater.

Costco has the potential to make a tremendous economic impact on the county, and the region. The average retail employee makes $20 an hour, nearly double that of other retail workers, according to a 2013 report by Businessweek. Employees at the company typically start out at $11.50 an hour, and after five years, can reach as high as $19.50. Also after five years, Costco workers get bonuses of more than $4,000 each year.

At Walmart’s similar Sam’s Club stores, according to the same report, workers start at $10 an hour, and typically reach $12.50 after five years with no bonus plan.

Costco reportedly earns $814 in sales each year per square foot, compared to $586 from Sam’s Club.

No official announcement has been made on when Costco would break ground, let alone open. However, work already has begun on Tampa Premium Outlets, slated to open late next year not far from where the Costco is planned.

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