Costco to open 2nd Jacksonville location next week

Forklifts load shelves with $15 million worth of merchandise

By Allyson Henning - Reporter, Crystal Chen - Assignment editor/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - In just one week, Costco’s newest location will open its doors. The new wholesale store, located on the Westside near the Clay County line, will be the second Costco in Jacksonville.

The opening date was pushed back from Fall 2017 because of Hurricane Irma, which halted the construction process.

Currently, construction has picked up and there are forklifts maneuvering through the store, loading up shelves with $15 million worth of merchandise. Hundreds of pallets are being delivered every day.

By next week, the 150,000 square foot store will be packed with 4,000 different products ranging from food, wine, electronics, toilet paper, and even giant stuffed bears.  The store has just about everything including a food court where you can get the signature $1.50 hot dog, a deli, pharmacy and optometrist.
Costco already has a store open on the Southside, but this new location saves people living on the Clay-Duval border a nearly 25 mile drive. 

“Probably the biggest difference is the accessibility off of I-295. We have gas at this location- that is that we have regular premium in the gas station,” said Jason Zook, the General Manager Costco.

There are tents set up out front for shoppers looking for a grand opening discount on their annual membership.

In the meantime, more than half of the 235 employees will be working to get everything ready for next week’s grand opening on Thursday at 8 a.m.

Traffic Concerns

While it's been the talk on the Westside with many people looking forward to having a Costco closer to home, many others are concerned about the traffic the store will bring to their neighborhood.

Next Thursday, the aisles in Jacksonville’s newest Costco Wholesale will be packed with bulk-buying enthusiasts. If you've shopped at the current location on the Southside, you know how much traffic the wholesale club brings.

The good news, according to Zook, is that the new store will alleviate some of the traffic and long lines at the Southside location. JTA is also working to widen the road leading up to the Westside Costco by 2020.

The project is a relief to some shoppers, but others are still concerned about the traffic.

"4 to 5 p.m. nightmare, trying to get from home out or from the expressway back home, it’s just going to be a nightmare," said Trace Reynolds.

"I know that they’re going to expand the road so I’m not too worried about it," said Leah Brown.

"It’s already bad enough. I feel like when they built Walmart, they should’ve already had this widened because it’s just going to cause so much traffic," said Levi Allen.

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