BJ’s Confirmed As New Tenant In Palm Coast Development

It’s been several months since rumors started swirling around the identity of the new retailer that was supposedly moving to Palm Coast. It was recently confirmed that the retailer is BJ’s Wholesale Club, and in addition to the big retailer there will also be a big gas station and a half dozen satellite stores going up on a 31.5-acre site of State Road 100, just west of Seminole Woods Boulevard.
Cornerstone at Seminole Woods, as the development will be called, will be opposite Tom Gibbs Chevrolet, from the boundary with the RaceTrac gas station to the east, to just west of McCormick Drive. The development includes all the land currently used by Flagler Pines RV Storage, which will relocate.
The Flagler County Planning Board, in a series of votes over the last several months, approved the site plan for the box store’s 103,000 square foot imprint, and also approved regulatory waivers that will allow the site to have more signs and different setbacks than ordinary, eliminate seven acres of wetlands, have 420 parking spaces, and a new, signalized turning lane off SR100 that the developer will pay for. The County Commission still still has to approve these actions, but that should be a more of a formality than anything else.
The shopping center will feature an eight-island gas station open to members of BJ’s and adjacent to the existing RaceTrac at the intersection of state Road 100 and Seminole Woods Boulevard.
Flagler County Planning Director Adam Mengel said reently that construction will likely be before the end of the year. There was not a single public comment on the four related items the county planning board voted on during the same meeting. A traffic analysis by LTG Engineering and Planning conducted for the developer concluded that BJ’s development and its companion stores would generate a total of almos 8,000 daily car trips, with BJ’s accounting for more than half of those.
The 103,000 square foot BJ’s itself will be set back to the rear of the property, and will have an attached liquor store. The companion stores mentioned above have not been confirmed yet.
There are also numerous matters of detail, like landscaping and the number of feet of setback from street signs, whether signs are just directional or cross over into advertising, and exceptions allowing the developer to have more visible signs than the code ordinarily allows that still need to be resolved. on the property, some of them free-standing, some of them on building walls. That may well become a point of contention once the property annexes into Palm Coast, which has a strict sign ordinance. As if anticipating that, one of the planning board members spoke of the necessity for many signs.
“Putting them further back actually does a disservice to the public because they can be driving by and last minute, ‘this is where I want to go,’ slam on the brakes, somebody hits them in reverse,” Mark Langello, one of the planning board’s most developer-friendly voices, said. He is a developer himself, and owns a shopping center in Bunnell. “It’s actually a public benefit to get the signs to where people can see them.”

But there’s little question, based on the plans submitted, that the development will be at least somewhat of a visual shock of signs. BJ’s will have a 10-foot tall, 50 square-foot free-standing sign identifying the name of the entire shopping center. The development is seeking individual, free-standing signs for each of the five outparcels. But it’ll have to get those approved by Palm Coast government, which may be tougher.