Pflugerville official said future Costco economic impact should be 'staggering'

A rendering of the Plfugerville Costco store on preliminary site plans.

A rendering of the Plfugerville Costco store on preliminary site plans.

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The economic impact Pflugerville officials expect with the new Costco store coming to the southeast corner of SH130 and Toll 45 is already a reality in Cedar Park.

That store, at 183A north of Toll 45, has boosted sales tax revenue in Cedar Park since it opened in November 2013. Other businesses followed Costco to the area, a common occurrence, according to Pflugerville City Manager Brandon Wade.

Wade expects vacant property around Costco, approximately 60 acres, will soon have development inquiries. He also said Costco’s impact could equal Stone Hill Town Center’s entire sales tax contribution to the city.

In a meeting Wednesday, a Pflugerville assistant city manager summed up the economic impact of Costco on a city in one word: “Staggering.”

Cedar Park Director of Economic Development Phil Brewer said the numbers were hard to quantify, but Costco became part of a major development of businesses and restaurants.

“Financially, I can tell you it provides a very healthy tax revenue monthly,” Brewer said of the impact on his city. “It’s a destination-type project, serving your citizens and those in the surrounding communities.”

Many memberships are traced as far away as Killeen and Temple, Brewer said.

“They come here to go to Costco, eat, and shop at other stores,” he said.

Wade said Pflugerville was in discussions with Costco representatives the past two years, and Brewer said the Cedar Park store was in the works for nearly six years.

“They were concerned about [taking revenue] from the store at 183 and Braker [in Austin],” Brewer said. That’s always a concern. But it did not. The Austin store was one of the highest grossing stores and now our store is, too. We had the best opening weekend of any [Costco] store in the country.”

Brewer said the development brought more traffic to the area, a concern with Pflugerville residents in the nearby Falcon Pointe neighborhood who shared their displeasure regarding the new Costco through social media. Hendrickson High School, Murchison Elementary School and Kelly Lane Middle School are all in the same neighborhood of the future Costco.

Just south of Costco, at East Pflugerville Parkway and the SH 130 frontage road, the Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Pflugerville will take shape soon. The hospital is scheduled to open about the same time as Costco in 2018.

Brewer said the traffic is steady but not all at one time.

“There is a lot of volume, and it can be a little crazy,” Brewer said. “Crazy in a good way for a city.”

Wade and Amy Madison, the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation executive director, said they believe Costco will co-exist with businesses—present and future—offering a different shopping experience than is available now.

“As destination shopping, it brings people to our area who will visit our businesses beyond Costco,” Madison said. “This is a win-win.”

Brewer used the same words to describe the short time Costco has been open in Cedar Park.

“We have not had negative feedback,” Brewer said. “They come in, and they are good neighbors. They are involved in the community, and it has been all positive for us.”
By Joe Warner
Joe Warner is managing editor of the nine Austin-Central Texas editions of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as senior editor of the flagship Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto newspaper. He came to Central Texas from Metro Detroit, where he was editor and general manager of several daily and weekly publications. He is the former president of the Michigan Press Association and was on the MPA board of directors for nine years.


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