The Sanford land containing a bronze foundry that has done work for the likes of Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and the University of Central Florida has been sold for $1.3 million to one of its customers.
The three-acre American Bronze Foundry property on E. Lake Mary Boulevard was purchased by Winter Park entrepreneur Peter McAvoy, who in addition to owning retailer Bronze Universe in Orlando, is an investor of other properties in the area.
Charles Wambold will remain president of American Bronze Foundry and operate it, and lease the land from McAvoy.
The men came together through business connections and forged a deeper relationship two years ago, when McAvoy was almost killed in a freak accident and Wambold stepped in to continue finding unique pieces for Bronze Universe, McAvoy said.
McAvoy also sells a good deal of Wambold's products from his store.
McAvoy said he made the investment "because it made good business sense," provided American Bronze Foundry with some liquidity and was paid for out of his own funds.
The property contains two buildings. A 20,000-square-foot facility serves as the base of operations, with manufacturing, shipping and office space there. A 5,000-square-foot building will, in part, be used by McAvoy to store some of his inventory.
American Bronze Foundry makes statues, monuments, memorials, plaques, awards and urns.
Pieces it has produced include the knight on the horse outside the alumni building at UCF, the Sperry Fountain at Lake Eola Park and the sculpture of the witch at Universal's Harry Potter attraction.
"This puts us in a better financial position to increase our sales and manufacturing," Wambold said. "We did the real estate deal to loosen up some income for expansion of the company."
The company will be hiring about 15 employees over the next couple of months, mostly artists to work on sculptures, he said.