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National industrial products manufacturer secures last parcel for big Sanford plant

Fastenal, which is building this new headquarters in Winona, Minnesota, will expand into Florida with a new warehouse and distribution center in Sanford.
Fastenal, which is building this new headquarters in Winona, Minnesota, will expand into Florida with a new warehouse and distribution center in Sanford. (Handout)

Fastenal, a Minnesota-based supplier of manufacturing parts, tools and services, recently paid $3 million for 11 acres on East Lake Mary Boulevard, clearing the way for construction of a regional warehouse and distribution center.

The parcel, at the northeast quadrant of Lake Mary Boulevard and Sipes Road, was purchased from Airsan Investments, a Maitland company headed by developer Andre Hickman. The land adjoins four other parcels previously acquired by Fastenal in October and November 2018.

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The Sanford City Commission annexed the property in March and rezoned it from county agricultural (AG) and county general commercial (GC-2) to restricted industrial (RI-1).

This site plan shows the layout for a Fastenal warehouse and distribution center that will be located just south of Orlando Sanford International Airport on East Lake Mary Boulevard.
This site plan shows the layout for a Fastenal warehouse and distribution center that will be located just south of Orlando Sanford International Airport on East Lake Mary Boulevard. (City of Sanford)

Altogether, the Minnesota-based company paid $6.69 million for 37 acres between Lake Mary Boulevard and Marquette Avenue, according to Seminole County records. The property is just south of Orlando Sanford International Airport.

Sanford economic development director Bob Turk said Fastenal plans to build a 150,000-square-foot facility that will likely be expanded later.

“That’s a big deal for Sanford, it’s one of our bigger projects,” Turk told GrowthSpotter. “They have enough land for 500,000 square feet. They will phase it in. That’s the last thing we heard.”

Fastenal executives did not return calls or messages seeking comment. The design-build company on the project is Anchor Construction, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, and Granger, Ind., according to a site plan submitted to the city.

The manufacturer plans to hire 100-150 employees in its first phase, Turk said, and salaries will be in the $40,000 to $50,000 range. Reports of a giant Amazon distribution center locating in Deltona might have pushed Fastenal’s proposed salary levels higher, Turk said.

Hickman Enterprises, a small boutique development company based in Winter Park, has two separate projects on the drawing board in Seminole County.

“They knew they had to compete,” Turk said of Fastenal executives. “(Pay) will definitely be over $15 an hour.”

Fastenal chose Sanford because of its location, Turk said. The company, whose closest distribution center to Florida is in Atlanta, wanted something closer to serve most of the Sunshine State.

“They had to be a certain distance from Atlanta,” he said. “It turns out that mileage figure was right here in Sanford.”

Sanford was competing against some other Florida locations for the plant, Turk said, but he doesn’t know where those competitors were. He said Fastenal did not get any tax incentives from Sanford or the state to locate there.

Hickman said he will retain a 5-acre parcel on the south side of Lake Mary Boulevard, across from the coming Fastenal plant. He told GrowthSpotter in August 2018 that he was looking at different possibilities for the 16 acres on both sides of the highway, including a hotel, retail center and/or an industrial warehouse. Hickman said he now plans to build a 100-room Comfort Inn & Suites hotel on the remaining 5 acres but declined to elaborate.

Bob Kierlin founded Fastenal in 1967 and grew it from the smallest fastener distributor in the country to the largest by the mid-1990s. As the company grew it expanded into other areas such as logistics and technology adviser to other businesses. Its core business is as a supplier of a wide range of industrial and construction products which it distributes through 3,200 locations, both public branches and customer-specific onsite offices.

With $5.1 billion in revenues last year and 21,644 employees, Fastenal is No. 461 on Forbes’ list of America’s largest public companies.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at Newsroom@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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