UPDATED: May 12, 2017 9:53 AM — A national distributor of aluminum products based in Orlando earned local government approval this week to nearly double the size of its operation, but the firm's officers are undecided about whether to move forward.
AA Metals submitted a Development Plan to Orange County in February for a 90,000-square-foot expansion of its warehouse and distribution center in Orlando's Jetport Industrial Park. On Wednesday, the company's DP was approved by the Development Review Committee.
But AA Metals' chief financial officer Joe Dzaluk told GrowthSpotter on Thursday the company has deferred a decision to build the warehouse for at least a couple of months.
"We're looking at some new technology and things that store more stuff in a smaller space," Dzaluk said. "We're evaluating that. It may influence whether we go to a different storage system."
The company, which moved to the industrial park in 2014, now operates out of an 104,000-square-foot building at 11616 Landstar Blvd. An expansion was always in the plans, said Sam Sebaali, whose Florida Engineering Group designed the proposed expansion.
"They did the initial phase with the idea they would expand at a later date," Sebaali said in a March interview. "They're doing well with their business so the expansion happened a little bit faster than we planned."
Sebaali said at the time he hoped to have all permits approved by Orange County by August. Construction on an adjacent 3.64-acre parcel would start soon after and likely take seven to nine months. Now, construction is postponed indefinitely.
"After all this we're not going to proceed with this right now," Dzaluk said. "For some business reasons, we're going to defer."
AA Metals, headed by president and founder Xiangming "Jack" Cheng, bought 12.75 acres from the industrial park in September 2013 for $2.14 million.
At the same time, the company obtained a mortgage for $1.7 million from SunTrust Bank of Atlanta, according to Orange County records. In June 2014, it obtained a construction loan mortgage for more than $5.8 million from TD Bank of Winter Park, and a notice of commencement of construction was issued at the same time.
AA Metals is a distributor of aluminum products including bars, rods, ingots, sheets, pipes and plates. The company buys its products from sources around the globe, thus providing customers with competitive prices, according to the company website.
In 2011, AA Metals made the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies, ranked no. 464. The company again made the list in 2012 ranked at 494.