Tractor Supply Co., which bills itself as “the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the U.S.,” will build its next Orlando-area store in Sanford.
The 18,900-square foot store is slated for 6.24 acres on State Road 46 (West First Street) between Central Park Drive and South White Cedar Road. It will be the first Tractor Supply store in Seminole County and the fourth in the Orlando metro area. The others are in east Orlando, Apopka and St. Cloud.
The land is owned by Essex Investments of Longwood LLC, a company headed by businessman Ashish Kapadia. On May 13, the Sanford City Commission rezoned the six parcels that will be the Tractor Supply site, plus six other adjoining parcels owned by Kapadia, from agriculture to general commercial. Kapadia could not be reached for comment.
The next step in the city’s approval process is to review the final engineering plans, which have yet to be submitted, according to Russ Gibson, Sanford director of planning and development. The company has also applied for permits from the St. Johns River Water Management District to build a stormwater management system on the property. The application for the permits was made by R.A. Wilson Enterprises, a Hot Springs, Ark., firm that is the exclusive developer for Tractor Supply Co.
Executives with Tractor Supply Co. declined to discuss details of their new location except to say through a spokeswoman they hoped to hold a “soft opening” early next year.
Kapadia started assembling the land where the store will be located in 1995, purchasing the last piece in 2003. He paid a total of $950,000 for the six parcels, according to Seminole County land records.
The Longwood-based developer was in the news earlier this year for a retail project he has in the works in Apopka called Gateway Plaza. Kapadia, under another of his affiliate companies, VBRO Group, plans to build more than 32,000 square feet of retail space on 3.36 acres at East Lester and Rock Springs roads. The group hopes deliver the project in the first quarter of 2020.
Tractor Supply Co., based in Brentwood, Tenn., was founded in 1938. The company’s stores offer products for home improvement, agriculture, lawn and garden maintenance, and livestock, equine and pet care. In its 2018 Annual Report, the company reported significant growth over the last five years, going from 1,276 stores at the end of fiscal 2013 to 1,940 stores across all brands last year. The company opened 101 Tractor Supply Co. stores in fiscal 2017 and another 80 last year. So far this year it has opened 25 new TSC stores.
“Given the size of the communities that we target, we believe that there is ample opportunity for new store growth in existing and new markets," the report reads. “We have developed a proven method for selecting store sites and have identified approximately 700 additional opportunities for new Tractor Supply stores. We also believe that there is opportunity for up to 1,000 Petsense stores.”
As of June 29, the company was operating 1,790 stores in 49 states, primarily in towns on the edges of major metro markets and in rural areas. The company leases the majority of retail locations, as well as two distribution centers, its Merchandise Innovation Center and certain equipment under various non-cancellable leases.