A franchising giant has chosen Sanford for his next fast-food outlet, seeing opportunity in the area and breaking with his practice of buying in bulk.
Guillermo Perales, founder of Sun Holdings, LLC through which he operates his restaurants, plans to set up a 66-seat Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen on the outskirts of Sanford, at 4958 W S.R. 46, just west of I-4. If past practice is the case, Perales could end up bringing more Popeyes and other fast foot chains to the area.
Perales bought the 1.1-acre Sanford site through the LLC affiliate Pop Florida Properties.
Right now, most Florida Popeyes appear to be clustered around Orlando, with Tampa having a few and others scattered around the state, according to a list on the company's website.
But Perales acts quickly. For instance in 2012, he took over as franchisee of 96 company-owned Burger King restaurants in the Orlando/Daytona market. Perales' style is to take on dozens, deriving efficiency from their proximity through Sun Holdings.
Representatives of Perales were at Seminole County's headquarters in Sanford on Wednesday, amending the property's building permit to address parking lot lighting plans, including around the drive-thru area. A site plan has been submitted and a general contractor is being sought.
Cuchaci & Peterson is serving as the architect, the plumbing engineer and the electrical engineer.
For anyone who bids, submissions must be all inclusive, said IDI Line, which tracks bids. "Change orders to facilitate a complete scope of work will not be considered," according to IDI Line.
Work is expected to start March 14. It is estimated clearing and preparing the vacant land and constructing the one-story building will cost around $1 million.
Perales did not return phone calls seeking comment. No one picked up the phone at his Sun Holdings headquarters in Dallas or his regional office in Orlando.
The new, 2,537-square-foot Popeyes, which an affiliate of Sun Holdings bought for $675,000 in September 2014, will have plenty of competition. There will be a Subway behind it and a Tijuana Flats and BamBu Vietnamese restaurant to its west.
The area also has shopping centers filled with food offerings in its proximity, including Seminole Towne Mall, with 1.1 million square feet of gross leaseable area; and Westwood Village Shopping Center, with 38,000 square feet of gross leasable area.
But maybe it is the eateries that should cringe. Perales' Sun Holdings LinkedIn page says the company owns and operates more than 550 "units," which are mostly restaurant chains.
Through Sun Holdings, Perales owns Burger Kings, Krispy Kremes, Arby's, Golden Corrals, Cici's Pizzas, T-Mobiles and the Popeyes Louisiana Kitchens.
Perales in 2015 was named by the International Franchise Association as the IFA Entrepreneur of the Year. He is the eighth largest franchisee in the U.S., as well as the largest Hispanic franchisee in the nation, the association said.