A Seminole County auto dealer wants to leave its location on US Highway 17-92 to build a new facility in a high-traffic area near Interstate 4 in Sanford.
Headquarter Hyundai is currently located at 3775 N U.S. Highway 17-92 between Longwood and Sanford. Long-time residents will remember the location as the site of the Bob Dance dealership.
The Hyundai dealership wants to relocate to a 12.8-acre site owned by Eoghan Kelley at the northeast corner of Rinehart Road and County Road 46A (H.E. Thomas Jr. Parkway). That stretch of Rinehart Road, near the interchange of I-4, is populated with multiple car dealerships.
Representatives of the dealership met with Sanford planners Tuesday in a pre-application session to discuss their plans. Danny Gordon of HuntonBrady Architects said preliminary plans call for a 33,000-square-foot, two-story building that will feature showrooms on both floors.
"The idea is to get some elevation so it can be seen from I-4," said Gordon.
The triangular property does present unusual challenges for the dealership, he said. Typical dealerships have the car lot next to the show room so the customers can walk the lot comparing different models. Gordan said the 458-car lot is separated by some distance from the show room. There is also an existing retention pond between the showroom and the lot.
"The plan is that if a customer says they want to see this model in this color, someone will go bring that car to them," Gordon told city planners. "The idea is that this would be a full-service type of dealership."
Shelby Weeks of Klima Weeks Civil Engineering told planners that moving the retention pond is not ideal because its current location is the most efficient spot for retention.
Construction on the project is not expected to start until the first quarter of 2017. The dealership's planning and legal team must work out some minor changes to a Planned Development agreement that currently exists on the property.
While no major issues are expected, timing issues involving mandatory public hearings and the upcoming holidays should push final approvals until January.