A new Sanford Hyundai dealership, in the planning stages for nearly a year and a half, is moving ahead with a tentative March construction start and a new, larger footprint.
Headquarters Auto Group of Central Florida submitted engineering plans for the dealership to Sanford planning staff last week. Those should be reviewed and approved by city staff in less than 30 days, said Russ Gibson, director of Planning and Development Services.
Plans for the dealership at 985 Rinehart Road give an estimated start date of sometime in March, with completion forecasted for March 2019. The company also requested permits last week from the St. Johns River Water Management District.
GrowthSpotter first reported in September 2016 that the Hyundai dealership at 3775 N. U.S. 17-92, between Longwood and Sanford, was relocating to the proposed site.
The 12.8-acre property lies at the northeast corner of Rinehart Road and County Road 46A (H.E. Thomas Jr. Parkway), near the interchange with Interstate 4.
In 2016, Headquarters Auto representatives estimated they would be able to start the project in the first quarter of 2017. The company didn't respond to requests for comment Monday, and it's not clear why the project was delayed over the past year.
Headquarters Auto Group bought the land from the Eoghan N. Kelley Family Limited Partnership for $4.25 million in June 2017.
Those earlier plans showed a two-story, 33,000-square-foot building that would feature showrooms on both floors. Current plans call for a 43,328-square-foot showroom and service building for the dealership.
A car wash structure is planned along with parking for customers, employees and inventory, as well as stormwater pond improvements.
The showroom and service building will be built on a triangular piece of land, now wooded fronting on Rinehart Road, and connected by an interior service road to a second tract northeast that will be the site of a 458-car lot.
Typical dealerships have the car lot next to the showrooms so customers can walk the lot comparing different models.
In Hyundai's new dealership format, customers will say they want a certain model and color, and an employee will drive the car to the front for the customer's inspection.