When we reported back in August that a Harbor Freight Tools may be built on the south end of Sanford, there were plenty of whispers about the subject but little in the way of confirmation beyond a (presumably now-expired) public listing calling for construction bids.

This 2013 aerial photograph shows the plot of land in question; the mostly-empty plot to the north is now the location of Sanford’s Lidl store. Courtesy of Lee County GIS.

We don’t have a whole lot more today, but it does appear that progress is being made. Records on file at the Lee County Register of Deeds show that a plot of land along NC 87 – just south of Sanford’s new Lidl store – was sold on Sept. 27 of this year to a Georgia-based LLC called “Henbell Sanford HFT.”

A Google search of that phrase doesn’t return anything but a record of the sale in Lee County, although it’s not unreasonable to guess that “HFT” could stand for “Harbor Freight Tools.”

In any case, all that speculation isn’t necessary. A site plan submitted to the city of Sanford for a Harbor Freight store at that address back in May is a matter of public record and lists Henbell Sanford HFT as the property’s buyer. A site plan alone doesn’t necessarily mean the store is confirmed, but taken together, these developments seem to point in that direction.

As we said in August, the addition of a Harbor Freight, which is based in California and operates more than 800 stores in 47 states, would be more than welcome and represent a continuation of the commercial growth that that part of Sanford has experienced in recent years. There are several Harbor Freight stores in North Carolina already, including in Raleigh, Fayetteville, Durham, Asheboro, and Burlington.

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