The Sanford ABC Board is under contract to purchase a former Circle K store along N.C. 87 South, with the intent to open a third location in Lee County.

Lee County’s third ABC Store has been proposed at a location along N.C. 87 South which was until recently a Circle K.

Sanford ABC Administrator Lee Dowd put a 30-day public notice sign at the site at 4470 N.C. 87 on Aug. 27. He said he hasn’t received any public comments about the proposal to date.

It remains unclear whether the store will occupy the current building, or if a new structure will be built.

“The building itself looks okay, but it’s not big enough,” Dowd said. “We’ll have to build a warehouse and a docking area, at least.”

Dowd said discussions about a third store – the two other locations are on South Horner Boulevard and in the Food Lion shopping center in Tramway – have been ongoing for at least five years.

“Sales have been growing, and Sanford is growing,” Dowd said.

Because of the need for public comment, various state approvals, and the fact that at least some new construction is likely to be required, Dowd said it’s likely to be several months, or even the better part of a year, before any store is up and running at that location.

Councilman Chas Post, the Sanford City Council’s liaison to the ABC Board, said the proposed store is more evidence of economic growth locally.

“The city and the county are both growing at a rapid pace, and this is another example of that,” he said.