PLANT CITY — After opening its 4,000th store in Tampa two weeks ago, O'Reilly Auto Parts is making a bid for a Plant City location.
The national retailer says it's eyeing a site on James L. Redman Parkway next to the new RaceTrac at Park Road.
"At this point we are in the very, very early stages of that project," spokesman Mark Merz said.
The store would employ eight to 12 when it opens, likely in 2014, though Merz said the work could be accelerated.
"Lots of things change on real estate schedules," he said.
The site at 1704 James L. Redman houses a 80-year-old brick building last used by landscaper Plant It Earth.
For years, it was owned by Mac Smith, who sold it in December to Lakeland-based JB Realty Partners for $675,000, records show.
Just last summer, Smith sold the property next door to the brick building to RaceTrac and earlier sold another nearby property to Ditch Witch.
The two sites formerly housed a car dealership. Workers demolished the showroom and offices, the last remnants of the dealership, in August.
The RaceTrac held its grand opening last week.
JB Realty couldn't be reached for comment.
O'Reilly Auto Parts, based in Springfield, Mo., plans to open 190 stores this year.
Although the Plant City location isn't set to open until 2014, Smith heard that demolition on the site might start this month. The store would be situated toward the gas station.
"We were thinking about leasing it when we were approached by O'Reilly about seven or eight months ago," he said.
Rich Shopes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 661-2454.