Groundbreaking held for Amigo Pallets

December 6th, 2018

Charlotte County commissioners and civic leaders were out in force yesterday to participate in official groundbreaking ceremonies for a Miami-based company that is expanding to Charlotte County. Amigo Pallets, Inc. specializes in recycled and custom pallets used in food and materials handling. Founded in 2010, Amigo is a primary supplier for Cheney Brothers, one of the largest food distributors in South Florida. Cheney Brothers 350,000 sq. ft. food distribution facility in Charlotte County has created more than 500 new jobs locally.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held at 8429 Northrup Drive in Punta Gorda, where Amigo will build a 16,000 sq. ft. warehouse slated to open in August 2019. “Cheney Brothers is the reason we are here,” said Raul Alfonso of Amigo Pallets, who co-owns the company with his wife Olga. “Charlotte County is strategically located with strong potential for future growth,” Alfonso added. “It’s a beautiful and peaceful area where we look forward to contributing to the growth and well-being of the community.”

The ceremony was led by Ken Doherty, chairman of the Charlotte County Board of Commissioners, who thanked company owners for “believing in Charlotte County.” Dignitaries included Elaine Sarlo from the office of Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Michael Grant, a member of the Florida House of Representatives and Charlotte County Economic Development Partnership. Representative Grant stated, “It’s a great day for economic development in Charlotte County.”

Other County Commissioners included Chris Constance and Stephen R. Deutsch. The City of Punta Gorda was represented by Mayor Nancy Prafke, Vice Mayor Lynne Matthews and City Council member Jaha Cummings. Wendy Atkinson attended for the Charlotte County School Board and James Parish represented Punta Gorda Airport Authority as its director.

The Amigo Pallets groundbreaking is the latest milestone of economic development success in Charlotte County. Earlier this year, Governor Rick Scott announced an $800,000 grant from the Florida Job Growth Fund to help complete the $8 million Piper Road Extension Project, designed to drive growth near Punta Gorda Enterprise Charlotte Airport Park and create more than 1,400 new jobs. Other significant developments:

Sunseeker Resort, the largest hotel-condo resort on the Gulf Coast, is coming to Charlotte County. This project represents an $450 million phase one investment from Allegiant Travel Company and will feature over 783 harbor front resort units, unique bars, restaurants and cafes, and a mile-long boardwalk.

Babcock Ranch is drawing national attention as America’s first community fully powered by solar energy – a 450-acre solar field is already in place and initial homes are selling now. The 18,000- acre community will ultimately be home to over 50,000 new residents.
Charlotte County’s Murdock Village will host a spectacular water park covering 160 acres with 5 hotels, indoor skydiving and convention facilities. The other half of Murdock Village will be dedicated to 2,200 residential units in a master-planned community of single homes, villas, townhomes and apartments.

MetalCraft Marine, a Canadian company that manufactures commercial workboats, is in the process of opening a new facility within the Enterprise Charlotte Airport Park (ECAP).

Over the last year, Charlotte County kicked off a partnership with one of the top aviation colleges in America, the College of Aviation at Western Michigan University. With a Punta Gorda campus and a partnership with Florida SouthWestern State College, a new generation of pilots will earn their wings in Charlotte County.

Charlotte County’s Economic Development Office won numerous marketing and creative awards in 2018, earning recognition from the IEDC, SEDC and FEDC (respectively, the International Economic Development Council; the Southern Economic Development Council; and the Florida Economic Development Council.