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The Orlando Sentinel (KRTBN)

Puerto Rico-Based Investment Group To Open Orlando, Fla., Paint Factory

By Barry Flynn

July 9, 2003
Copyright © 2003 The Orlando Sentinel (KRTBN), KRTBN Knight Ridder Tribune Business News. All rights reserved. 

Jul. 9--A family investment group with interests in Puerto Rican paint companies plans to open a paint factory in south Orlando this month that is expected to employ as many as 25 people.

The group already sells paint under the Harris and Lanco brand names in Florida and elsewhere in the Southeast and intends to expand its market in the mainland United States with the Orlando factory, Eduardo Blanco, president of the new operation, said Tuesday.

Blanco said he and other members of his family have varying stakes in four paint factories in Puerto Rico and a fifth plant in Costa Rica.

It is important for a paint factory to be somewhat close to its markets because of the expense of shipping the heavy product, Blanco said. Also, in the case of the plants in Puerto Rico, some ingredients are shipped from the mainland to the factory, resulting in double shipping costs, he said.

None of the Puerto Rican facilities will be closed because of the additional capacity here, Blanco said.

The 100,000-square-foot factory at Airport International Park in south Orlando will begin some production by July 21 and should reach its planned operation level within about six weeks, Blanco said. The plant is slated to produce four major product lines.

Blanco is president and chief executive of Lanco & Harris Corp., the company that owns the Orlando facility. In addition to Blanco, investors in the Orlando plant include two of his brothers and an uncle.

The Orlando company has already hired five supervisors and will add a total of 15 to 20 production workers in increments a few days before each line begins operating, he said.

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