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A “for rent” banner atop the building occupied by Fastenal in Shelbyville has driven speculation that the store is closing, but that’s not the case, its district manager said.
Mike Miller, who oversees 10 stores in the region, said that the company has asked the landlord of its store at 251 Alpine Drive to review its 5-year lease that has 14 months remaining.
Fastenal signed its agreement with landlord Lewis Brashear during a boom time and Miller feels that the monthly rate is higher now than it should be.
“We’re paying way too much,” Miller said. “We opened when things were moving. I don’t think maybe we pushed hard enough.
“We’re working with the landlord to try to reduce the rent. I told him to look around the Louisville market where there is twenty-five to thirty percent vacancy. We’re moving our Shepherdsville store and cutting our rent in half.”
Miller said he told Brashear to put up the for-rent sign if he wished to do so.
For his part, Brashear says he feels fortunate that the company is allowing him to advertise the building.
He said he loves having Fastenal as a client and is trying to help the company, but he can’t afford to reduce the rent.
“We have to meet our debt service,” said Brashear of Lexington. “Fastenal a great client and a great company. They want a reduction that we can’t do.
“But we’re trying to sell the building or find a co-tenant and keep them in there. We would like to make this work.”
The building is about 6,400 square feet, Brashear said, and Fastenal needs only about half that space. “We also have looked at expanding the building and could do so by two or three thousand square feet,” he said.
He said he has had a call from one interested party and had a conversation with another.
“But it’s hard in these times. It’s tough on all of us. That’s a small building on an expensive piece of property,” he said.
Whether Brashear is successful or not, Miller said the store definitely was not going to close and that he has been looking at other locations nearby, including a spot in Governor’s Plaza and another in the 747 building on Mount Eden Road.
“The store is doing well,” he said. “We’re just trying to reduce rent and trying to capitalize on that.”
Fastenal, which sells a variety of mechanical and industrial parts and services, was founded in 1967 and has 2,300 stores. It is about to open a new store on Westport Road in Louisville.
The company also sponsors the No. 60 Ford that Carl Edwards drives in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.