Sanford, North Carolina

AT A GLANCE SANFORD, NORTH CAROLINA WHAT: A city of 30,000 WHERE: Lee County, North Carolina, approx. 42 miles southwest of Raleigh WEBSITE: S anford, North Carolina, located in the central Piedmont area of the state, is a city of approximately 30,000, and the county seat of Lee County. It was incorporated in 1874, and named after C.O. Sanford, a railroad engineer who was instrumental in the building of the rail lines through the area. Because Sanford sits where white beach sand from the coast meets the Piedmont clay, the city had the right ingredients to be a large producer of clay bricks. In fact, at one time, Sanford was named the “Brick Capital of the USA.” Other industries which formerly contributed to the city’s economy included textiles, furniture, and tobacco, all of which began suffering a severe decline in the 1990s – a decline that was further exacerbated by the Great Recession of the early 2000s. Lately, though, Sanford has made a significant comeback, redefining its character and charting its growth for the future. Recently, three companies have either expanded their facilities in Sanford, moved in, or made it known that they were planning to make the city their new home. Pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer, announced plans for a state-of-the-art gene therapy manufacturing facility in Sanford as part of the company’s ongoing investment in