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Texas-based Dakota Premium Hardwoods, which has been doing business at Enterprise Charlotte Airport Park since December, planned its grand opening at the 378,000-square-foot building where it leases space at 9450 Piper Road near Punta Gorda Airport.

Occupying 72,000 square feet, Dakota Premium Hardwoods will have its official opening March 22, Branch Manager Marv Lawrence said.

The white building with blue trim housing Dakota Premium Hardwoods can be seen from Interstate 75 near exit 161 and from Jones Loop Road in Punta Gorda.

The company distributes high-end wood products, cabinet hardware and laminates for residential and commercial projects.

Due to new home construction and numerous remodeling projects in the region in the wake of hurricanes Ian and Idalia, Dakota Premium Hardwoods supplies product to both large and small enterprises, including cabinetry experts, millwork specialists and furniture makers.

The decision to open its distribution center in Florida, particularly in Charlotte County, was explained by CEO Ron Mazzarella. “Dakota leaders see a lot of the same growth catalysts in place in Florida that have made us successful in Texas,” he said.

He called Florida a beautiful state with projections for population growth, residents optimistic about the future and a general environment supportive of business, which make “Dakota bullish on the West Coast of Florida.”

The company’s presence has brought jobs to the county, as it will employ up to 50 locals at the new facility as it continues to grow.

“While we are headquartered in Texas, 100% of the jobs at the new Dakota Punta Gorda [location] will be people in and around Charlotte County,” Dakota Executive Leader of Business Development Seth Okawa said.

“Our company motto, ‘Building Success One Relationship at a Time,’ and our associated core values are all about spoiling our customers and supporting our valued employees to create a positive service model,” he said.

The company has six locations in Texas and four in Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and now, Florida.

The decision arrival of the distribution center was welcomed with open arms by the county’s Department of Economic Development, whose business is attracting commerce to the county.

“This new venture not only brings a unique and valuable product to our community but also signifies a step forward in our commitment to economic growth and diversification in Charlotte County,” said Kay Tracy, business recruitment manager for the county.

“Dakota Premium Hardwoods represents the kind of innovative and forward-thinking business that we strive to attract. Their presence in our region is a testament to our thriving business environment and our ongoing efforts to foster a supportive ecosystem for enterprises of all sizes. We look forward to the positive impact they will have on our local economy and the new opportunities they will bring to our residents.”

Company officials said Dakota’s Punta Gorda facility is built around experienced local woodworking and cabinet supply professionals who have lived and worked in and around Punta Gorda.

The company states its philosophy is to “grow markets around local talent and build the brick-and-mortar [locations] around the people.”

Lawrence, whose family has been in this industry in this area for decades, he said, provides an advantage in that the company knows “the local market and the current business environment for woodworkers in this area.”

Dakota is fully operational, and its hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

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