PortMiami Approves Miami's 79th Street Corridor as Foreign Trade Zone

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Among the first of its kind around the country, the new Foreign Trade Zone designation for the 79th Street Corridor positions the economically disadvantaged urban area for economic growth and job creation.

“Designating the 79th Street Corridor as a Foreign Trade Zone stimulates job growth and expands the opportunity for members of this community to participate in global trade, one of Miami-Dade County’s key industries,” shares Ron Butler, Executive Director

As part of a comprehensive plan to transform the 79th Street Corridor district into an economically viable and sustainable community, the Foreign Trade Zone Board and PortMiami Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ 281) announced the approval for the 79th Street Corridor Initiative to operate as an FTZ. The rare designation, which is among the first nationwide for an economically disadvantaged urban area, positions the district as an international hub for trade and logistics and also creates job opportunities for the people in this underserved community. The application also includes Leasa Industries, a local food manufacturer that has operated within the 79th Street district since 1977.

“Designating the 79th Street Corridor as a Foreign Trade Zone stimulates job growth and expands the opportunity for members of this community to participate in global trade, one of Miami-Dade County’s key industries,” shares Ron Butler, Executive Director of the 79th Street Corridor. “Following years of significant economic and social challenges, the Corridor is reemerging with recent commercial and residential developments, and the Foreign Trade Zone designation now helps to strengthen the Corridor’s business infrastructure.”

In addition to welcoming international trading companies, the designation is also advantageous because of the Corridor’s close proximity to PortMiami, Miami International Airport, the Miami River, Downtown Miami, and I-95. It also creates an opportunity to position and develop the Corridor as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship with the County-initiated Green Tech Corridor being located along the Corridor. Ultimately, small and medium sized businesses in the District will be able to enjoy the benefits of an FTZ, including the reduction or elimination of customs duties.

"Foreign Trade Zones spark economic development and job creation in international trade and commerce for Miami-Dade County," said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez. "It is an excellent competitive resource that benefits importers and exporters, warehouse operators, manufacturers, and third party logistics providers. We are proud to welcome the 79th Street Corridor Initiative to FTZ 281 PortMiami, and wish them much success.”

“This approval is the first of its kind as the 79th Street Corridor Initiative is a not-for-profit corporation that will be operating the FTZ,” stated Gary Goldfarb, Chief Strategy Officer of Interport Consulting and the FTZ Consultant for this project.

“Port Miami’s FTZ 281 had recently created a different tariff for not-for-profit corporations working within community redevelopment agency (CRA) districts to help build businesses in global trade,” says Juan Kuryla, Port Miami Port Director and Grantee for FTZ 281.

The next step in the designation is the development of a business plan by the Foreign Trade Zone and the development of warehouse facilities. The Initiative is spearhead by the 79th Street Coalition for Change, a team of business leaders and community stakeholders working together towards the shared goal of improving the Corridor’s economy.

About The 79th Street Coalition for Change
The 79th Street Coalition for Change is a partnership of residents, non-profit organizations, economic development agencies, local government businesses, and local churches focused on improving the quality of life while galvanizing transit oriented economic development in the NW 79th Street area of Miami-Dade County, Florida.

About The 79th Street Initiative
The Mission of the 79th Street Corridor Initiative is to use a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) approach along with existing community assets to transform 79th street corridor neighborhoods into a community of choice for people to live, work, and visit.

About Foreign-Trade Zones
The Foreign-Trade Zones Program is a federal program established to encourage and expedite U.S. participation in international trade. Foreign goods may be admitted to a FTZ without being subject to Customs duties or certain excise taxes. Zones also defer payment of duties until goods actually enter into the U.S. commerce system.

About PORTMIAMI Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ 281)
PortMiami Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ 281) is a general-purpose foreign trade zone established under the Alternative Site Framework (ASF). The ASF provides an expedited process to becoming an FTZ site. FTZ 281’s mission is simple: To make Miami-Dade County’s international trading community more profitable and competitive by providing quick and easy access to foreign trade zone benefits. FTZ 281 stretches from SW 8th Street to the Broward County Line, from Miami Beach in the east to the Urban Development line in the west. FTZ 281 encompasses many industrial areas and critical logistics components including Miami International Airport, Opa-Locka Airport, PortMiami, railyards, and other transportation infrastructure.

About LEASA Industries, Inc.
Founded in the heart of Liberty City, Miami in 1977, Leasa Industries Co., Inc., is one of the largest growers, manufacturers, processors, and packers of healthy food products across the Southeastern United States. Leasa’s brand products are distributed to various retail locations throughout Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, the Caribbean, and Alaska. The company has won a number of awards, including Florida Regional Minority Business Council’s Supplier of the Year (2007); Winner of the Inc Magazine and Harvard Business School Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (1999-2000); Florida Manufacturing Technology Center/ Florida Business Journal Manufacturer of the Year (1999); and the US Department of Commerce & Minority Development Agency’s National Minority Manufacturer of the Year (1997).

About Interport Group of Companies
Interport Group of Companies is one of the region’s largest third party logistics providers offering freight forwarding, customs brokerage, foreign trade zone and domestic public warehousing, perishable center warehousing as well as a very active Foreign Trade Zone operations consulting, and a technology division creating hardware and software tools for trade and logistics. Interport currently operates over 350,000 sq. ft. of FTZ space in Miami-Dade County.

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