Miami’s 79th Street Corridor gets stamp of approval as foreign trade zone

The Foreign Trade Zone Board and PortMiami Foreign Trade Zone announced Monday that they have approved the 79th Street Corridor Initiative in Miami to operate as a foreign trade zone.

The designation, among the first nationwide for an economically disadvantaged urban area, positions the district as an international hub for trade and logistics, creating job opportunities, backers said. The application also includes Leasa Industries, a local food manufacturer that has operated within the 79th Street district since 1977.

“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,” said Ron Butler, executive director of the 79th Street Corridor.

In addition to welcoming international trading companies, the designation also creates opportunities for the county-initiated Green Tech Corridor being located along the corridor, enabling small businesses there to enjoy benefits of an FTZ, including the reduction or elimination of customs duties, backers said..

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 spearheaded by the 79th Street Coalition for Change, a team of business leaders and community stakeholders working together toward the shared goal of improving the corridor’s economy.