Wynwood Trade Zone Up For Sale
Written by Eric Kalis on July 12, 2007
By Eric Kalis
The owner of the Wynwood Foreign Trade Zone in Miami is selling the moribund eight-acre property with hopes of kick-starting development in the economically depressed area.
Wynwood Community Economic Development Corp., the federally licensed owner of the trade zone, agreed in March with real estate company RIMCI, which owns several small parcels at the 2235 NW Fifth Ave. site, to market the zone as Gateway Business Center at Wynwood, executive director William Rios said. The zone includes three rundown industrial and office buildings totaling 166,000 square feet and sits in an industrial zone.
Putting the zone on the market culminates three decades of efforts to create international trade opportunities and new jobs in Wynwood, Mr. Rios said.
The owners had been in litigation since the early 1990s with several parties, including the City of Miami and a former partner, and filed for bankruptcy in 2005. The Wynwood Trade Zone is within 1.5 miles of the Port of Miami and is licensed for duty-free trade with limited tariffs on imports and none on exports.
"Our organization’s original intent was to generate jobs," Mr. Rios said. "The property is in an incredible location, and whatever goes there will have a serious impact on what the community will become."
About 20 potential buyers are interested, said Wayne Ramoski, senior director for Cushman & Wakefield, which is marketing the property. The company is not listing a price and will entertain offers until Aug. 17.
The city’s zoning code rewrite, Miami 21, targets Wynwood as a Priority Development Area and would likely be flexible about potential uses despite the current industrial zoning, Mr. Ramoski said.
"Hopefully, [the buyer] will take a blighted property and turn it into a catalyst for change," he said.