Miami-Dade mayor’s son wants to build a $300M steel mill on county-owned land

Development group plans to raise $50M from EB-5 investors
May 06, 2019 12:35PM

Julio Gimenez wants to build a $298 million steel mill project (Credit: iStock)

Julio Gimenez wants to build a $298 million steel mill project (Credit: iStock)

Miami-Dade County commissioners will vote Tuesday on the no-bid, $16.8 million sale of county-owned land near Homestead to a group that includes county mayor Carlos Gimenez’s son, Julio Gimenez.

The venture, called Miami-Dade Steel LLC, wants to build the $298 million steel mill project on about 123 acres of county-owned land. The group hopes to sell $200 million worth of bonds on Wall Street and raise another $100 million from investors, about half of which would come from EB-5 investors, according to the Miami Herald.

Mayor Gimenez recused himself at the beginning of the process in mid-2017.  His son is a minority partner in the project with 23 percent interest. Gustavo Lopez, who told the Herald he’s built mills in Colombia, Ecuador and China, is the lead partner.

Unlike traditional steel plants, micro mills rely on electricity. More of them have been popping up due to President Trump’s tariffs on imported steel. They typically feed local projects, which in the case of the Homestead mill would go to construction projects in South Florida as well as to Latin American importers using PortMiami.

The U.S. Air Force gifted the land, as part of a 600-acre portfolio, to the county in 2004 when the military was reducing its footprint. The county is required to use it for economic-development projects. [Miami Herald]Katherine Kallergis