Instead of popping bottles, Flo Rida will be filling them up.
The rapper, singer and songwriter is partnering with Fort Lauderdale businessman Victor G. Harvey Sr. to create Victor George Vodka, a partnership that includes building a distillery in the Sistrunk neighborhood.
Flo Rida, whose real name is Tramar Lacel Dillard, and Harvey are planning a 13,000-square-foot facility at 1012 Sistrunk Boulevard, according to a press release. The project will have a 4,500-square-foot distillery, a cigar bar, wine bar, lounge and restaurant.
Flo Rida, who was born and raised in Carol City, is an equity partner in VG Vodka. The Grammy-winning rapper’s top hits include “Low,” “My House” and “Right Round.” He and Harvey plan to launch VG Spirits in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and New York this spring. A national rollout is expected next year, and the company plans to also create whiskey, gin, tequila and speciality liqueurs.
Records show that Harvey paid $75,000 for the 6,306-square-foot Sistrunk lot in November. The property is in an Opportunity Zone, which means the developers could qualify for significant tax benefits.
The distillery is expected to be completed by early 2021. The historic Sistrunk neighborhood is Fort Lauderdale’s oldest African American community, and is near downtown Fort Lauderdale, Progresso and Flagler Village.
“What we are building in the Sistrunk community is exactly what the area needs. A place to dine, drink, and socialize without having to leave the area,” Harvey said in the release.
Investors who develop in federally designated Opportunity Zones can defer federal taxes on capital gains until the end of 2026. The popular federal program, which is meant to spur investment in low-income areas, has faced mounting criticism for serving as a tax break for wealthy developers.