A. Lee Graham
More companies could save property taxes and customs duties if the Fort Worth City Council and other entities support plans to expand foreign-trade acreage in Mercantile Business Park.
The issue is up for consideration at the next regular council meeting.
Pre-council begins at 4 p.m. Tuesday Jan. 7, with the regular meeting starting at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 1000 Throckmorton St.
The business park already offers 630 acres where Interstate 35W and Northeast Loop 820 meet north of downtown. Under the proposal, its boundaries would expand in all directions, notably meeting Interstate 35 to the west and Loop 820 to the north.
Having received a letter of support from Haltom City, the foreign trade-zone grantee has requested a similar letter from the city of Fort Worth.
Other affected cities are Saginaw and North Richland Hills.
Companies operating within such zones pay no duty on imports until they leave the zone for a domestic destination. Duties also are waived on items brought into the zone and exported since the items never enter customs territory. The idea is to lower the costs of U.S.-based companies engaged in international trade to create and retain employment and capital investment opportunities resulting from those operations.
In other business, the council will consider a rezoning request allowing 27,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space at La Gran Plaza west of Interstate 35W along West Seminary Drive. The property was previously zoned to allow a rodeo arena, plans that never reached fruition. With council approval, property owner Town Center Mall LP would remove rodeo use designation from the site plan and replace it with two pad sites for restaurant and retail uses.