Foreign Trade Zone Attracts First Company To Goodyear Gateway South

Published: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - 6:07pm
Updated: Thursday, August 11, 2016 - 9:42am
(Photo courtesy LGE Design Build)
The Michael Lewis Company distributes food and catering supplies to major airlines.
(Photo courtesy LGE Design Build)
The Michael Lewis Company built a 300,000 square foot distribution center in Goodyear.
(Photo courtesy LGE Design Build)
Goodyear's location, available space and a Foreign Trade Zone designation were among the reasons why Michael Lewis Company moved from Phoenix.

The first business at Goodyear Gateway South recently opened its doors.

The industrial park, located just north of Phoenix Goodyear Airport, includes a Foreign Trade Zone designation. It's an important feature for Frank Kunz who oversees Phoenix area operations for the Michael Lewis Company.

“In layman’s terms, we’re a food distribution facility,” he said. 

The food Kunz’s employees handle is destined for the skies, shipped to airports and consumed on planes. They also distribute other items for airlines like napkins, soap and towels. 

“It allows our customers to keep low inventories,” he said.

After outgrowing space near Sky Harbor Airport, Kunz said the company picked Goodyear to build a 300,000 square foot warehouse and distribution center. Its location provides easy access to airports in the West and the Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) designation was attractive. 

“Every one of these parcels is pre-approved as an FTZ,” he said. “ So, what that means to us is that cuts out the initial legwork and about six months of paperwork. You don’t have to start the process from scratch.” 

Created to encourage foreign commerce, the zone allows products to be stored and move around duty free. 

“You’re not paying tax when it comes in and when it goes back out,” Kunz said.

For example, British Airways can send orders to the warehouse in Goodyear where it ships to caterers who then deliver to airlines in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Duties are only assessed when items reach their final destination. 

Goodyear promotes the city as having the most Foreign Trade Zones in the Phoenix metro area. Arizona state law also provides property tax breaksin an approved Foreign Trade Zone.