PORT EVERGLADES, FL-AutoTerminal America has leased 10 acres of land from Broward County for a 45,000-sf vehicle distribution operation. The $2 million facility, on which construction has just begun, is expected to process 36,000 vehicles annually for trans-shipment from Asia, Europe and the Middle East to the Caribbean and Latin America.

Aggregate value of the AutoTerminal lease is $20.16 million. In addition, the county is to receive wharfage fees of $4.59 per vehicle that will be collected twice: once when a vehicle arrives from overseas and again when it is shipped out. AutoTerminal expects Port Everglades will eventually become the largest of its seven vehicle-processing locations around the world.

The county bought the entire Southport tract three years ago from developer Michael Swerdlow for $120 million. The original deal with Swerdlow saw the developer lease back 97 acres from Broward for warehouse development. The two sides recently broke off negotiations for the county to buy out the lease after it seized five acres when Swerdlow failed to build.

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