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MIAMI-All but the finishing touches remained at the newly built Eastern U Cargo Complex at Miami International Airport as LanChile SA began a relocation this week into what is now its new North American headquarters.

Developed over the better part of 21 months, the $110-million, 564,000-sf public-private project is billed as one of the world’s largest airport cargo complexes.

Airis, the Atlanta-based aviation facility development company, anticipated an 18-month construction schedule when Miami-Dade County officials approved the project in late 1999.

Airis is a joint venture of Atlanta-based Beers Construction Co. and Coral Gables, FL-based Codina Construction Co. Miami-based Perez & Perez Architects & Planners designed the project.

Under a 25-year lease, the Santiago de Chile-based provider of air passenger and cargo services will operate 387,000 sf of specialized air cargo processing facilities and 44,000 sf of administrative offices at the 48-acre development site.

In a prepared statement, the Chilean air carrier described the relocation as representing a 100% increase in its current space.

In addition to the LanChile lease, Fine Air Services Inc. is leasing another 133,000-sf of specialized cargo space in the complex from the Miami-Dade County Aviation Department. Of the entire development site, another 22 acres will be used as an airplane apron.

The complex is expected to handle more than 32% of the total air freight shipped between North and South America, according to information Airis published on its website (www.airis.com).

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