Ecosteel USA proposes $240M steel mill complex in Homestead

7 May 2018

Ecosteel USA, a construction and engineering firm and building supplier, is proposing a $240 million steel mill complex on about 124 acres of county-owned land in Homestead, outside the Homestead Air Reserve Base.

The Ecosteel facility would be an “eco-friendly steel mill,” meaning it would use an electric furnace to melt scrap steel into billets. The company said it expects to produce about 1,000 tons of steel a day, and would include a rebar mill.

The California company is getting help from a group of local investors including Julio Gimenez, son of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez. The mayor recused himself from negotiating with Ecosteel, according to the Miami Herald. Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Esteban “Steve” Bovo has the authority to reject the proposal. Ecosteel needs the commission’s approval to move forward.

Ecosteel’s proposal comes just two months after President Trump announced tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. While developers in New York and other parts of the country are bracing for the financial impact of the tariffs, builders in South Florida aren’t as concerned because of the region’s strict building codes requiring structures be built with concrete and rebar — which is often domestically sourced.

Ecosteel’s proposal states that a local steel mill would reduce the need for trips to Jacksonville and Alabama, where most contractors get their rebar, beams and other supplies.