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Shoe company signs five-year lease with Ferriday

FERRIDAY — Neimaj Footwear and Apparel signed a five-year lease with the City of Ferriday Friday to use the former Kelly’s Kids building on Louisiana 15 for distribution and research.

Neimaj is a Memphis-based company, founded in 2009, with manufacturing facilities in China. The company specializes in eco-friendly footwear, according to its website. The company currently sells one product — the Neimaj O1 running shoe.

The lease requires the company to provide five jobs at an average salary for Concordia Parish initially and 50 average-paying jobs by year five.

The lease doesn’t require Neimaj to pay rent if it meets the job requirements, Concordia Parish Economic Development Director Heather Malone said.

“Because they are a new company, we wanted to provide them with incentives to come here,” Malone said. “They eventually plan to expand and move more of their operation here if things go well.”

If the company doesn’t meet requirements, Malone said the company would pay rent based on the severity of the job shortage.

Though the initial lease is only for five years, Malone said it will likely be extended if the company meets performance standards.

The Ferriday Board of Aldermen will announce intentions to lease the property at its meeting on Tuesday. The announcement marks the beginning of a 60-day waiting period, required by law, before the lease becomes official.