June 7, 2011
Program Gives Investors Chance at Visa
The Wall Street Journal
by Sumathi Reddy and Joseph De Avila
A 38-story luxury Times Square Hotel. A medical center, hotel and condominium development in downtown Flushing. And New York City's reportedly first Proton Therapy Cancer Treatment Center.
All rely on an unusual source of funding: immigrants who invest $500,000 for a shot at a shortcut to permanent residency.
The program has its critics. They say it has been pitched at times to foreigners as a sure-fire way to get a green card or as a risk-free investment—which it's not.
Some immigrants have experienced deteriorating investments and been sent home packing after developments flop. Since all of the regional centers in New York City are relatively new, none of the investors have reached the point where they would have applied for permanent residency.
Michael Gibson, who researches EB-5 projects for investors through his Florida-based business, said it's hard to monitor what overseas agents are pitching to foreign investors.
The New York City Regional Center has raised $60 million for the Brooklyn Navy Yard and $65 million for Steiner Studios, a film and television studio in Brooklyn. The center is in the process of raising $249 million to pay for infrastructure costs for developer Forest City Ratner Cos.'s Nets basketball arena in Brooklyn, its biggest project so far.
Posted by eric at June 7, 2011 1:10 PM