Summary of Q2-2012 EB-5 Regional Economic Development media coverage

07.12.12 | Archived

The Association to Invest In the USA (IIUSA) collected fourteen EB-5 Regional Center Program focused articles published in the second quarter of 2012. During this period, major media outlets spotlighted EB-5 funded projects in nine different states including: California, Florida (2), Georgia, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Texas (4), Vermont (3), and Washington (2).

With less than 100 days left before the Program’s “Sunset Date” of September 30th, development projects utilizing EB-5 funding are gaining National attention. James O’Toole’s article for CNN Money entitled, “Citizenship for sale: Foreign investors flock to U.S” Was featured on Yahoo! Finance’s landing page.

O’Toole details the stiff competition the U.S. faces when attracting foreign investors. He quotes IIUSA member, Eric Major, CEO of Henley and Partners Ltd, declaring that, “Around 20 countries currently offer residency or citizenship by investment…. a figure that may soon grow with economies struggling in much of the developed world.”

The author also quoted IIUSA President, David Andersson, who reminded EB-5 stakeholders that despite the increased interest in the Program “We can’t let our guard down…the deadline [of September 30, 2012] approaches and Congress just demonstrates a reluctance to get things done.”  O’Toole also highlighted five projects around the country utilizing EB-5 capital, including: Ski/Summer resort (VT), Meat processing plant (SD), Hotel (WI), Wholesale bicycle vendor (PA), and Hurricane-resistant homes manufacturing (AL).

According to numerous media sources, the EB-5 program has contributed substantial capital to developing the clean energy projects, and boosting the green economy.

Maria Galluci, author for Inside Climate News, elaborates on the Program’s effective funding for the green sector in her article, “This Week in Clean Economy: Green Cards for Clean Energy Job Creators.”  Galluci writes that Lee Leffingwell, the mayor of Austin, Texas has, “announced a proposal to create the state’s first ‘EB-5 Regional Center’ geared specifically to clean energy development and green job creation.”  The author speculates, “Austin would become the eighth EB-5 center to focus solely on renewable energy projects out of the roughly 200 centers nationwide.”

The author also interviewed IIUSA Executive Director, Peter D. Joseph for the article, quoting him saying “The Program is about job creation without costing the taxpayer anything, which naturally translates into bipartisan support.”

The EB-5 Regional Center Program has proven to be a formidable tool when fundraising capital for green sector development projects.

Currently, three professional sports franchises’ are developing plans to use EB-5 investments to fund new stadiums. Michael Sasso, journalist for Tampa Bay Online, describes how, according to a Bloomberg News Report, the “EB-5 program is providing up to $228 million for a massive new, retail, housing and basketball arena complex for the New Jersey Nets.”

Sasso, in his piece titled, “Immigration Program Might Help Fund Rays Stadium” Explains that, “Chamber of commerce leaders from Tampa and St. Petersburg who have been studying how to pay for a new Rays stadium landed on an obscure federal immigration program called EB-5 that might help with the half-billion-dollar tab.”  The author further contends that the mayor of Oakland, Calif. has, “considered using EB-5 money to pay for a new Oakland Athletics baseball stadium.”

In Texas, the City of Dallas Regional Center (CDRC) – an IIUSA member – has gained substantial media attention celebrating the completion of several successful EB-5 funded projects. Author Bill Bowen of the Dallas Morning News writes, “The money has created 2,380 jobs; funded all or part of seven development projects; and has dispensed 238 EB-5 visas to the investors and their immediate family members.”

Bowen’s article “Dallas Sees Dividends from Visa Program for Foreign Investors” highlights a Regional Center that local officials claim is leading the nation in “attracting foreign investment”.

EB-5 Immigrant Investor capital is being utilized for a variety of projects, in a variety of locales. The common thread is that the investment capital is creating U.S. jobs and funding domestic development. While the Program is not a one-off cure for the current economic downturn, it has proven to be an effective part of the 21st century economic toolbox. With less than 90 days until the September 30th “sunset date,” IIUSA continues to urge Congress to pass legislation permanently reauthorizing the EB-5 Regional Center Program: such as S. 3245, S. 642, and H.R. 2972.

PDF versions of the articles used for this article are available by request (info@iiusa.org) and are as follows:

  • 2012-06-26 “Foreign investment program progresses” David Hendricks – San Antonio Express News 
  • 2012-06-12 “Record Number of Immigrants Expected to Receive EB-5 Investor Visas This Year” Bonnie Kavoussi – The Huffington Post 
  • 2012-06-11 “Citizenship for sale: Foreign investors flock to U.S.” James O’Toole – CNN Money
  • 2012-06-10 “Cleveland International Fund prepares to lend again” Michelle Jarboe McFee – The Plain Dealer
  • 2012-06-06 “NEK Searches For New Manufacturing Jobs” Steve Zind – VPR News 
  • 2012-06-06 “American Life’s immigrant investors to back latest Stadium Place project with $300M” Jeanne Lang Jones – Puget Sound Business Journal
  • 2012-06-04 “Wealthy Chinese seek special visas to relocate to Bay Area” John Boudreau –San Jose Mercury News
  • 2012-06-04 “Dallas sees dividends from visa program for foreign investors” Bill Bowen – The Dallas Morning News 
  • 2012-04-18 “Visa Program Seen Playing Bigger Role in Financing CRE Development” Randyl Drummer – CoStar Group
  • 2012-04-08 “Immigration program might help fund Rays stadium” Michael Sasso – Tampa Bay Online
  • 2012-04-06 “EB-5 Visas: A Smarter, Cleaner Plan” Audrey Singer – The New Republic
  • 2012-03-30 “This Week In Clean Economy: Green Cards for Clean Energy Job Creators” Maria Galluci – Inside Climate News