Hollywood, Florida attracting EB-5 investment
The initial project of an EB-5 regional center in Florida is poised to revitalize downtown Hollywood, Florida.
The Gold Coast Florida Regional Center is one of 10 EB-5 regional centers in Florida and recently started operations, according to the Hollywood Gazette.
The centers first project will be the Hollywood Circle project on Young Circle. The 25-story mixed use structure will hold 397 residential apartments, 20,000 square feet of retail space, a 48,000 square foot supermarket, a restaurant and a boutique hotel.
“Hollywood Circle will enhance one of Hollywood’s most important sites and attract the consumers and residents needed to create a sustainable downtown environment,” Charles “Chip” Abele, the EB-5 regional center’s chairman and one of its co-founders, said. “Its benefits will include nearly 400 new upper-income residential families, millions in annual tax revenues and a $500,000 public improvements contribution to Hollywood’s ArtsPark.”
The EB-5 visa program allows U.S. businesses to obtain foreign investment. In exchange for a $1 million investment, foreign nationals become eligible for U.S. green cards if the investment leads to the creation or preservation of 10 jobs.
EB-5 regional centers were created shortly after the EB-5 visa program was started to help direct and manage EB-5 investments. These centers can be “any economic unit, public or private, which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment,” according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.
Some EB-5 regional centers, like the Gold Coast Florida Regional Center, are designated as Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs), which are defined by law as “a rural area or an area that has experienced high unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average.” Only a $500,000 investment is needed in such areas.
The Hollywood Circle project isn’t the only endeavor in Hollywood seeking foreign investment. According to the news source, the planned $126 million Margaritaville resort is hoping to attract foreign capital.
Specifically, $75 million in foreign investment is hoped to be obtained for the project. With the rest of the funding coming from development equity, loans and other sources. This project is hoped to bring 3,000 jobs to the area.
Most EB-5 investors come from China, with USCIS numbers showing that 1,979 Chinese people received green cards through the EB-5 visa program in 2009.