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Capital Region Economic Development Council Announces EB-5 Immigrant Investor Project Moving Forward

(July 17, 2012)

Capital Region Economic Development Council Announces EB-5 Immigrant Investor Project Moving Forward

The Capital Region Economic Development Council today announced that the Center for Economic Growth (CEG) has signed a contract to officially move forward with the first stages of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program application which, if successful, would establish a Regional Center to attract foreign investment and create jobs in the Capital Region. The project was awarded $125,000 as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative.

“The Council designated the EB-5 Program as a priority project based on its potential to encourage investment and grow jobs in the Capital Region,” said Linda Hillman, Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce President and Capital Region Economic Development Council member. “We look forward to a successful application overseen by our partners at CEG and applaud the Governor’s efforts to implement this community driven process that is now driving the future economic prosperity of the region.”

The CEG has contracted with Prime Regional Center, LLC, an affiliate of Prime Companies, headquartered in Cohoes, which intends to create and operate the Regional Center. CEG contributed $12,500 to the $137,500 project and will oversee Prime’s preparation and filing of an application to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Once operational, CEG will assist Prime with marketing and promoting the center.

The Regional Center presents a key opportunity to attract foreign investment and create jobs, as well as housing, educational and entertainment opportunity for the region. The application is expected to be completed within the next several months with final acceptance by the Federal government before the end of the year.

“The establishment of an EB-5 Regional Center will provide our region with yet another tool to market the region to outside investors,” said F. Michael Tucker, President and CEO of the Center for Economic Growth. “The opportunity to attract investments from around the world will further advance the region’s emerging reputation as a global innovation and technology cluster. Prime Regional Center, LLC and its affiliate Prime Companies have the experience and expertise to successfully operate the EB-5 Center.”

“We appreciate the state and CEG support for the establishment of the regional center,” said Kenneth Raymond, Managing Partner of the Prime Regional Center, LLC. “We look forward to working with area developers in the creation of good-paying, quality jobs for the residents of the Capital Region.”

The EB-5 program was created by Congress in 1990 and makes permanent residence, or Green Cards, available to qualified individuals seeking U.S. residency based on their creating new jobs in the country through investment in new or financially troubled commercial enterprises. The Regional Center program requires that foreign investors make capital investments of either $500,000 or $1 million in a commercial enterprise located within the U.S. The investment must create 10 fulltime jobs for qualifying residents within two years of the foreign investor’s admission to the country.

Last year, a total of $785 million was awarded through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans. The Capital Region was awarded $62.7 million in state support through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative and CFA process for some 88 projects across the region. As part of that process, $125,000 in funding was awarded to the Center for Economic Growth from Empire State Development.

“The creation of an EB-5 Regional Center is a unique approach to stimulating the local economy through job creation and capital investment,” said ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “This project will spur economic growth with limited state resources to support a program that, at no expense to the taxpayer, creates jobs and economic opportunities. This is a perfect example of Governor Cuomo’s vision for the Regional Council initiative and CFA process at work. ESD is pleased to support CEG’s application for this federal program.”

To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.

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