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EB-5 Market Updates

Posted: February 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas | Tags: , | No Comments »

The following is a repost of a letter we recently received from CMB Regional Centers regarding the expansion of their EB-5 activities:

CMB has recently been working to expand our geographic scope to include new areas of operation such as Texas, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. Additionally, CMB has a variety of news to report in a number of other areas including: a new State of Iowa Regional Center collaboration, continued progress in our $1 million investment, an impending $500,000 partnership release, an EB-5 industry update, and a preview of some upcoming projects. 

In January, CMB Regional Centers was appointed as the exclusive operator of the State of Iowa Regional Center, previously operated by the State of Iowa’s Economic Development Authority (IEDA). While the Iowa Regional Center has already achieved I-526 and I-829 approvals within its dairy investments, CMB and IEDA look to build upon these earlier successes and introduce EB-5 investment to other industry sectors across the State of Iowa. In a recent IEDA Board of Directors meeting, IEDA Director Debi Durham made the following remark of CMB, 

IEDA has conducted extensive due diligence on CMB because the most important part of this process is making sure we have the right partner. It was absolutely essential that the organization representing the State of Iowa has the same high standards and credibility that we expect of ourselves. I’m pleased to say we found that in CMB. 

CMB will join Iowa’s Lt. Governor, Kim Reynolds, on a high-profile Trade Mission to Vietnam and the Philippines in February. The IEDA’s announcement of the partnership with CMB and the Iowa Regional Center may be found on their website: 

As many of you are aware, CMB has recently opened our first $1 million investment opportunity. There are a number of aspects of this partnership that make it unique. This project offers the greatest safety in job creation of any previous CMB partnership. The investor’s capital contribution alone creates 90% of the jobs that are required for an I-829 approval. Additionally, investors need not prove that the investment is located in a qualified targeted employment area. The investment is in one of the most affluent areas of California, or for that matter the United States, thus it is not a high unemployment area and the investment level is $1 million. Further, due to the tiered interest rate schedule, the 5-year loan is structured to incentivize the borrower to repay in approximately three years. Finally, investors are projected to earn a greater rate of return (five times higher) than in other $500,000 CMB partnerships. 

CMB is enthusiastic to announce the upcoming release of our next $500,000 investment partnership. We have received the authorization to raise $80 million of EB-5 capital (160 investor units) from our target investment. Attached to this email is an Overview for the CMB Export Infrastructure Investment Group XI project and a copy of the authorization to raise capital from our target investment Cobra Energy Investments. This Group XI partnership consists of a loan to a second equity partner in the massive Crescent Dunes utility-scale solar facility that was part of CMB’s Group IX investment. CMB structured Group IX’s investment with SolarReserve in anticipation for a second EB-5 funding to a separate equity partner other than SolarReserve. The original SolarReserve project specifically addressed the job creation allocation between the two investment groups. In other words, USCIS anticipates this additional funding because the possibility was discussed in the I-526 filings of Group IX and the USCIS has been clearly informed that no jobs would be double counted. 

We are working to finalize the overall project documents such as the loan agreement and the partnership documents: Escrow, Limited Partnership Agreement, Private Placement Memorandum, and the Subscription Agreement. Once the loan agreement is finalized, we will build the various partnership agreements and they will be sent to the interested parties for review. CMB investments continue to be in high demand. As such, CMB has experienced challenges in meeting the interests of all those wishing to invest in a CMB partnership. In this project and future projects (see below), we will not accept investors or allocate any units in the projects until all documents are complete. I need to repeat that we will not hold any units for any reason, unless those units were promised in conjunction with a $1 million Group XII investor placement. However, we will keep you informed of our progress in order for you to prepare your clients for the next CMB project. We expect our lawyers will need about four weeks to finish the negotiations for the final loan document. Over the next 3 to 4 weeks please read the overview, review the authorization to raise capital letter, and ask questions of our staff in order to be ready when the loan agreement is finalized and the partnership documents are produced. If you followed CMB Group IX (SolarReserve), then you will see that this is a very similar project and one we are very proud to introduce. 

Recent events in the EB-5 industry have shed light on the value of quality due diligence. The recent SEC charges against certain Regional Center principals responsible for the Chicago Convention Center project show that it does not make sense to cut corners in this industry. CMB develops projects methodically and transparently to prevent problems of this nature. CMB has been aware of this problematic project for some time and has spoken out against it. We believe that this unfortunate instance reinforces the value of waiting for a CMB project. We know many of you have shown incredible patience in waiting for the next CMB project and we thank you. 

In the coming months we expect Congress to convene hearings concerning immigration policies in general and EB-5 in particular. These discussions will focus upon the perceived quality of the EB-5 program, the problems in the industry, challenges of the USCIS, and the future of the Regional Center Program. President Obama has recently voiced his support of reauthorizing the EB-5 Regional Center Program permanently. CMB is fully engaged in this process and believes that this is an excellent opportunity to institute reforms to reduce the potential for industry fraud, as was recently witnessed in Chicago. 

Finally, we want to announce some other upcoming projects that we have been developing. These projects are not yet ready for release, but have reached the stage where we believe commencement is imminent. As mentioned earlier, we have been expanding our geographic reach to include new states and some of these projects reflect that expansion. 

  • Texas-Construction of luxury multi-family apartments located in a historic building-approximately $87 million in total project costs-anticipated $25 million EB-5 loan (50 investor units)
  • California-Construction of two mixed-use industrial buildings -approximately $76 million in total project costs-anticipated $20 million EB-5 loan (40 investor units)
  • Nevada-Construction of a utility-scale solar facility with a 25-year executed Power Purchase Agreement in place -approximately $680 million in total project costs-anticipated $60 million EB-5 loan (120 investor units)
  • Texas-Construction and operation of multi-use hotel and convention center-approximately $577 million in total project costs-anticipated $300 million EB-5 loan (600 investor units)
  • California-Construction and operation of a destination resort hotel-approximately $300 million in total project costs-anticipated $116 million EB-5 loan (232 investor units) 

Obviously, we plan to have many high-quality partnerships available throughout the coming months. We anticipate the official release of the Group XI Cobra partnership in approximately one month. The purpose of this announcement is simply to introduce to our marketplace this upcoming opportunity and to share our excitement about the other potential projects that are coming this year. We expect 2013, the Chinese year of the snake with our first large project a Cobra, to be our most successful year to date! Happy New Year!

New SMILE Initiative Builds Coalition for Immigration Reform

Posted: February 15th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Jaensch Immigration Law Firm announces the launch of its latest initiative, SMILE (Sarasota-Manatee Immigrants Lift the Economy).  The initiative’s objective is to keep area residents informed with up-to-the-minute news on the immigration debate, demonstrate district support for immigration reform, and collect and share immigration stories.

Sarasota-Manatee Immigrants Lift the Economy Logo

Sarasota-Manatee Immigrants Lift the Economy

“We are all immigrants to some extent,” says Jaensch Immigration Law Firm attorney Victoria Jaensch Karins.  “This very firm was founded by an immigrant, and today 12% of Sarasota and Bradenton county residents are foreign-born and that percentage is rising.”

Immigration reform received cheers and a standing ovation when mentioned in Tuesday’s State of the Union address.  SMILE will keep area residents informed on the debate with up-to-the minute news on their website and Facebook page.

In addition, SMILE will demonstrate district support for immigration.  Supporters can publicly “like” SMILE’s Facebook page, or privately fill out their survey.  SMILE organizers will stay in touch with their adherents through regular email updates.  They will be organizing events and holding one-on-one talks with area leaders to discuss immigration and its economic impact.

Most importantly, SMILE will be a place for immigrants to share their stories – good and bad.  “We want to hear from area immigrants about their experiences to clarify the issue and rally support for reform,” says Ms. Karins.  “Area immigrants are welcome to share their stories on our Facebook page or via email.”

To share your story with SMILE visit their Facebook page or email

Gulf Coast Community Foundation Supports STEM Majors

Posted: February 13th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Employer & Student Visas, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »


STEM Programs in Sarasota

Cover from the Biz941 article about STEM majors

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) degrees are in high demand.   There is so much demand, in fact, and so few students, that there are special privileges for foreign students who pursue STEM degrees.  Moreover, Congress is contemplating reforming the immigration system to include giving green cards to foreign students who obtain STEM degrees.

To support the pursuit of STEM degrees in Sarasota the Gulf Coast Community Foundation recently launched a new, $2.5 million, five-year initiative that aims to deeply integrate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in our education system.  The effort is called STEMsmart.  It is part of a larger campaign that began in 2000 that provides resources and funding to secondary education, primarily in the science and math areas.  An assessment commissioned by the Gulf Coast Board indicated that retaining educated youth and preparing our workforce for targeted future industries are critical issues for our region.  Meanwhile, conversations with local school administrators, teachers, and students reinforced that science and math were areas that could be improved.

With the launch of the STEMsmart initiative, GCCF joins a growing national movement to provide teachers with the training and tools they need to prepare their students for the changing world.  The goals of the initiative include:

Help local schools embrace Florida’s new, more rigorous Next Generation standards

Assist teachers in teaching these new standards through professional development

Make STEM programs meaningful, relative, and fun through internships

Rally the community with a public information campaign about the importance of STEMsmart

The STEMsmart program includes an innovation award which seeks to recognize any organization, business, product or service that embodies the spirit of STEMsmart – integrated thinking powered by inspiration and invention in equal doses.  The monthly (and yearly) recognition will be much sought after, studied, celebrated, and publicized.  Go to to tender your nomination.

Sarasota Immigrant Founds IT Start-up

Posted: February 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Stefan Wild is a Sarasota immigrant who recently founded an IT start-up in the HuB.  His company, archivedi, provides a very valuable service: storage and sharing of media files on the cloud.

Sarasota immigrants new business website

archivedi’s website

Does your organization have to deal with a lot of media files like images (photos), videos, documents or audio?  Then you need a place to store those, and you will want to easily find and then securely share them with branch offices, colleagues, clients, journalists, advertising agencies, …

Here’s where archivedi comes into play. You can store all your media files in the cloud on their secure servers.  For cataloging, you can freely define your own criteria (like product line, article number, event, catalogue page), so you find the files you need in a matter of seconds.  archivedi then lets you share them selectively with anyone, cleverly working around the limitations of E-Mail attachments by just sending out an individual link to the archivedi web site, where the recipient can pick a format or resolution he or she needs and download directly from there. 

So whether you want to get the video and photos from the last fundraiser to the press and sponsors, your webmaster needs that photo of the CEO, or the office in Europe wants access to the product photos from the newest catalog – you’re all set with archivedi.

archivedi is based on the open source digital asset management (DAM) software ResourceSpace, that is being used by organizations around the world.

Mr. Wild is well qualified to serve as President of archivedi.  He earned a Diplom-Informatiker (FH) degree from the University of Applied Sciences in Dortmund, Germany, in 2010 and has over 14 years of experience working as a web developer and consultant in his own business for corporations in Germany, Switzerland and Italy.  He had existing contacts in Sarasota and when he heard that the HuB was opening he decided to make the jump to the United States.  He plans to expand archivedi’s business as well as build new ideas for more start-ups.

Sarasota Immigrants New Business

archivedis office in the HuB

Visit archivedi’s website and check out their innovative system for yourself.

E-2 or EB-5 Investor Visas: How to Use Commercial Property to Qualify

Posted: February 11th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas | Tags: , , | 7 Comments »

Italian Restaurant for Sale near Lakewood Ranch

Posted: February 8th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , | No Comments »
Business opportunity for Sarasota immigrants

A photo of the interior or Gio’s Restaurant, currently for sale

Our friend Eric Massey recently told us about an Italian restaurant called Gio’s that is closing immediately and will be available for lease.  It is 2800 square feet at 12 Oaks Plaza on the corner of State Road 70 and I-75 near Lakewood Ranch.  This plaza includes a Publix and Geckos’s.  All equipment and furniture will remain in place including a wood oven.  The landlord is looking for $10,000 in key money and take over the lease.  Rent is $5,016.67 per month plus the 6.5% sales tax.

Investing in or buying a business is a viable strategy for obtaining an E-2 investment visa.  It depends what country an immigrant is from but an E-2 visa can be valid for up to five years.  Click the link to read more about strategies for obtaining an E-2 investment visa.

For more information about the business listing contact Eric Massey (941) 809-6351.


Sarasota Commercial Realtor Shares Some of Her Listings

Posted: February 5th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »
Sarasota Commercial Realtor Susan Goldstein

Sarasota Commercial Realtor Susan Goldstein

Susan Goldstein is a Sarasota commercial realtor with business experience.  She received her MBA from Columbia University and worked in marketing and advertising for such firms as American Express and Proctor and Gamble.  Today she uses those skills to market commercial property in the Sarasota-Bradenton area.  We recently saw her again at the Commercial Investment Division of the Sarasota Association of Realtors and she agreed to share some of her listings with us.

  1. 1961 Floyd Street.  This is a Medical Office Condo.  It is just over the $300000.
  2. 1487 2nd Street.  This is an investment property.  The value is in the income and future development potential.

We hope these listings prove valuable for those of you who are thinking of starting or investing in a business in Sarasota.  For more information and listings, please contact:

Susan H. Goldstein, MBA

Commercial Specialist

Michael Saunders & Company

8325 Lakewood Ranch Blvd.

Lakewood Ranch, Florida  34202

941-907-9595 office

941-907-8802 fax

941-350-9747 cell