Is this for real..?
To help finance its $125 million project, the Brooklyn Navy Yard is hoping to lure investors with the tantalizing prospect of permanent residency. The EB-5 visa can be awarded to up to 10,000 foreigners who invest $500,000 to $1 million in American businesses and projects. Once the investors can document that their investments created at least 10 jobs, they are granted green cards. Robert Lieber, deputy mayor for economic development told the Wall Street Journal, "This is a real interesting and clever way to provide financing."
The Yard's expansion is expected to create about 2,800 "green" jobs. The city will pay for $81 million in upgrades, but they're relying on investors to cover the rest of the projects, like the development of the new Green Manufacturing Center. The EB-5 program began in 1990, and has been growing in popularity, issuing 4,218 visas last year to mostly Asian investors. In 1992 Congress approved a measure that would let regional centers organize the investments, and New York's regional center has made the Brooklyn Navy Yards its first investment.
The project was chosen because of the high unemployment rate in the area, which meant a better chance for job creation. Bed-Stuy currently has a 14.8% unemployment rate, and Fort Greene's in 9.9%. Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp president Andrew Kimball said, "This program is raising money for New York City and Brooklyn the way that Congress intended it to."