NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CanAm Enterprises (CanAm) and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) are very pleased to announce that the largest repayment in the EB-5 Program’s history was made recently when the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority (PCCA) repaid its $122 million loan.
At a time when affordable financing was unavailable even for public projects by governmental authorities, the EB-5 loan was a critical source of financing for PCCA’s long-planned expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Located in Center City, only one block from City Hall, the expansion more than doubled the size of the Pennsylvania Convention Center in order to compete with other major convention venues such as the Javits Center in New York and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. Completion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center expansion in March 2011 enabled Philadelphia to host major events that it could not previously accommodate, in turn attracting new visitors to Philadelphia and spurring hospitality-related development throughout Center City. The construction and operation of the expanded Convention Center resulted in more than 3,095 qualifying jobs as approved by the USCIS.
Former Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell has long been an advocate of the EB-5 Program in Pennsylvania. As Governor, he was an especially ardent supporter for the use of EB-5 financing for the Pennsylvania Convention Center. “[It] came at a critical time and was instrumental in financing the expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center,” said Governor Rendell. “The expansion has had a significant positive impact to our hospitality and tourism industry. We are grateful to CanAm and PIDC for their efforts.”
John McNichol, President of PCCA, agrees. "The $122 million Welcome Fund loan from the CanAm PIDC Regional Center was an important part of completing the expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Both PIDC and CanAm understood the importance of making sure that the EB-5 funds were available when we needed it in order to complete the expansion as planned. I am happy to say it worked out for all sides."
“The EB-5 program works,” adds John Grady, President of PIDC, the City of Philadelphia’s economic development authority. “It has been invaluable as a resource for investment in Philadelphia projects, especially considering the economic conditions of the last five years, which have been among the most challenging in the modern history of the City. A project like the Pennsylvania Convention Center expansion is an investment in the public interest. Even now, we are just seeing the beginnings of those benefits. The true long-term impacts to the City will come in the years ahead.”
The CanAm PIDC Regional Center, run through a partnership between New York-based CanAm Enterprises, which has specialized in immigration-linked investments for more than 25 years, and PIDC, is one of the most successful EB-5 Regional Centers in the nation. Over the past ten years, it has raised nearly $609 million in EB-5 funds and has helped create approximately 15,000 new jobs in the City of Philadelphia. In addition to the Pennsylvania Convention Center project, included among its 30 projects to date are Aker Philadelphia Shipyard ($80 million), a new electronic fare system for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) ($175 million), research and development facilities at the University City Science Center ($20 million), and Agusta Aerospace’s plant expansion at the Northeast Philadelphia Airport ($29.5 million).
“When we first received our designation, we were one of only three or four active Regional Centers in the United States. Today, there are well over 580 USCIS-designated Regional Centers,” said Tom Rosenfeld, President and CEO of CanAm. “Even as the Program has grown, this Regional Center remains one of the earliest and most enduring success stories. It has been an amazing ten years, and we are very proud to have played a role in financing some of the most important projects in the Philadelphia region,” added Rosenfeld.
All the 244 EB-5 investors and their families have obtained unconditional permanent residency status as a result of their investment in the Pennsylvania Convention Center project. They are among the more than 1,300 CanAm investors who have received permanent residency status to date, and the more than 800 that have been repaid to date.
“Our investors have two concerns: first, that the project meets EB-5 Program requirements; second, that, within reason, their investments are protected,” said Mr. Rosenfeld. To carry out that mission, CanAm invests a tremendous amount of work in the project submission in order to demonstrate to USCIS that the project meets the highest standards of the EB-5 Program and will create thousands of qualifying jobs in the region. Rosenfeld continued, “We believe that our investors take a lot of comfort in our track record, which is second to none in the EB-5 Program.”
“People prove their worth in times of uncertainty, not when times are easy. During a turbulent economy and some rapid changes in EB-5 legislation interpretation, CanAm proved to be the best EB-5 company. I was kept up to date consistently with the progress, and I never worried about the security or return of my investment. I would recommend CanAm to every EB-5 applicant; they are simply the best company in this business.”
- Mr. Bowden, U.K., investor in the Pennsylvania Convention Center Project
“Ever since I was a 15-year old boy I had a strong desire to live in the U.S. and I made several attempts to fulfill my wish. When I first heard about the EB-5 program in 2008 I had no doubt that this was my last chance and although I felt uncomfortable about the high amount of necessary investment and the conditions of repayment I grabbed it without hesitation. CanAm led me through the program, they were always there for me and they never made a single promise they did not keep. I have already applied for US Citizenship and expect to be a US Citizen starting in October this year. My family and I will be forever grateful.”
- Mr. Berghoff, Germany, investor in the Pennsylvania Convention Center Project
About CanAm Enterprises, LLC
With over 25 years of experience promoting immigration-linked investments in the United States and Canada, CanAm has a long and established track record. Based on a reputation of credibility and trust, CanAm has financed more than 45 project loans and raised $1.6 billion in EB-5 investment funds. To date, CanAm has had more than 2,600 I-526 petitions approved; 1,300 I-829 petitions approved; and repaid principal to more than 800 investors. CanAm exclusively operates six USCIS-designated Regional Centers that are located in the City of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the County of Los Angeles, the State of Hawaii, the metropolitan region of New York, and the North Country Region of Plattsburgh, NY.
For more information, please visit www.canamenterprises.com
About EB-5 Program
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5), administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), provides opportunities for qualified foreign nationals to achieve permanent legal residency in the U.S. through an investment in an USCIS-approved project that will generate at least ten full-time jobs in the United States.