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Florida Developer Seeks Marina Funding Through EB-5 Visa Program

A developer that has focused most of his career on high-end condominium and commercial projects is looking to put together a marina complex in Port Charlotte, Florida. The complex will include seven buildings capable of housing 645 boats. A 42,000 square foot clubhouse and office building will be equipped with a rooftop helipad.

The developer plans to spend $3.5 million of his own money on the project. The developer seeks to raise $34 million dollars. He intends to tap in to the United States immigration EB-5 visa program to fund the marina project.

EB-5 visas are available for foreign nationals who wish to expedite the application process for a green card through investing in American business that create jobs. Currently, foreign nationals must invest at least $500,000 in a business that creates at least 10 new jobs to qualify under the employment immigration EB-5 visa program.

The developer hopes to raise the $34 million from 68 foreign investors under the program. The racks will be sold to boaters in the United States, while the company will be owned by the EB-5 investors who will share in the profits of the marina business.

The developer projects the marina to generate six times the $160,000 a traditional marina generates each month in service fees. The developer intends to sell the racks as shared boat racks. Each boater will buy a one-sixth share of a rack in the marina. The developer believes the project will generate $12 million in annual cash flow and create 150 new jobs.

Source: Herald Tribune, "A new concept in marina ownership," Michael Braga, 13 Dec 2010

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