PR, Texas EB-5 centers get behind $500M resort project in St. Thomas

PR, Texas EB-5 centers get behind $500M resort project in St. Thomas

The Omega Puerto Rico Regional Center and North Texas EB-5 Regional Center have reached an agreement to raise EB-5 funds for the development of the Port of Mandahl Caribbean Conference Resort in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

This strategic alliance will link the two regional centers with the developer, Mandahl Bay Holdings, and together introduce the EB-5 marketplace to this $500 million project on St. Thomas. When completed, the development will include two full-service hotels, a golf course, a state of the art conference center, retail and commercial space, and high-end residential units. Both regional centers are represented by Greenberg Traurig’s business and immigration team.

“We have spent the past year working together on this concept and are very excited about introducing this project in the Chinese marketplace,” said James Taylor, Omega Puerto Rico Regional Center president.

The EB-5 program (Employment-Based, Fifth-Preference Category) is a federal visa program that aims to promote investment and create jobs by granting U.S. residency to foreigners who make investments and create jobs in U.S. rural areas with low population density or in depressed urban areas where the unemployment rate exceeds 150 percent of the U.S. national average.

Taylor said one of the biggest questions raised by Chinese investors has been U.S. taxation. Although not required, EB-5 investors can choose to make Puerto Rico their permanent residence and be subject to a flat 4 percent federal tax rate. As U.S. green card holders or U.S. citizens, they can still enjoy all the rights of any US citizen and travel anywhere in the United States or all around the world as US citizens.

“This project, with a budget in excess of $500 million, will bring much-needed jobs to the U.S. Virgin Islands. More resorts of this size are needed in the Caribbean and with the latest passport requirements in places like the Bahamas, U.S. territories like Puerto Rico and USVI will be much more attractive for American travelers,” said Abteen Vaziri, managing director of North Texas EB-5 Regional Center.

“The purpose of the EB-5 program is to create jobs for U.S. regions, and we’re excited to be part of that on St. Thomas,” he added.

Mandahl Bay Holdings, Inc. is a subsidiary of Transcontinental Realty Investors Inc., a New York Stock Exchange company.

The Omega Puerto Rico Regional Center was established to promote economic growth and development within the construction, hospitality and senior living industry sectors of the U.S. Caribbean economy. The creation of jobs and an increase of capital investment in the U.S. Caribbean are the primary factors underlying the regional center’s mission. The focus of its investment program will be to invest in the development and operation of a broad spectrum of projects in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands significantly enhancing the overall economic climate and quality of life in the region.

Source : Carribeanbusinesspr




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