Friday, November 27, 2009

Release: Federal Way wins ‘regional center’ designation for foreign investment

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2009


MEDIA CONTACTS
Patrick Doherty
Economic Development Director
253.835.2612


Linda Farmer, APR
Communications/Gov. Affairs Mgr.
253.835.2411 or 253.261.1211

Federal Way wins ‘regional center’ designation for foreign investment

Federal Way is the seventh Washington State city to earn a “regional center” designation for its City Center area. The designation, granted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), allows foreign investors to apply for an EB-5 Visa and ultimately qualify for legal permanent residency, also known as “green card” status.

Qualifying investors must commit from $500,000 to $1 million* in businesses or developments that will create at least 10 jobs per investor. (*Depending on the unemployment rate in the area at the time of the application.)

The 17-year-old federal program approved only a handful of regional centers across the nation this year.

“This is a potentially great new source of capital investment in our City Center,” said Federal Way Economic Development Director Patrick Doherty. “While foreign investors are free to put their money anywhere in Washington, this designation makes Federal Way an attractive investment location.”

The City sought the designation in response to a growing number of foreign firms, or local firms with access to foreign capital, that have expressed interest in this mechanism to help finance redevelopment projects within the Federal Way City Center.

While many of the regional centers focus on industrial, manufacturing or “brownfields” projects, the Federal Way “regional center” will be designed to foster the redevelopment of the City Center into a higher-density, mixed-use, transit-oriented and pedestrian-friendly urban center.

As such, foreign investment will likely be commercial, residential or mixed-use residential projects.

For more information, contact Doherty, 253.835.2612 or patrick.doherty@cityoffederalway.com.

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