New York, NY, Nov. 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The New York City Regional Center (“NYCRC”) is pleased to announce the first I-829 petition approvals issued to EB-5 investors participating in its Wi-Fi Infrastructure Project II offering (“Project”). I-829 petition approvals have now been issued in 17 NYCRC offerings. To date, 1,891 I-829 approvals have been issued to investors in NYCRC offerings resulting in 5,453 individuals (EB-5 investors and family members) achieving permanent residency in the United States.
An I-829 petition approval removes the conditional status and deems the EB-5 investor to be a lawful permanent resident of the United States. Permanent residence permits individuals to live and work anywhere in the United States and be protected by the laws of the United States. An EB-5 investor’s spouse and children under the age of 21 are also authorized to live, work, and attend school anywhere in the United States.
The Project involves the construction of a street-level, high-speed public Wi-Fi infrastructure network for New York City. The network, named “LinkNYC”, is a first-of-its-kind communications system that replaced pay phones across the five boroughs. LinkNYC is the world’s largest and fastest free public Wi-Fi network. Each Link kiosk provides free Wi-Fi, phone calls, device charging, access to social services, and displays content such as real-time weather, transit info, public art, and local information. The city-wide network has more than 11 million Wi-Fi users and has connected more than 25 million free phone calls. The Project is the result of a public-private partnership between the City of New York and CityBridge, a consortium of leading companies in technology, telecommunications, connectivity engineering, advertising, and user-experience. All $157,500,000 of EB-5 capital was received by CityBridge and spent on qualified construction expenditures.
The Project is the second NYCRC offering that provided funding for New York City’s expanding public Wi-Fi network. NYCRC previously issued a $75 million loan to Transit Wireless to assist with the construction of a wireless infrastructure network that brought cellular and Wi-Fi service to all 281 New York City underground subway stations. The build out of the network was completed in 2017 and today provides over 5 million New York City subway passengers with connectivity every day. I-829 petition approvals were issued to EB-5 investors participating in that offering as well and the loan was repaid in September 2022.
NYCRC was approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in 2008 to secure foreign investment for real estate and infrastructure projects under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. The company was the first regional center approved in New York City. To date, NYCRC has put over $1.5 billion of capital to work across a broad spectrum of infrastructure and real estate projects in New York City. Much of this capital has been invested in underserved areas in need of long-term economic growth. Examples include:
- $811 million to finance ground-up, redevelopment, and infrastructure projects in Brooklyn, including eight projects totaling $383 million in the Brooklyn Navy Yard;
- $108.5 million to finance ground-up and redevelopment projects in Washington Heights (an Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone);
- $232.5 million to finance the construction of a public high-speed wireless infrastructure network in New York City subway stations and along city streets; and,
- $220 million to finance ground-up construction in the Bronx.
In addition, a NYCRC-managed entity has received six separate new market tax credit awards from the U.S. Department of Treasury totaling $265 million. These annual allocations have provided a unique opportunity for NYCRC to broaden its mission of providing financing to underserved areas of New York City. Since 2016, NYCRC tax credit capital has helped fund construction of six new charter schools in Brooklyn, Harlem, and the Bronx as well as the National Urban League’s new headquarters in Harlem which includes New York City’s first civil rights museum.
# # # # # # # # # #