Latest News on China City of America
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China City of America
Contact: Sherry Li, CEO
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China City of America Becoming Reality in Catskills
Monticello, NY, December 12, 2013 --- China City of America, a conceptual plan that encompasses multi-use commercial, residential, business, education, amusement and entertainment components, will be built in Sullivan County, NY over multiple years, according to Sherry Li, CCOA�s Chief Executive Officer. �We appreciate the public�s interest in this project,� Li said.
At this initial stage, CCOA plans to build the education center and its related use components on 575 acres in the Town of Thompson.
Li added: �We have made great progress in advancing our original concept to the actual planning and execution stage. We chose the Town of Thompson, with a population of 15,000, because it clearly fits within the United States Citizenship Immigration Services (USCIS) target area definition for the EB-5 program. Sullivan County, which continues to have declining employment numbers, will greatly benefit from the significant number of jobs that will be created. We chose Sullivan County based on its natural beauty and the Catskill Mountains� rich history as a resort and vacation destination.�
The county, which sits 70 miles northwest of New York City, is home to the world class Bethel Woods Performing Arts Center, the Monticello Motor Club, and is just a 25 minute drive to the Woodbury Commons shopping outlet. In addition, voters in New York State recently approved passage of a constitutional amendment, allowing commercial casino development, which is expected to bring two casinos to the region. Numerous other economic development projects are on the horizon and all will contribute to Sullivan County�s economic revival.
�We look forward to being a part of that revival over the next few decades and beyond,� Li said.
Larry Behar of the Behar Law Group, who serves as CCOA�s EB-5 immigration attorney, said that �CCOA has complied with USCIS regulations and timely responded to two USCIS RFE (Request for Evidence) of the regional center designation originally filed on December 13th, 2011. The CCOA professional team also consists of top EB-5 economists, business plan writers, SEC attorneys, EB-5 immigration attorneys and feasibility study evaluators. Behar has had 11 regional centers around the United States approved; he authored the book: EB-5: United States Immigration Through Investment published in four languages.
Behar pointed to a USCIS Policy Memorandum (dated May 30, 2013) that permits changes of project or expanded territory to an approved regional center with additional USCIS review. "It is also compatible with USCIS policy that any qualified phase of the existing submission may enter into an agreement with an approved regional center during the review period of CIS of its own regional center designation approval as the matter was submitted as a 'hypothetical' project," he added.
�We have a top professional team of planners, engineers, architects, construction managers as well as comprehensive insurance experts,� said Li.
Jacob Billig, CCOA�s local land use attorney, said: �The team of professionals have been working closely to ensure we are in full compliance with all federal, state and local laws and regulations regarding issues like wildlife and wetlands preservation, sewer and water usage, wastewater treatment, archeological, hydrogeological and traffic impacts.�
Allan Scott, immediate past president of the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development, said: �We issued a letter to the China City project stating that we are looking forward to working with the company regarding the proposed project, and that the total benefits package/inducement, if approved, may be valued as much as 15-20% of the total project cost. Any business that invests in Sullivan County is eligible to apply for these benefits.�
Some media outlets that wrote about CCOA referenced a report published by David North of The Center of Immigration Studies (Center) in which he proffers that the project is a �stalking horse.� However, Larry Behar, calls that reference �inflammatory, derogatory and erroneous slander.� Behar pointed out that the Center �has a long history of anti-immigrant positions, including many EB-5 matters� and added that the Center is �spreading xenophobia that smacks of classic McCarthy era behavior.�
The Anti -Defamation League, which has been fighting bigotry for 100 years, described the Center for Immigration Studies as �an anti-immigrant think-tank.� Marilyn Mayo, ADL Co-Director, Center on Extremism, pointed out that the Center for Immigration Studies publishes hundreds of reports/blogs on a yearly basis blaming immigrants for increases in crime and environmental degradation and claiming they are a taxpayer burden. �Throughout its history, Center for Immigration Studies staffers have made a number of racist statements,� said Mayo.
Li added that North referenced a Chinese community group �with no credibility.�
Another attack on the project was a quote attributed to Laura Coruzzi, by the NY Post. Coruzzi is a patent attorney specializing in biotechnology with the Jones Day law firm, who has no EB-5 immigration law experience. However, she owns a home in a community adjacent to the Town of Thompson. �I forgive her because she has no EB-5 knowledge at all. She is welcome to consult with Larry Behar about any EB-5 related questions,� Li said.
Jacob Billig said: �While there is a local extremist environmental group that is opposed to the Thompson project, this is no surprise. This group opposes virtually every proposed initiative that leads to construction and economic development in their township and neighboring townships.�
Since the inception of the EB-5 program, more than 400 regional centers in the US have been approved. The EB-5 program has infused over $4.7 billion in the US economy since 2005 and has created 95,000 American jobs, according to the Association to Invest In the USA (IIUSA�).
�We expect a continual discussion about the merits of this project among the public and government officials, in the spirit of building something that Sullivan County will profit from and be proud of for decades to come. It will be a win-win situation for all parties in the long term: jobs will be created for US workers, economic growth will be promoted, and business opportunities and a cultural exchange platform will result,� said Li.
For a full description of the Thompson project, visit the Town Of Thompson website, http://www.townofthompson.com/Public+Documents.