Thank you for your interest in our Seattle Innovation Center project, the future home of WeWork Seattle. The project is going very well. We are seeing more investors from countries that are not subject to visa delays because of long lines and have had almost 30 investors receive their I-526 approval — the first step to conditional permanent residency.
Per Scott Chesney, Director of Project Management for Columbia International Finance: “The Seattle Innovation Center project at 3rd & Lenora in downtown Seattle has hit a major milestone — the ‘topping out’ of the structural steel frame work for the core and shell of the building. From here out construction will complete the core and shell work while interior improvements continue on the floors below. WeWork and WeLive have been active in planning their spaces along with the development team. Completion of substantial construction is expected late in the third quarter 2020. Occupancy is expected near the end of 2020, early 2021.”
Immigration policy and rules are changing. The USCIS and Homeland Security published new rules for EB-5 on July 24, 2019. These rules become effective November 21, 2019. This 120-day period gives all potential investors who are seriously considering an EB-5 visa investment the ability to do so under the current rules. Major changes include an increase in the investor amount from $500,000 to $900,000. Other changes will change how Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) are created and it is projected that more than 50% of current projects will not qualify for TEA investment after November 21.
Suzanne Lazicki, our business plan writer, has an accurate and complete look at these changes: https://blog.lucidtext.com/2019/07/24/eb-5-regulation-published/
One other rule change is to allow an immigrant investor to keep his/her priority date if needing to invest in another project—say, for example, a current project TEA does not qualify after November 21 and cannot meet its job count because it can no longer recruit EB-5 investment to complete its project plan. An investor in that project can take their money and file with a new project without losing their “place in line” for visa approval. We welcome any investors in current projects to take a look at the Seattle Innovation Center for consideration of shifting their investment.
As always, we wish to earn our investors’ trust through honesty and transparency. Please contact us directly with any questions you may have.
Pete Chase, CEO, Columbia International Finance