In a bid to finance real estate projects, developers have been ferreting out the hungry, tired, and poor already in NYC to qualify for the creation of special development zones, so they can sell visas to wealthy foreign investors. The reverse-redline gerrymandering creates special development zones in notorious high unemployment areas like the Seaport and FiDi, the Lower East Side and East Village, and the Brooklyn waterfront, according to the Times. Once a development zone has been established, foreign investors can secure green cards for themselves and their families with a minimum investment of just $500K, under the federal EB-5 program to attract foreign investment created in 1990. The program has been so successful?attracting approximately $1 billion to NY since 2008?that the Obama administration is considering streamlining the process.
Bruce Ratner flew to China in 2010 with the EB-5 program as the ace up his sleeve, on a trip to seek out investors for the Atlantic Yards. Brooklyn caught on to the attractiveness of the EB-5 program when it became obvious that by including projects like the Farragut Houses, where many residents are unemployed, all sorts of desirable areas became needy on paper.
· Rules Stretched as Green Cards Go to Investors [NYT]
· Atlantic Yards to Bribe Foreign Investors With Green Cards [Curbed]