Back in August, Watchdog.org's Tom Steward reported in New EB-5 visa center to help finance proposed high-speed rail line:
A developer seeking billions for a proposed high-speed rail line between Rochester and the Twin Cities has federal approval to launch Liberty Minnesota Regional Center, an EB-5 immigrant investment center.
North American High Speed Rail group has been quietly negotiating with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to conduct a feasibility study and for exclusive rights to build an elevated line along the 84 mile Highway 52 corridor.
The Minnesota-based group plans to raise much of the estimated $4.2 billion — in private capital from foreign individuals and governments, including China — to finance the rail project. The EB-5 program provides permanent green cards to foreign investors who invest $500,000 to $1 million in businesses or economic development projects that create or preserve at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers.
Bluestem Prairie obtained information for our posts about the ghost EdCampus project from the now-suspended site. The posts include:
- What's up with EB-5 visa center's current project? EdCampus seems dead for years
- Roch high speed rail line: Chaska ghost campus already in pipeline for EB-5 vi sa center financing
- Roch high speed rail line: Ghost campus building site on market as Chaska Creek Business Park
We learned of the suspended site from tip emailed by a reader:
I went to the MN Dept. of Employment & Economic Development (DEED) website and found three (3) EB-5 regional centers that either have been approved or have approval pending at the USCIS website.
Bluestem checked that statement out and located EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, the page on DEED's website where the information is posted:
The Immigrant Investor Pilot Program was created by Section 610 of Public Law 102-395 (Oct. 6, 1992), and has been extended. EB-5 requirements for an investor under the Pilot Program are essentially the same as in the standard EB-5 investor program, except the Pilot Program provides for investments that are affiliated with an economic unit known as a “Regional Center.”
Investments made through regional centers can take advantage of a more expansive concept of job creation including both “indirect” and “direct” jobs. A Regional Center is defined as any economic entity, public or private, which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation and increased domestic capital investment.
The organizers of a regional center seeking the “Regional Center” designation from USCIS can find more detailed information on the process and requirements at the USCIS website. The following Regional Centers have been approved or have approval pending by the USCIS to facilitate investment in Minnesota (Disclaimer: The listing of these organizations does not imply endorsement):
When we click on the link, we had the same experience as the source. Here's a screenshot of what she sent us:
What does this mean? We're uncertain. Domain Tools yielded this information (in part) for the URL:
We established Empyrean West to answer the demand for commercial project financing in the US. Empyrean West is working with multiple EB-5 projects, establishing our first tri-state Liberty West Regional Center encompassing Southern California, Arizona, and Southern Nevada. We have also launched other Regional Centers across the U.S., details of these centers can be found at (www.LibertyRegionalCenters.com).
That's the suspended site.
Empyrean West is located in Scottsdale, AZ, according to the Contact Us page on the site. The USCIS database for regional centers includes two of the regional centers linked on Empyrean's home page: The Liberty West Regional Center and the Grand Canyon Regional Center. Only the latter link goes to a live page.
What does this mean? That the site is suspended while it's under construction? There are other possibilities (such as non-payment) but we just don't know.
This isn't the first site associated with the private high speed rail project where information has gone missing. As we noted in, Why did the North American High Rail Group delete page about negotiations with XpressWest? a lot of basic information about the project has been yanked from the rail group's website as well.
Image: A friend suggested that this snowpiercing high-speed train might be a great illustration for the hypothetical NAHSRG shortline between the Twin Cities and Rochester. Just teasing, we hope.
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