On Sunday, Bluestem posted Roch high speed rail line: Chaska ghost campus already in pipeline for EB-5 visa center financing, in which we explored the EdCampus project offered by Liberty Minnesota Regional Center, an EB-5 immigrant investment center.
Investigative journalist Tom Steward explored the New EB-5 visa center to help finance proposed high-speed rail line at the Watchdog.org Minnesota Bureau.
That attracted the attention of a reader in the Chaska area who wrote to tell us of other plans for the site: the Chaska Creek Business Park. In 2014, the Star Tribune's Susan Feyder reported in Ambitious development looms for Chaska:
An ambitious development is on the horizon in Chaska, a payoff city officials have been looking for since the Hwy. 212 expansion linking Chaska and Eden Prairie gave Carver County its first-ever access to a freeway.
Up to 10 office and industrial buildings and a grocery store will go up in what is now a vast plot of farmland in the southwest corner of town.
“The northeast corner of our city is almost all industrial, but that was mostly built in the 1980s and 1990s, and it’s basically full,” said Kevin Ringwald, Chaska’s director of planning and development. “We need to add some more opportunities to add new jobs.”
The city expects to begin work next year on roads and utilities for the 60-acre Chaska Creek Business Park to be developed by The Opus Group at the corner of Hwy. 212 and County Road 10. And Chaska has actively marketed itself as an ideal spot for data centers that can bolster tax rolls and draw other businesses — a strategy that’s also been employed by other metro communities such as Shakopee, Eagan and Woodbury.
Our local source knows the area well and a comparison of both plans seems to indicate that this is the same building site.
Here's the latest iteration of the site the EdCampus website:
And here's the Chaska Creek site:
We're pretty sure that's the same building site. It seems unusual for the same property to be used to market two different visions for prime real estate.
Are the alternative plans for the EdCampus site something foreign citizens should know about before they sink their future into this project? Steward reports:
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. . . .
Liberty Minnesota promises “several exceptional projects to offer foreign investors. Our first project through this regional center will be called EdCampus,” a Chaska venture with openings for 296 investors. Applicants pay a $5,000 deposit to hold their place in a specific project, with the balance due within 90 days.
We're curious to learn the explanation for these competing plans. Another reader following the story suggests that this is simply Chinese-style development at its finest. To understand the allusion, we recommend reading Reuters' Wade Shepard's The myth of China's ghost cities.
Here are the plans for the Chaska Creek site--not an EdCampus in sight.
Photo: A Chinese high speed train.
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