The Vermont Department of Financial Regulations has re-approved the SouthFace Village development, a large-scale condo project located adjacent to Okemo Mountain that is using EB-5 immigrant investor funds for construction.
The green light from the state, which came late last week, followed a request from DFR regulators in May for the developers to update an agreement with investors and accept new state oversight measures aimed at mitigating weaknesses in federal EB-5 requirements.
The federal EB-5 program allows overseas investors to move to the United States in return for creating jobs. A minimum investment of $500,000 is required in exchange for a visa, which is subject to approval by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Negotiations between the state and SouthFace Village focused on new oversight measures for the project’s escrow account, which holds investor funds until they are approved for a visa by USCIS. The money from the account is then used by developers for construction costs.
Under the agreement with the state, developers must use a third party administrator to review and approve payments made out of the escrow account in an effort to ensure that the investor money is used properly, and at the right time. Additionally, regulators said the new oversight would ensure that escrow accounts have enough cash on hand to refund investors who are denied visas.
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