Lakewood Gains New Economic Development Tool

Pete Gonigam’s First Electric Newspaper reported it first, but he didn’t have the map you see below.

What you see in orange is the new area within McHenry County designated by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development as “Targeted Employment Area under the Alien Entrepreneur Visa Program.”

Part of McHenry County eligible for EB-5 "Buy a Visa" investment program.

The yellow sections on the map are already so designated.

So, what does it mean?

Under the irreverently coined “buy a visa” program, foreigners with $1 million to invest in an approved job creation enterprise may obtain entry to the United States of America.

However, if the economic development occurs within a “Targeted Employment Area,” the required investment decreases to $500,000.

As you can see two townships—Riley and Chemung—previously were eligible for the smaller “entry fee.”

With the expansion of the Woodstock Greenwood Township section, whose northern edge is Ware Road (the street between the McHenry County Jail and the Administrative Building), to include the rural part of Dorr Township, Lakewood gains a potential source of investment for its part of the intersection of Routes 47 and 176. So does Woodstock as it expands southward toward Route 176.

The rural Dorr Township area was eligible because the census tract had an unemployment rate of 14.2% is 153% of the national average of 9.3%. (An area must be at least at the 150% level.)

Note that the connection is at a point. Only the edges of the census tracts touch. (See black mark on map.)

A January 6th letter from Lakewood Village President to Warren Ribley, Executive Director of the DCCA, states that “the proposed project” will employee “800 temporary and 400 permanent individuals.”

It references a January 7th letter to Village Manager Catherine Peterson from New York City attorney Stephen Yale-Loehr.

He delivers an affirmative answer as to whether the census tract can be designated a “Targeted Employment Area for EB-5 (the name of the “buy a visa” program) purposes.”

He points out his co-authorship of “Immigration Law and Procedure, the leading 20-volume immigration law treatise,” plus his teaching immigration law at Cornell Law School.

He has been a member or in a leadership position in the American Immigration Lawyers Association EB-5 Investors Committee since 1996.

And he says why this particular census tract, which contains the area proposed for the SportsPlex is eligible for a Targeted Employment Area designation.

DCCA apparently agreed with Yale-Loehr’s logic. That’s what DCCA Research Manager Edwin R. Taft’s February 16th letter indicates.

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