Gary Gorman and Larry Morrissey are Shanghai-bound Wednesday to raise $25 million for Gorman & Company's $67 million plan to turn the Amerock building into a downtown hotel.
They're headed to China with Powerpoint slides and sales pitches to court wealthy investors, who saw financial markets plunge 28 percent last week before government intervention led to a strong rally.
They're going places where Rockford is as obscure to the locals as Changzhou is to Rockfordians.
And they're trying to tap a pool of investors through EB-5, a once obscure program that provides a visa to foreigners who invest $500,000 in a project that creates 10 jobs.
Gorman raised $15 million from 30 Chinese investors through EB-5 for a hotel in the former Pabst Brewery three years ago. But EB-5 is so popular now that investors are in a visa-approval line that's 14 months long, and developers like Gorman must take out bridge loans as they wait for investor money to be released for their projects.
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