Oakland entrepreneur says his network of foreign investors and startup businesses will create thousands of jobs
Oakland, and hundreds of foreign investors, have their eyes on Tom Henderson.
The businessman raised eyebrows in late 2011 when he swooped in and bought the iconic Tribune Tower for $8 million, promising to put a call center — and hundreds of jobs — in the building.
Since then, Henderson has accumulated Oakland office buildings like a Monopoly player, scooping up well-known addresses like the I. Magnin building, the former Community Bank of the Bay headquarters and the Dufwin Theatre.
His plans for those buildings are even more ambitious: By the end of this year, Henderson expects to have raised $100 million from foreign investors seeking green cards under the federal EB-5 visa program. That money is being invested in real estate and job-producing companies.
The jobs are crucial. If investors are to get permanent visas, Henderson will need to create 2,000 jobs within two years — and the clock is already ticking.
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