Sunfield Development LLC is hoping to attract nearly a hundred foreign investors through the EB-5 program to partially fund a new housing project at 1800 San Pablo Ave. in Oakland.
The Oakland-based developer has filed a preliminary application with the city for 250 residential units and 25,000 square feet of commercial space at the site, which is near the Fox Theater and 19th Street BART station. Sunfield is looking to raise $45 million through the EB-5 program for the estimated $124 million project, said Sid Afshar, the company's founder.
Foreign investors who invest at least $500,000 and create 10 local jobs in the U.S. can get a permanent visa in about two years through the EB-5 program. The program has grown in popularity as a way for real estate developers to fund projects around the country as financing became more scarce after the 2008 recession.
EB-5 is also funding Tom Henderson's Callsocket call center and other businesses in Oakland. It hasn't yet been used for new construction in the city, but Afshar believes that will change. "We're one of the first ones with EB-5, but we won't be the last," he said. "As Oakland goes through a renaissance, there will be more."
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