Developer capitalizes on provision in immigrant investor program aimed at helping economically ailing areas.
If developer Steven Witkoff’s ambitions are realized, he will complete by 2020 a soaring 900-foot condominium tower that would be the latest addition to the “Billionaires’ Row” of ultraluxury skyscrapers on the southern edge of New York’s Central Park.
Aiding Mr. Witkoff and his partners: more than $200 million in low-cost financing from aspiring immigrants, in increments of $500,000, through a provision of a federal visa program designed to help economically ailing neighborhoods. For the purposes of the program, known as EB-5, a special district was created linking the planned tower with public-housing projects in East Harlem—a common practice for developers.
The proposed $1.7 billion tower at 36 Central Park South is the highest-end project yet to tap the EB-5 program, which gives green cards to immigrants who invest in new businesses measured to have created jobs.
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