An EB-5, foreign-investor funded project at Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow has been cleared to resume soliciting money from immigrant investors, and state regulators say the SouthFace Village at Okemo project has added a number of new investor protections.
The SouthFace Village project is billed as a “four-season luxury home community” at Okemo Mountain Resort, and work on the project is already well underway.
“The ski lift is there, the roads are there, the trails are there,” says Andy Becker, one of the two principal developers behind a $200 million venture that will also feature a lodge and related amenities. “The first building was 100-percent sold and will be complete for closings to the individual buyers at the end of September.”
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is a federal initiative that allows foreign investors to obtain U.S. visas in exchange for a minimum $500,000 investment in a project that yields a certain number of jobs. The Okemo project is one of four active EB-5 projects in Vermont, and when state regulators were conducting their quarterly review of SouthFace earlier this year, they noticed that the project parameters had undergone some changes since early investors had signed on.
“Our concern really was ensuring that the documents that are being presented to investors are updated to accurately reflect the project as it stands today and going forward,” says Michael Pieciak, the commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation, the government agency entity that has been overseeing EB-5 project financials since late 2014.
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