In 2003, PIDC and CanAm Enterprises created a partnership to develop one of the most successful EB-5 Regional Centers in America. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5 Program) is a federal program that allows qualified foreign investors the opportunity to earn “conditional” or temporary two-year visas in return for investing $500,000 in businesses located in high unemployment areas that create at least 10 permanent full-time jobs for U.S. workers. Today there are over 400 designated Regional Centers, and CanAm has also successfully launched Regional Centers in New York, Los Angeles, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania.
In the last decade, this partnership, known locally as the Welcome Fund, has raised nearly $600 million of foreign investment that has helped create more than 19,000 new, full-time jobs for Philadelphia. Included among its 30 projects to date are the
Pennsylvania Convention Center expansion ($122 million), Aker Philadelphia Shipyard ($80 million), SEPTA’s electronic fare system project ($175 million), the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel at the Philadelphia Navy Yard ($16.5 million), the University City Science Center ($20 million), and Agusta Aerospace’s plant expansion projects ($29.5 million).
The PIDC Regional Center has subscribed nearly 1,100 investors and their families, all of whom have successfully qualified for conditional visas. And the Center has an outstanding record for repaying its investors, with $173 million in principal having been repaid from 20 projects to date.
The most recent project is a $60 million financing commitment to Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. to support the construction of four new product tankers to be operated and chartered by a joint venture between Aker and Crowley Maritime Corporation.
PIDC and CanAm are continually focused on identifying quality projects that will add value and stability to the city of Philadelphia. In recognition of the 10 year partnership, PIDC President John Grady and CanAm President Tom Rosenfeld recently spoke with Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Chris Hepp and highlighted some of the programs accomplishments, you can read more here.