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Friday, January 17, 2014 articles (index)
Editorial: Is Chinese money driving downtown Beaufort’s “redevelopment” plan


Is Chinese money driving downtown Beaufort’s “redevelopment” plan?

Can Jim Chaffin please translate this for us?

Can Jim Chaffin please translate this for us?

Rich Chinese businessmen are being encouraged to buy their way into American citizenship under a U.S. program called EB-5. These Chinamen invest a minimum of $500,000 each in qualified investments here in the good old USA and get themselves, their spouses and their unmarried children under 21 on the fast track to a green card and permanent U.S. residency.

It’s a great way for rich Chinese to enjoy the promise of America and send their kids to Harvard.

Is this the money that’s driving downtown Beaufort’s “redevelopment” plan? It surely looks that way. Consider:

  • The Furman Co. in Greenville has been designated by our City’s so-called Redevelopment Commission as the developer of the land.
  • The Furman Co. has an affiliate, Carolina Center for Foreign Investment (CCFI) that is a major federally designated EB-5 Regional Center focused on this type of foreign investment.
  • According to CCFI’s website, these investment opportunities for rich foreigners “will include projects in technology, health services, tourism and hospitality, manufacturing and trade, automotive research, and mixed-use developments (retail, office, hotel and residential).”
  • The website states that CCFI “is committed to guiding each qualified foreign investor through the immigration process. CCFI will work with our investor and the investor’s immigration attorney to prepare and provide all required documentation about the investment to support the investor’s immigration application through the EB-5 Regional Center Investment Program.”
  • “The foreign investor must demonstrate that the investment was sustained over the two-year conditional period, and the requisite jobs were created. Upon approval of the I-829 petition, the conditional nature of the green card is lifted and full permanent residence is granted to the investor and the investor’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age.”

The Furman Co. through its spokespersons, Stephen P. Navarro, president, Jon Verity and Alan Dechovitz, who are members of Beaufort’s Redevelopment Commission, and Jim Chaffin, developer/destroyer of pristine mountain valleys in Colorado, keep telling us that current tourists and visitors to downtown Beaufort aren’t good enough. They say we need “upscale” tourists, whatever that means, and they want “upscale facilities” downtown, whatever that means, and they won’t tell us what that means.

It’s beginning to appear that what that means is what appeals to rich folks in downtown Hong Kong and downtown Beijing.

Click here to read more about The Furman Co.

Click here to read more about its affiliate, Carolina Center for Foreign Investment (CCFI).

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