New York Wheel Begins Laying Foundation for Vertical Construction

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CanAm is pleased to announce that its New York Wheel project was fully funded; the project is anticipated to complete in 2016.

Construction on foundation for the New York Wheel begins to prepare for vertical construction.

The far-reaching economic impacts of something like the New York Wheel is exactly why the City supports it so unanimously, and for us, that made it a natural fit for what CanAm believes is a great use of the EB-5 program.

New York, NY - CanAm Enterprises, LLC (CanAm) is pleased to announce that it fully funded its $150 million EB-5 loan to the New York Wheel on May 20, 2015, for what will become one of the New York City’s iconic landmark tourist attractions alongside the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. The New York Wheel, designed to be the tallest observation wheel in the Western Hemisphere, is a transformational project for New York Harbor and New York City tourism overall.

Situated on 8 acres of prime waterfront property in the borough of Staten Island, the New York Wheel will have views of both the New York and New Jersey skylines. The completed New York Wheel will include a 630-foot high observation wheel with 36 capsules capable of carrying up to 40 passengers each on an approximately 38-minute ride; a 70,000 square foot terminal building with ticketing, waiting areas, food court, shopping, restaurants, and a 4D attraction; and a four-story parking garage with 950 passenger vehicle spaces and 12 bus parking spots.

To be designed and built by Mammoet/Starneth — the teams of which were both involved in the hugely successful London Eye, the New York Wheel will accommodate up to 1,440 people per ride, welcoming as many as 25,000 visitors per day and an anticipated 3.5+ million visitors per year. It will be open 7 days per week, approximately 350 days per year (accounting for severe weather days and maintenance) from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m./12 a.m. in the fall, winter and spring, and staying open as late as 2 a.m. on special occasions.

Preliminary site construction began in October 2014 and foundation work began at the beginning of the month to prepare for vertical construction of the garage in October 2015, and the observation wheel in spring of 2016.

“Using EB-5 financing for a project with as much public attention as this one would have been a daunting task, but doing it with CanAm was a very painless and successful experience. Their experience and track record makes their level of market respect second to none,” said Richard A. Marin, The New York Wheel’s CEO. “CanAm was both diligent and flexible in executing our transaction…..I’ve done hundreds of deals in my career and I wish every transaction I execute would be so accommodative.”

“Many people asked me why we would put EB-5 funds into a tourist attraction,” commented Tom Rosenfeld, CanAm’s President and CEO, “but the New York Wheel will bring in so many more jobs to the region than just those from its construction and operation, important jobs in service industries like hospitality, dining, etc. – especially to Staten Island, which was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy and is still recovering. The far-reaching economic impacts of something like the New York Wheel is exactly why the City supports it so unanimously, and for us, that made it a natural fit for what CanAm believes is a great use of the EB-5 program.”

The $493 million New York Wheel is part of a larger $1 billion redevelopment of the entire St. George neighborhood of Staten Island by the City of New York. The Wheel was endorsed by the Mayor’s Office and unanimously approved by the New York City Council on October 30, 2013. This approval was the culmination of an intensive two-year selection and vetting process by the City of New York through the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). The Project was selected among numerous other projects because it best fit the City’s long-term objectives of generating jobs and economic benefits, and enhancing public access to, and utilization of, the waterfront.

An Exemplar I-526 Petition Business Plan for CanAm’s loan to the New York Wheel was approved by USCIS on July 21, 2014. The $150 million EB-5 loan to the New York Wheel represents CanAm’s second project in New York City, having funded a $50 million loan for the Staten Island Marine Terminal being developed on 600 acres underneath the Goethals Bridge.

About CanAm Enterprises, LLC

With more than 27 years of experience promoting immigration-linked investments in the United States and Canada, CanAm is the exclusive manager of seven USCIS-designated Regional Centers, including the PIDC Regional Center (in partnership with the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp.), Pennsylvania DCED Regional Center (in partnership with Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development), Los Angeles County Regional Center (in partnership with the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation), Hawaii Regional Center (in corporate with Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism), the New York Metropolitan Regional Center, the North Country New York Regional Center and CanAm Florida Regional Center.

For more information, please visit our LinkedIn page or website.

About the EB-5 Investor Program

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5), administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), provides opportunities for qualified foreign nationals to achieve permanent legal residency in the U.S. through an investment in an USCIS-approved project that will generate at least ten full-time jobs in the United States.

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