By Phil Riske | Senior Reporter/Writer
Two years behind its original 2014 completion date, the parent company of the PhoenixMart says it has decided to “bypass” a federal funding program and seek other sources of investment.
The project in Casa Grande has been lagging because of delays in the federal EB-5 immigrant Visa program, which permits foreign citizens to obtain green cards by investing at least $500,000 in American projects. AZ Sourcing, the parent company of PhoenixMart, has said in the past the project attracted 300 investors from five continents.
Now, Pinal County Supervisor Cheryl Chase tells Rose Law Group Reporter the company has decided to “bypass” the EB-5 program to pursue conventional lending.
“This move will bypass the federal government and be a private endeavor,” Chase said, “to begin construction as soon as possible.”
She said the timeline for completion of the initial construction was given for the fall of 2017.
In a letter to the editor of Casa Grande Dispatch earlier this month, AZ Sourcing said, “We are pleased to report that we have the funding necessary to move forward on both the development of PhoenixMart and the redevelopment of the former Tanger Outlet Center.
The company still has not responded to Rose Law Group Reporter’s request for further details on its funding.
in January, AZ Sourcing reduced its workforce by an unrevealed number because of the delays in the EB-5 program.
There has been an ongoing debate U.S. in Congress about reforming the EB-5 program and who should benefit. The program has become a favorite tool of real estate developers, who are using it to help secure low-cost financing for major projects.
No details have been released by the FBI, which earlier this year seized documents from AZ Source’s Scottsdale offices.