The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is turning to foreign investment for a project that aims to connect the PA Turnpike and I-95. The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that Chinese investors are offering $500,000 toward the project in exchange for permanent residency for them and their families. Here's more:
[by Staff | December 1, 2014 | Philadelphia Business Journal]
Agents for the novel financing plan have been pitching the proposal in China since September, touting the project's financial stability and showcasing photos of Gov. Corbett and Turnpike Commission officials breaking ground for the construction in Bucks County.
The article goes on to say that a Chinese website promoting the plan said investments were guaranteed by the U.S. government, although that language has since been removed.
More than 100 investors have applied so far to invest in the I-95/turnpike connection. The Turnpike Commission is counting on 400 wealthy foreign investors, mostly from China, to provide $200 million for the $420 million project. The rest of the money will come from federal and turnpike funds.
The heavily indebted Turnpike Commission is borrowing the $200 million from foreign investors under the federal Immigrant Investor Program that grants "EB-5" immigration visas to foreigners who provide at least $500,000 to U.S. projects that create 10 or more American jobs.
PKF-Mark III Inc. of Newtown, Pa. won a $142.9 million contract to widen and rebuild several miles of the Turnpike in the area where the I-95 connection will be built in Bristol Township. The new interchange will directly connect the Pa. Turnpike to Interstate 95, making I-95 continuous through the Mid-Atlantic region.