Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hollywood: Swingin'! New Cali EB-5 Regional Center APPROVED



Just received the attorney's copy of the USCIS letter of approval for Hollywood International Regional Center, LLC, and high-fives are flying!  Richard Heyman's brainchild, HIRC, like most of the best EB-5 Regional Centers, stems from the dual sources of relentless entrepreneurship and deep affection for a particular geographic region.  In Richard's case, that "geographic region" begins in the legendary streets of Hollywood, California, practically right around the corner from the new LatourLaw West Coast office (of which I'll be telling you soon.) Covering the five counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura, HIRC will focus on the hospitality industry, particularly hotels and restaurants situated with the economically-challenged-yet-still-beloved sectors of this glitzy slice of America. 


When Richard first approached me on this, his enthusiasm and commitment to the region was one of the first things which struck me.  let me tell you: this guy CARES about Southern California's ailing economy.  Acutely attuned to the vast economic opportunities existing within this way-undervalued commercial sector and passionate about seeing the return of the region's Glory Days, Richard's reaction to the approval is the kind I like to see: brief celebration followed by an intense shift to "time to get busy".  I, for one, am STOKED about this new RC and look forward to working with HIRC as they ramp up their operations.


Props must go out:  Jo Ann Clarke's mastery in crafting business and marketing plans was instrumental in the securing the USCIS EB-5 RC approval, as was Scott Barnhart's number-crunching and "beyond-the-call-of-duty" involvement in refining industry and geographic plans.  But if anyone deserves a big hand here, it's the USCIS adjudicator who went WAAAAY beyond the call of duty in emailing specific questions to me, asking the right questions, requesting clarifications, and, in the process, shaving weeks off the approval time. He or she adjudicates the way I tried to adjudicate when I was a consular officer, and I continue to be delighted with the level of service we are getting out of Laguna Niguel.


On another quick note: unless my math is wrong, tomorrow is the deadline USCIS promised in its announcement on August 2 that "within 30 days" some form of “premium processing" would be in effect for Regional Centers. We sure would love to unveil that nice surprise tommorow! But if that doesn't happen, I hope Washington gets that in order sooner rather than later.  Just as Richard Heyman has been given the USCIS green light to begin seeking EB-5 capital for much needed jobs in Southern California, there are many others like him throughout the nation, eager to put foreign venture capital to work for America.


Congrats, Richard, and save me spot on the Red Carpet...(-;




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