It will rise higher than any structure in Miami, standing at the center of Biscayne Bay. Like the Statue of Liberty, SkyRise tower will be the gateway to U.S. citizenship—not for the tired, poor, huddled masses, but for foreign investors who have at least a half a million dollars to pay.
"A significant portion of our funding will come from the EB-5 federal immigration investor program," said developer Jeff Berkowitz, standing in the parking lot from which the tower will eventually rise. "It becomes a very shortcut approach for a potential immigration investor to get their green card. All they have to do is get their source of funds vetted by Homeland Security."
The EB-5 program, passed by Congress in 1990 to encourage foreign investment in the U.S. economy, requires each individual investor to commit at least $500,000 to a project that creates a minimum of 10 full-time jobs. SkyRise Miami has already obtained approval under EB-5 and international fundraising is in full swing. Berkowitz obtained $9 million from Miami-Dade County and is seeking more from the state of Florida, but primarily the money for the tower will come from overseas.