Tuesday, December 3, 2013

CiF lauded for global success has pumped nearly $150 million of foreign investment into northeast ohio

CiF was honored to be named the 2013 RegionalCenter of the Year by Artisan Business Group’s EB-5 News Blog (eb5news.blogspot.com). CiF was selected from a pool of more than 400 Regional Centers operating in the US and our official press release can be read here.

CiF congratulates the other category winners, especially our industry partners Miller Mayer, LLP (EB-5 Immigration Law Firm of the Year) and NES Financial (EB-5 Service Provider of the Year).

The 2013 EB-5 Annual Award announcement and full list of winners can be found on the EB- 5 News Blog, linked here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

CiF @ Ruth Ratner Miller Award Luncheon

This past Friday CiF’s staff attended the Ruth Ratner Miller Award Luncheon, an event organized by the Downtown Cleveland Alliance. The RRM award was presented to Ms. Iris Wolstein and Mr. Scott Wolstein in recognition of their leadership roles in the Flats East Bank Project.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Kristen Laughlin & Stephen Strnisha lead online presentations at CDFA

This past week, two of CiF’s senior executives lead online presentations about the USCIS EB-5 program; offering advice and guidance to new entrants to the EB-5 marketplace. CiF Chief Marketing Officer Ms. Kristen Laughlin spoke about locating EB-5 investors and best practices when working with migration agents while CiF CEO Mr. Stephen Strnisha lead a presentation on incorporating EB-5 funds into a project’s capital stack, using the recently completed first phase of the Flats East Bank development as an example.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

CiF relocates its global headquarters

Cleveland International Fund Global Headquarters Downtown Cleveland
Cleveland International Fund has relocated its global headquarters to downtown Cleveland! Our US offices are now located at 1240 Huron Road East, in Suite 420. For those of you familiar with the area, this puts our offices in the heart of Cleveland’s Theatre District, almost directly across the street from Playhouse Square.

As an added benefit, CiF now shares a building with COSE (Council of Small Enterprises), the Greater Cleveland Partnership (the area’s Chamber of Commerce), Cleveland Development Advisors, United Airlines, and other great organizations. We are excited to be working in close proximity with other groups that help catalytic development projects succeed in Cleveland.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Flats East Bank Phase 1 - Fully Funded

Flats East Bank Phase 1 - CiF Project Fully Funded

Cleveland International Fund is pleased to announce that we have completely funded the $45 million USD EB-5 loan to the Flats East Bank project. Located in downtown Cleveland, the first phase of the Flats East Bank consists of building a new Aloft Hotel, attached retail space, and the 22-story Ernst & Young Office Tower.

The 90 EB-5 investors that participated in CiF’s Flats East Bank Project have all been approved by the USCIS.

CiF was designated by the USCIS to operate as an EB-5 Regional Center in 2010.

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 4th Naturalization Celebrations

The first week of July is not just a time for celebrating the birth of the United States of America but also a time to look towards the country’s future and welcome new immigrants as US Citizens. Last week’s Independence Day celebrations coincided with more than 100 naturalization ceremonies, taking place around the country between July 1st and 5th.  Some 7,800 people took the Oath of Allegiance and with it the opportunity to “fulfill their dream of becoming US Citizens,” in the words of USCIS Director Mr. Alejandro Mayorkas.

This year’s celebration of citizenship also featured special naturalization ceremonies at sites integral to America’s struggle to maintain independence and defend freedom, including: the USS Midway Museum in San Diego; the Battleship Missouri Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial in Put-in-Bay, Ohio; and aboard the USS Constitution in Boston.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wailian visits CiF

Pictured above:  Ms. Kristen Laughling (CiF CMO),
Representatives from Wailian,  and Ms. Tricia Bires
(Director of Treasury at UH).
During the week of June 17th CiF was pleased to host representatives from the Wailian Overseas Consulting Group for a tour of our offices, EB-5 project sites, and the City of Cleveland. CiF has worked with Wailian on several EB-5 projects in the past and was excited to show them the successes we have had and how EB-5 projects were progressing.

The University Hospitals centered around using 
EB-5 funds to partly fund the construction of two new, award winning hospitals in Cleveland. The Ahuja Medical Center is a full service hospital in suburban Cleveland and the Seidman Cancer Center is a nationally recognized facility that offers comprehensive cancer treatments.

Later in the day the Wailian reps toured other projects, including the Flats East Bank project in downtown Cleveland. The Flats Project recently opened, now that the Ernst & Young office tower and Aloft hotel are both online. The Wailian team toured the new office and hotel facilities and met with Flats East Bank developers.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Stephen Strnisha presents at IIUSA conference in Las Vegas

Flats Slide at IIUSA conference
The EB-5 industry trade group, the Association to Invest in USA (IIUSA), held its 3rd Annual International EB-5 Forum this past June. The conference was held over three days and offered attendees the chance to participate in workshops, take part in lectures, and to develop business relationships with other members of the EB-5 community.

CiF’s executive staff attended the event, both to take advantage of the industry analysis offered and because CiF CEO Mr. Stephen Strnisha was invited to give a presentation on the use of alternative financing, with the Flats East Bank project as a case study. With construction largely completed and tenants moving in, the catalytic Flats East Bank project has become a notable success story in the EB-5 industry. Conference attendees were eager to learn from CiF’s experience how they too could leverage EB-5 investment funds, along with other alternative sources of financing, to make quality large-scale development projects a reality.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Stephen Strnisha spoke about EB-5 on Capitol Hill

Earlier this month Cleveland International Fund CEO Mr. Stephen Strnisha was invited to speak to a bipartisan group of congressman in the United States House of Representatives. He spoke to the assembled congressman and staff about the mechanics of operating a EB-5 Regional Center and the benefits EB-5 funds can have for the surrounding community. Operating as a source of non-traditional financing, EB-5 investment capital can be used to jump-start or complete worthy projects that are – for one reason or another – having difficulty securing capital from conventional sources.

Congress has become increasingly interested in the EB-5 program, given its potential to stimulate regional economies, and there are now two bills in the US Congress (one from the Senate and one from the House) that make changes to the program. Given the interest on Capitol Hill, CiF appreciated the chance to present our perceptions of the EB-5 industry and the possible effects of new legislation. We understand the importance of working with our Congressional representative and are pleased to be a part of Congress’ thoughtfully exploration the issue.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

CiF tours Convention Center

Global Center for Health and Innovation (GCHI)
southeast exterior
As a part of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) Annual Meeting, members of the CiF team took an opportunity to tour Cleveland’s new Convention Center and attached Global Center for Health Innovation.

The Convention Center has a main exhibition floor of more than 225,000 square feet (20,900 square meters), 35 meetings rooms, and a Grand Ballroom with 32,000 square feet (2,975 square meters) of flexible space that overlooks Cleveland’s lakefront. To maximize urban space, the Convention Center is located underground with a public park located on the roof. Despite being underground, the space is neither dark nor claustrophobic, thanks to an innovative design that emphasizes open space and natural light.

CiF mentioned at Greater Cleveland Partnership Annual Meeting

Mr. Joe Roman, head of GCP, highlights CiF’s involvement
with the Flats East Bank project.
CiF was honored to be mentioned at the Greater Cleveland Partnership 2013 Annual Meeting as an important instrument in financing Cleveland-area developmentprojects. CiF was singled out for its involvement with Flats East Bank project, a catalytic mixed-use development project in downtown Cleveland that has opened to rave reviews is bringing new life to the waterfront.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

UH Project Fully Funded

Cleveland International Fund is pleased to announce that we have completely funded the EB-5 construction loan to University Hospitals. The $60 million USD loan to the University Hospitals Health System was used to finance the construction of two new health facilities, the Ahuja Medical Center and the Seidman Cancer Center. These two new hospitals were part of University Hospital’s more than $1.2 billion USD system-wide expansion plan.

The 120 EB-5 investors that participated in CiF’s UniversityHospitals Project have all been approved by the USCIS and have been cleared to receive Conditional Green Cards from the United States Government.

Monday, June 24, 2013

CiF @ Ribbon Cutting ceremony for the Aloft Hotel

From left to right: Mr. Scott Wolstein, Mr. Jamey Cua, Ms. Iris Wolstein, Mayor of Cleveland Mr. Frank Jackson, Cuyahoga County Executive Mr. Ed FitzGerald, Mr. Adam Fishman
On Thursday June 13th the CiF Team attended the Ribbon Cutting ceremony for the Aloft Hotel, part of the Flats East Bank development in downtownCleveland. The ceremony marked the official opening of the hotel to the public. Leading the event were Cuyahoga County Executive Mr. Ed FitzGerald, the Mayor of Cleveland Mr. Frank Jackson, and project developers Mr. Scott Wolstien, Ms. Iris Wolstein, and Mr. Adam Fishman.

The new hotel has 150 rooms, multiple meeting rooms, and a stylish lounge that overlooks the Cuyahoga River. The Aloft brand is a division of Starwood Hotels and the brand, which is designed to accommodate business travelers, has recently become one of fastest growing hotel franchises with locations around the globe.

Friday, June 7, 2013

CiF @ 3rd annual EB-5 Dealmakers Conference, CA

From Left to Right: Mr. Boyd Campbell, Mr. Al Rattan, Ms. Kristen Laughlin, Mr. Roger Hobbs, Mr. Jeff Campion, and Ms. Kate Kalmykov  (Photo Credit: Artisan Business Group)
CiF’s Chief Marketing Officer, Ms. Kristen Laughlin, recently attended the 3rd annual EB-5 Dealmakers Conference in Long Beach, CA.  Hosted by EB-5 luminary Mr. Brian Su and his team at Artisan Business Group, the conference featured many notable figures in the EB-5 community- from immigration lawyers to developers to Regional Center executives- discussing the ins and outs of the industry.  Ms. Laughlin was pleased to participate in a panel of Regional Center practitioners and attorneys discussing tips and best practices for managing and operating a Regional Center as well as for marketing EB-5 projects.