OAKLAND, CA-US Immigration Investment Centerplans to begin a $5 million renovation of thedilapidated 5-story Merritt Hotel in the city'shistoric Uptown district.

With 156 rooms to work with, US Immigration Investment(USIIC) will convert the historic hotel, built in1926, into modern housing for international students. Inrecent years, the vacant building has been targeted by vandalscreating a nuisance and posing a danger to surroundingneighborhoods. City approval has been received.

“We're very excited to turn what has been a real problem for thecity into a valuable asset for the entire community,” saidMahnaz Khazen, USIIC president and CEO. “When thisproject is completed next year, it will be a gleaming example ofhow the federal EB-5 program can createpartnerships among local and international investors to helprevitalize neighborhoods.”

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David Phillips

David Phillips is a Chicago-based freelance writer and consultant with more than 20 years experience in business and community news. He also has extensive reporting experience in the food manufacturing industry for national trade publications.