ATLANTA—Specialty asset management and financial services firmCivitas Capital Group reports that theUnited States Citizen and Immigration Services hasapproved the establishment of the Civitas Atlanta RegionalCenter.

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The Civitas Atlanta Regional Center will operate as anofficially designated EB-5 regional center for thecity of Atlanta and is expected to facilitate substantial andvaluable economic development within Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton,and Gwinnett counties, officials with the Dallas-based company say.The Regional Center will seek foreign investors to fund a varietyof real estate investments, including multifamily and mixed-useresidential developments, office developments, and senior housingfacilities, as well as investments in other industries such ascorporate finance for local businesses to expand.

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USCIS administers the Immigrant Investor Program, also known asEB-5, which was created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S.economy through job creation and capital investment by foreigninvestors. Under a pilot immigration program first enacted in 1992and regularly reauthorized since, certain EB-5 visas also are setaside for investors in Regional Centers designated by USCIS basedon proposals for promoting economic growth.

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"We are excited about the opening of the Civitas AtlantaRegional Center," says Civitas' Chief Executive Officer DanHealy. "Atlanta has attractive real estate developmentprojects and our Regional Center can provide meaningful capital topush projects forward, which will create jobs and promote economicgrowth in the process."

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Through its EB-5 Investments division, Civitas is the manager of10 Regional Centers throughout the United States, which have fundedor are in the process of providing hundreds of millions of EB-5capital funding to a range of real estate development projects, thecompany states. Civitas is also the exclusive EB-5 partner forseveral Texas cities, including Dallas, Fort Worth, Laredo, and ElPaso. In January, the firm announced that the USCIS had approvedthe establishment of the Cintas Denver Regional Center, which alsospecializes in EB-5 investment.

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"As we expand across the U.S., we're looking for compelling EB-5investment opportunities for the global investors we serve," Healysays. "EB-5 investors are becoming more sophisticated and theindustry is institutionalizing. If we take prudent steps, as we didwith the opening of our Denver and Miami Regional Centers earlierthis year, I believe we will be well positioned to continue to playa leading role in the industry."

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John Jordan

John Jordan is a veteran journalist with 36 years of print and digital media experience.