That’s Tom Shepstone’s new gig. Unable to actually frack the Catskills – on account of the fact that there isn’t any shale there worth fracking, this bankrupt, double dipping, dis-accredited, semi pro gas bag has signed on to help import Chinese via a “buy green cards for your entire family” immigration scheme. And no, I am not making any of this up. For a change. Hey, it could be a hole fracking lot worse: the frackers could have turned Grossingers into a gigantic Man Camp. Which could have given a new meaning to “Dirty Dancing.”
When Sheepdip was hired as Energy In Depth’s “political organizer” for New York, there were no town bans or moratoriums on drilling. After many town presentations by Sheepdip, there are now over 170. Thanks Shep. Since he went on sabbatical at EID, he’s been working on an immigrant importation racket: “Catskills Chinatown”. Which may in fact be little more than a scam. Imagine that.
Read all about EID’s “Political Organizer’s” unfrackingbelievable plans for Chinatown in the Catskills : http://www.gunkjournal.com/2013/08/29/news/1308291.html
“Talks with project spokeswoman Sherry Li, along with planning process consultant Tom Shepstone of Pennsylvania-based Shepstone Management Company, resulted in promises of a massive development – a $6 billion mixture of theme parks, retail mall, warehouses, business park and time-share-styled residential community for Chinese nationals.”
Or a lot of hot fracking air. Whichever comes first.
Plans for the China City of America, which is being proposed to be built in Thompson, New York, are being reviewed but have already received skeptical opposition.
According to a report by the New York Post, a businesswoman from Long Island is proposing plans to build a massive Chinese community, dubbed a “Chinese Disneyland,” up in the Catskills section of New York state. The development would be located in the town of Thompson, about 100 miles northwest of New York City, and would have all the trappings of Chinese life.
According to Sherry Li, the plan would potentially bring in thousands of wealthy Chinese immigrants by giving an opportunity for them to obtain visas via a federal program that grants them visits by investing $500,000 or more in the U.S., but in particular, the small town of Thompson.
Li says the proposed development, officially called the China City of America, would draw in an estimated $6 billion.“We can kind of view it as a Chinese concept of Disney [World] — so it’s going to have a lot of attractions for families,” Li said in the report.
Current designs for the project include a college, 1,000 residential properties, a Chinese retail center and even a possible casino. China City also includes a lot of more traditional Chinese cultural nods, like keeping Feng Shui in mind during the design process, a $10 million “Temple of Heaven,” a $20 million “Forbidden City” as well as major buildings and areas being named after the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals and the 16 major Chinese dynasties. “Each dynasty will have its building and will have rides go with it,” Li said during a town hall meeting where she pitched the idea.
Though the plan is now in the process of being reviewed by the leadership in Thompson, which has a population of just 15,000, it has already received a lot of resistance. “It actually seems surreal but unfortunately it is real,” Paula Medley, a local activist who leads an environmental group, said. “It sounds like an EB-5 scam,” Laura Corruzi, a New York City attorney familiar with the area, said. “The financials don’t really support the $6 billion project.”
On top of that, doubts have been cast by Tony Cellini, the Thompson town supervisor. “We’re not certain we have the infrastructure to handle all that at this point,” he said of the sprawling development, in a masterful bit of understatement.
Similar schemes have turned out to be notorious scams
China City Project Highlights Visa Fight
Industry watchers say approval may be tougher to obtain particularly following recent abuses of the system that have worried the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In September, the SEC accused a South Texas company of fraudulently raising at least $5m from investors promising that their money would be invested as part of the EB-5 programme. The company allegedly diverted funds to other undisclosed businesses and for personal use of its owners.
And earlier this year the SEC filed a case against a Chicago developer who allegedly duped dozens of Chinese investors out of close to $150m by pretending to build a hotel and convention centre.
The EB-5 programme, which started in the 1990s, took off during the financial downturn when banks and other lenders turned off the liquidity taps that enabled construction financing. Despite the economy grinding to a halt, wealthy foreigners – drawn to the US for its political stability as well as economic and educational opportunities – were still willing to make loans to developers.
In spite of the controversy, in recent years demand from wealthy foreigners has not abated. Last year 6,106 foreign investors applied for EB-5 visas, up from 3,858 in 2011 and 1,949 the year before, according to government data.
|China City Developer Reveals New Plan|
TOWN OF THOMPSON – The woman whose China City of America company now wants to build a post-secondary educational campus in the Town of Thompson said the planned facility would offer four-year degree programs.
Company president Sherry Li said the school, which would be affiliated with a yet-to-be chosen college, would include classroom buildings, dormitories and other education-related facilities. The school would offer two primary programs, Li told MidHudsonNews.com. One would be in business management and the other would be in media arts design. The college would occupy 314 acres of a 575-acre parcel in Thompson.
Project engineer Thomas Shepstone said they hope to secure the local approvals in a matter of months. Once they are in place, Li said construction could begin and take 24 months to complete.
The development would mean a large number of construction jobs and Shepstone said they have “great interest” in working with local union labor. All ten of them – the investment must create 10 jobs for American workers.
All funding for the project will come from private Chinese investors using the EB-5 Visa program under which they invest $500,000 in high unemployment or rural areas in exchange for which they and their family would receive green cards.