Officials say an ambitious $40 million, Chinese-backed plan for a health and wellness hotel in Auburn appears to be kaput: The properties are now up for sale.
The Lewiston Sun Journal reports that a more restrictive visa program and changes at Central Maine Medical Center doomed the plan to convert a former shoe factory. The idea was to combine American health care system and a state-of-the-art medical hotel for wealthy Chinese citizens.
Economic and Community Development Director Michael Chammings said the project hinged on a visa program known as EB-5. The program sets foreign investors on the path to U.S. citizenship in exchange for a significant business investment on U.S. soil.
Chammings said delays the building is sound, and could be redeveloped into housing. The parcels are listed for $5 million.