Michigan development luring rich Chinese?

May 15, 2012 at 5:38 PM

ANN ARBOR, Mich., May 15 (UPI) -- A bi-national investment firm hopes to use in-state tuition at the University of Michigan to attract rich Chinese to a development near Ann Arbor.

Officials in Milan, a drive of about 20 minutes from the college town, say Sino Michigan Properties LLC paid $1.9 million for 220 acres, The Detroit News reported. The property, one of the last undeveloped parcels on Highway 23, which runs south from Ann Arbor, is in two townships, Milan and London, and is zoned for agriculture.

While officials in the city of Milan say they have been approached about extending water and sewage service to the area, township officials say they have had no talks with the would-be developers. Area residents say they are concerned because the plans seem to be for a community that would be reserved for rich members of one ethnic group.

The Michigan Economic Development Group, which has also been approached, said the developers want to attract Chinese willing to invest enough in the United States -- creating at least 10 jobs -- to qualify for green cards. That might also qualify their children as Michigan residents.

Officials said the plan appears to call for 400 homes.

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