FDA approves bio-tech, project heads to city council

NEWPORT CITY - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the plans for the bio-technology facility slated for Newport City. The facility is planned for the former Bogner building location. The building was purchased for the project more than a year ago.Bill Stenger, the co-owner and president of Jay Peak Resort, is working with AnC Bio of Seoul, South Korea, to create a similar facility at the location. AnC Bio Vermont would conduct stem cell research and make artificial organs, among other work. The company is expected to create 200 jobs at all levels.Stenger will have plans before the Newport City Council within 60 days, he said in an interview Friday. Stenger expects all capital in place by July. Funding is through the EB-5 Foreign Investor Program where those who want to live in the United States invest $500,000 in a project in an area with high unemployment and receive a Green Card for themselves and immediate family members if it is proven that the jobs were created.The EB-5 program is set to sunset this fall but Stenger says, even without an extension on the program, he is confident the funding will be in place. Stenger has already used the EB-5 program for $120 million in renovations and expansions at Jay Peak resort.Stenger has also discussed plans for a hotel and conference center on Lake Memphremagog in Newport and he wants to tap into the program for the project. Stenger is working with developer Tony Pomerleau on plans for development.U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy has championed the EB-5 program and has been a key player in extending the program at other times when it was set to expire.Send us your comments by going to our website at http://newportvermontdailyexpress.com/.