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Work could start this summer on a hotel and Hofbrauhaus restaurant planned for the former Pabst brewery, following the federal government’s recent approval of one of the project’s foreign investors.

Gorman is raising the foreign capital through the federal government’s EB-5 program. That program allows a foreign citizen to obtain a U.S. residency visa by investing at least $500,000 that creates 10 jobs in a U.S. project or business. The two-year visa can be converted into a green card, which provides permanent U.S. residency privileges to the investor, the investor’s spouse and children.

Gorman, who operates Oregon, Wis.-based Gorman & Co., will use $15 million in foreign cash to convert the former Pabst brew house and mill house, at the northwest corner of W. Juneau Ave. and N. 10th St., into a six-story, 90-room extended stay hotel.

“That’s one out of 30,” Gorman said. “But it’s very significant because it means the UCIS didn’t have any problems with the development itself.”

The approval for the first investor after more than six months of waiting could mean that other approvals might now be granted at a “reasonable” pace, Gorman said. If that happens, construction could begin this summer, he said. The hotel will take 14 months to build.

However, Gorman also cautioned that the federal approval process moves at its own pace, and nothing is guaranteed.

The project would include a Hofbrauhaus restaurant on the first floor, and an outdoor beer garden.

Cincinnati Restaurant Group Inc., which operates a Hofbrauhaus in Newport, Ky., under license from the famous beer hall of the same name in Munich, Germany, this year signed a letter of intent to lease 18,000 square feet.

Gorman and the restaurant operators are negotiating the lease. That agreement will include specifics on how the costs of the Hofbrauhaus improvements will be divided between Gorman and Cincinnati Restaurant Group.

Gorman also will use $3.8 million in federal historic preservation tax credits to help finance the development.