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Lots of winners (but not the public interest) in effort to raise $249M for Atlantic Yards via "green cards for investors"; FCR could save $100 million

When you run the numbers, there seem to be a lot of winners in the effort to market green cards for investments totaling $249 million in the Atlantic Yards project.

Those benefiting include:
  • immigrant investors and their families
  • the operators of the New York City Regional Center (NYCRC)
  • immigration attorneys
  • developer Forest City Ratner (by far the largest beneficiary)
Missing? The public interest, especially if no new jobs are created (as admitted) and this new investment does not actually retain jobs (as I've argued).

Looking at the costs

According to one Chinese-language web site (Google Translate version) promoting the project, here are the costs for investors:
  1. Investment Amount: $500,000
  2. Project Issue fee: $38,000
  3. Attorney's fee: $ 14,750
Adding it up

I've made some precise and rough calculations of the charges and costs. (Readers with a more sophisticated understand of financing are welcome to weigh in.)

Total investment: $249 million

Number of investors: 498

Total Project Issue Fee: $18,924,000

(This presumably would go to the NYCRC, the government-authorized private company marketing the EB-5 investment.)

Total project attorney's fees: $7,345,500

(This presumably would go to attorneys at the firm Miller Mayer, who are working with the NYCRC.)

Cost per investor

Total payout by each immigrant investor household: $552,750

Foregone interest (@5% over 5 years) on $500,000 principal: $125,000

(Note that NYCRC projects require investors to park their money for five years. Also note that the interest figure above excludes compounding.)

Total foregone interest: $62,250,000

Cost of green card per household: $177,750 ($125,000 + $52,750)

Cost of green card per person in 3-person household: $59,250
Cost of green card per person in 4-person household: $44,437.50
Cost of green card per person in 5-person household: $35,550

Benefit to Forest City Ratner

Interest avoided (@8% over five years) on $249 million loan: $99,600,000

Interest avoided (@10% over five years) on $249 million loan: $124,500,000

Interest avoided (@12% over five years) on $249 million loan: $149,000,000

Note that these calculations low-ball the total because they ignore compounding.


  1. Job creations are required by the EB-5 regional center program. The investors ought to look beyond the celebrity status of the project. Based on the publicity and promotional materials available in China, this project is very attractive and safe. A list of their roadshow in China is available at - the first seminar starts Oct 11 in Beijing.

  2. According to press coverage here in New York, no new jobs would be created. Would jobs be retained? That's questionable, as I've reported.


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