From GlobeSt.com, 6/21/11, Shopping the EB-5 Supermarket:
As access to traditional forms of capital continues to tighten, an often underlooked source of funding can help foreign investors establish themselves in the US while benefiting the American economy: the federal EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Panelists discussed “The Art of the EB-5 Real Estate Transaction” at a conference hosted by Akerman Senterfitt in conjunction with the Urban Land Institute and the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate on Monday morning at the Cornell Club in Midtown Manhattan.And if you think of it in the view of public policy, well, maybe the question is whether the project actually creates jobs.
...When structuring an EB-5 project, Park asks two questions: Does it meet the legal requirements, and from an investment standpoint, will it sell? “EB-5 projects nowadays are like commodities,” Park says. “You have to think of it in the view of the investor. They want a green card and they walk into a ‘supermarket.’ You go in, look at the shelf and see all these products and if you pick a good one and you get the job, you get your permanent green card two years later.”
Need for legislative update
The article notes:
While several projects across the country have benefited from the program--such as the Brooklyn Navy Yard, University of Miami Life Science Center and Battery Maritime Building--Richard Spees, chair of national government affairs and public policy practice for Akerman Senterfitt, says the EB-5 program expires on Sept. 30, 2012. A bill to extend the program was introduced in March, but since then, it has been stalled in the House and Senate. Spees called on Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) of the Senate Judiciary Committee to take action.As I reported, Senators seem swayed by reports of projects in their districts, with little willingness to drill down and see if new jobs are actually created
“They like the program, but there hasn’t been a fire under them yet. Everybody is hoping something will happen, but I don’t see a lot happening there,” Spees said. “I think the people need to get creative and deliver the message.”
And the article combines former Atlantic Yards point man Jim Stuckey with the clever packagers at the New York City Regional Center, who helped raise $249 million for Atlantic Yards:
The most successful EB-5 projects have demonstrated creative real estate solutions in major metros, explained moderator James P. Stuckey, divisional dean at NYU’s Schack Institute of Real Estate. With a refocus on urban manufacturing, Andrew Kimball, president and CEO of Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, became the city’s first organization to access low-cost financing--about $60 million--through the EB-5 Regional Center program.The article mentions the more legitimate Navy Yard program, but, really, shouldn't someone follow up on the revelations about the Atlantic Yards pitched raised by Reuters and by me? The Times has not.