Skip to main content

Touting success with immigrant investors, NYC Regional Center (still) deceptively claims EB-5 money helped build Barclays Center

Would you believe that the New York City Regional Center (NYCRC), which raised $228 million for Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project in 2010 from 456 immigrant investors seeking green cards for themselves and their families (through the "dodgy" EB-5 program), is still not telling the truth.

Note that the press release at bottom, as well as the NYCRC's web site, below, states that the low-interest loan from immigrant investors "assisted with the construction of specific components of the overall development, examples of which included: the Barclays Center Arena..."

Except Reuters reported in December 2010 that a South Korean migration agent, Kookmin, working on behalf of the NYCRC not only guaranteed investors their permanent green but "also implied the investors would be financing the construction of the new home for the New Jersey Nets NBA basketball team."

Reuters got George Olsen, a NYCRC managing principal, to acknowledge that "the claims were 'not accurate' - the investors will finance the rebuilding of a rail yard and some related infrastructure near the new basketball court -- and promised he would jump on Kookmin 'with two feet.'"

However, as I wrote on Huffington Post, the deceptive statements highlighted by Reuters and explained away by Olsen have been made by the NYCRC's own principals in a project video and by the NCYRC's point man in China, Gregg D. Hayden, during investment seminars and webcasts there. (Hayden is now NYCRC's General Manager - Asia/Europe.

(Forest City Ratner and its new Chinese government -owned partner on Atlantic Yards, Greenland Holdings, have apparently raised another $249 million in low-cost capital, again through deceptive means, though using a different regional center, which is a private sector entity federall authorized to raise such funds.)

From the NYCRC web site
From the NYCRC web site
The press release

The press release from the NYCRC, I-829 Petition Approvals in the Brooklyn Arena and Transportation Infrastructure Project, is subtitled "USCIS issues I-829 petition approvals to EB-5 investors in NYCRC's Brooklyn Arena and Transportation Infrastructure Project":
NEW YORK, Aug. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The New York City Regional Center ("NYCRC") (www.nycrc.com) is pleased to announce that the United States Citizenship Immigration Services ("USCIS") has issued the first twenty I-829 petition approvals to EB-5 investors participating in the NYCRC's Brooklyn Arena and Transportation Infrastructure Project. The issuance of the I-829 petition approval removes the conditional status and deems the investor to be a lawful permanent resident of the United States. Permanent residence permits EB-5 investors to live and work anywhere in the United States, and be protected by the laws of the United States. An investor's spouse and children are also authorized to live, work and attend school anywhere in the United States.
USCIS approved the Brooklyn Arena and Transportation Infrastructure Project as a permissible EB-5 project on September 23, 2010. To date, all 456 EB-5 investors in the offering have received I-526 petition approvals from USCIS. Moreover, the federal government has issued 1,325 conditional green cards to investors and family members.

"The issuance of these I-829 petition approvals in the Brooklyn Arena and Transportation Infrastructure Project is another milestone for the NYCRC. These new approvals will add to the over 500 individuals who have already received permanent residency through NYCRC projects," said NYCRC Managing Principal Paul Levinsohn.
"The NYCRC is helping to spur job creation and economic development throughout New York City while also assisting families begin a new life in America. We look forward to continuing our track record of well-structured, professional EB-5 offerings. We send our congratulations to these investors," added NYCRC Managing Principal George L. Olsen.
The Brooklyn Arena and Transportation Infrastructure Project involved the construction of specific components of Brooklyn's Atlantic Yards development. EB-5 capital was loaned to an affiliate of Forest City Enterprises (NYSE: FCE.A, FCE.B), the real estate company designated by the State of New York to oversee the Atlantic Yards development. The loan assisted with the construction of specific components of the overall development, examples of which included: the Barclays Center Arena; a new subway station entrance within 100 feet of the arena; an outdoor public plaza outside the arena; the demolition and reconstruction of the Carlton Avenue Bridge; an on-grade parking facility; and the excavation, removal, rerouting, and upgrading of water and sewer lines.
The NYCRC was approved by USCIS in 2008 to secure EB-5 investment in real estate projects within Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx. The NYCRC was the first regional center approved in New York City. The NYCRC works in conjunction with the government and designated developers to fund critical economic development projects in New York City.

The NYCRC has become an important contributor to New York City's economic revitalization by helping to fund a series of public/private real estate projects that create much needed jobs. NYCRC projects include EB-5 funding to assist with the redevelopment of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York City's largest industrial park, as well as funding to assist with the expansion of Steiner Studios, the city's largest film and television production facility. The NYCRC has also provided capital for key components of the Atlantic Yards project as well as the redevelopment of Downtown Brooklyn's central business district. NYCRC funding is being used to assist with the redevelopment of the George Washington Bridge Bus Station and the continuing efforts to revitalize Lower Manhattan's waterfront and the Bronx and Washington Heights business corridors. The NYCRC will also provide capital to assist with the construction of a wireless infrastructure network in select New York City underground subway stations.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

No, security guards can't ban photos. Questions remain about visibility of ID/sticker system.

The bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Community Update meeting June 14, held at 55 Hanson Place, addressed multiple issues, including delays in the project, a new detente with project neighbors,concerns about traffic congestion, upcoming sewer work and demolitions, and an explanation of how high winds caused debris to fly off the under-construction 38 Sixth Avenue building. I'll have more coverage.
Security issues came up several times at the meeting.
Wayne Bailey, a resident who regularly takes photos and videos (that I often use) of construction/operations issues that impact residents, asked representatives of Tishman Construction if the security guard at the sites they're building works for them.
After Tishman Senior VP Eric Reid said yes, Bailey asked why a guard told him not to shoot video of the site, even though he was on a public street.

"I will address it with principals for that security firm," Reid said.
Forest City Ratner executive Ashley Cotton, the …

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website Matzav.com explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what might be coming (post-dated pinned post)

Click on graphic to enlarge. This is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change, and the project is already well behind that tentative timetable.


Not quite the pattern: Greenland selling development sites, not completed condos

Real Estate Weekly, reporting on trends in Chinese investment in New York City, on 11/18/15 quoted Jim Costello, a senior vice president at research firm Real Capital Analytics:
“They’re typically building high-end condos, build it and sell it. Capital return is in a few years. That’s something that is ingrained in the companies that have been coming here because that’s how they’ve grown in the last 35 years. It’s always been a development game for them. So they’re just repeating their business model here,” he said. When I read that last November, I didn't think it necessarily applied to Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, now 70% owned (outside of the Barclays Center and B2 modular apartment tower), by the Greenland Group, owned significantly by the Shanghai government.
A majority of the buildings will be rentals, some 100% market, some 100% affordable, and several--the last several built--are supposed to be 50% market/50% subsidized. (See tentative timetable below.)

Selling development …

Atlanta's Atlantic Yards moves ahead

First mentioned in April, the Atlantic Yards project in Atlanta is moving ahead--and has the potential to nudge Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn further down in Google searches.

According to a 5/30/17 press release, Hines and Invesco Real Estate Announce T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards:
Hines, the international real estate firm, and Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager, today announced a joint venture on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s institutional clients to develop two progressive office projects in Atlanta totalling 700,000 square feet. T3 West Midtown will be a 200,000-square-foot heavy timber office development and Atlantic Yards will consist of 500,000 square feet of progressive office space in two buildings. Both projects are located on sites within Atlantic Station in the flourishing Midtown submarket.
Hines will work with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) as the design architect for both T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards. DLR Group will be t…