Articles Posted in EB-5 Financing

Published on:


02 October 2015

We are pleased that the Continuing Resolution passed by Congress yesterday includes a temporary extension of the EB-5 Regional Center Program. This extension allows the program to continue generating foreign direct investment and creating U.S. jobs through December 11, 2015.

In addition to extending the current program to December 11, this will also provide additional time for Congress to consider a long-term reauthorization bill that would include reform measures to strengthen federal oversight and the integrity of the program. Members of Congress from both parties and both the House and Senate are negotiating in good faith.

This week, two Senate bills were introduced that propose revisions to the EB-5 program.

Last week, our team closed $350 million in EB-5 financing for our developer clients. We have sourced more than $700 million in EB-5 financing for developer clients and believe the EB-5 program will continue to be an important source of funding for qualified projects.

We will continue to report on EB-5 developments as they unfold. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

21 September 2015

The Global Hospitality Group® is best known for its expertise in connection with hotels and resorts. We also have an active restaurant practice, and like a hotel, a restaurant is an operating business integrally intertwined with special purpose real estate. We frequently advise restaurant owners and operators on labor and employment, ADA, management, and finance and licensing issues, and we have a particular expertise relating to celebrity chef deals.

Senior Global Hospitality Group® member David Sudeck recently participated in a roundtable discussion about the food and beverage industry in Los Angeles, published in the Los Angeles Business Journal. The following discussion about licensing issues, EB-5 and crowdfunding investment in restaurant projects, gift card and loyalty programs and tax planning strategies is based on the roundtable and includes some clarifications and updates.


The Food & Beverage Industry in Los Angeles: A Roundtable Discussion
Supplement to the Los Angeles Business Journal

The food and beverage industry is unique in many ways. And here in Los Angeles, where we have some of the best dining and food-for-purchase options in the nation, there may be an even more finely tuned set of rules for success. Stir in an unpredictable economy and you’ve got a sector of Southern California business that continues to evolve faster than most. To make some sense of this exciting and unpredictable realm, the Los Angeles Business Journal turned to some of the leading experts in the region – from the financial, legal and business perspectives – to get their diverse insights and assessments regarding the current state of the industry that Angelenos most certainly couldn’t live without!


Published on:

09 September 2015

EB-5 is at a critical renewal point

The next 3 weeks are going to be crucial for the EB-5 industry as the current legislation sunsets on September 30, 2015. While the consensus is that this important program will be renewed, and perhaps made permanent, there are lots of currents circulating about possible changes in the program.

We want to share with you some keen insights we recently received.

EB-5 update and insights from an industry insider

Below is the full text of a letter recently sent to industry colleagues by Pat Hogan, President, CMB. Pat is one of the leading proponents of EB-5, and is also a founder and board member of the IIUSA (Invest In the USA) which is the national industry trade association for the EB-5 Regional Center Program.


I wanted to share my thoughts with you after having recently visited no less than 60 Congressional and Senatorial offices within the last 40 days. I also just attended the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) EB-5 Investors Summit this past weekend in Las Vegas.


Published on:

18 March 2015

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The buzz continues on EB-5 financing for development projects.

EB-5 financing is an important and viable source of construction financing for hotels, hotel enhanced mixed-use, and other development projects. Five years ago, when JMBM started helping hotel developers with EB-5 financing, many worried about whether this is a legitimate and reliable financing source.

Now, after billions of dollars of development have been funded with EB-5, this type of financing is regarded as mainstream, and is used by many institutional players including government entities such as port authorities, major hotel brands like Marriott and Hilton, and some of the largest owners of hotels such as the Related Companies and Silverstein Properties.

As an active source of EB-5 funding for select developers, JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® team has been busy too. We caught up with Jim Butler and Jonathan Bloch for an update on recent developments in this area as summarized in the Q and A below.

Q: How much EB-5 financing has JMBM sourced for its clients?

Our team has sourced more than $700 million of EB-5 funding for our developer clients.

  • In 2014, our team sourced and closed more than $200 million in EB-5 mezzanine loans for our clients.
  • To date in 2015, our team has sourced more than $475 million in EB-5 mezzanine loans for our clients which are signed deals expected to fund before the end of the year.
  • And there is about another $100 million in the pipeline that does not yet have a signed commitment.

Over the last 5 years we have worked on more than 60 EB-5 projects, primarily representing developers in getting EB-5 financing — projects all over the country, including high profile locations in California, New York, and Texas, but also in more bread-and-butter locations including Nebraska and Maryland.

Q: That is more than $700 million sourced by JMBM. What do you mean by “sourced”?

The “sourcing” is a process. What we do depends on the client. Typically, we help the client position and structure itself and the project for optimal EB-5 financing — presenting the best profile to get the fastest and most certain funding of the largest amount feasible. It includes identifying and introducing our client to one or more appropriate funding sources, negotiating a term sheet, and taking the deal through funding closing. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

28 January 2015

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This article was first published by on January 28, 2015.


Polis Bill Reform EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

With the regional center program set to expire in September 2015, the EB-5 industry has been given new life in the form of the American Entrepreneurship and Investment Act of 2015. The Act was introduced today by Congressmen Jared Polis (CO-02) and Mark Amodei (NV-02), and is a follow-up to last year’s bill of the same name. The bill would make the regional center program permanent and allow for continued job creation and a more reliable stream of foreign capital.

“Our nation has always been at its strongest when we attracted the best and brightest minds to help build and invest in our economy,” said Rep. Polis. “The EB-5 visa program is an important tool that brings innovation and investment to the United States, and this bipartisan bill will improve and make permanent the program so that foreign investment and talent will continue to flow into our businesses, and strengthen our economy.”

“This bi-partisan, pro-investment, pro-growth and pro-jobs bill is one piece of the legislative solution to reform legal immigration,” said Rep. Amodei. “As stated in Article I, Section 8, Clause 4 of the Constitution, ‘The Congress shall have power to… establish a uniform rule of naturalization.’ That is a responsibility we owe the country to take seriously.”

The legislation makes several much-needed improvements, most notably making the regional center program permanent. It also creates new designations for Targeted Employment Areas, and leaves those designations up to the state’s discretion. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

11 January 2015

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JMBM is a Platinum Sponsor of the EB-5 Investors Conference in Las Vegas on January 17, 2015 and will moderate and talk about EB-5 for hotel development

JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® is pleased to be a Platinum sponsor of the upcoming EB-5 Investors Conference at the Wynn Encore Resort in Las Vegas on January 17, 2015. This is one of the premier conferences on this subject in the entire United States.

Partner, Jonathan Bloch and I will moderate and participate in a panel on Hotel Development – Jonathan as a speaker, and myself as a moderator. In addition, JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® Vice Chairman, Guy Maisnik and Partner, David Sudeck will be attending to meet with potential clients and friend to help explore this opportunity.

Our panel on EB-5 for Hotel Development will be from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm on Saturday, January 17, 2015. We hope you will join us for our session and reach out to us if you would like to get together to explore the EB-5 financing opportunity. We are able to help qualified premier developers source low-cost EB-5 financing for their project.

Why EB-5 and this Conference?

EB-5 financing is being used widely by some of the largest owners of hotels and restaurants, and we will be discussing how developers are taking advantage of this capital. EB-5 financing has provided developers with low-cost, non-recourse, five to six year financing for construction and development of new projects.

Whether you are new to EB-5 financing or have used it in the past, this one-day conference has something for everyone. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

06 December 2014

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JMBM is sourcing low-cost mezzanine capital for new construction through EB-5 financing for its top developer-clients.

To qualify for this program, the borrower must be an experienced developer with a superb track record, a superior reputation and a great project. If you don’t meet those threshold requirements, then don’t read any further, because this program does not apply to you.

If you are still reading, the question is: “Can you benefit from mezzanine financing with an all-in cost to you of approximately 6 – 7% per annum?”

If so, you may want to look into JMBM’s “preferred” EB-5 financing program which is summarized below.

Highlights of JMBM’s Preferred EB-5 Financing Program for new construction & development

  Financing type Mezzanine debt or preferred equity
  Cost 6 – 7% per annum, all-in cost to the developer
  Loan size $20 million – $200+ million
  Term 5 – 6 years
  Portion of the capital stack 30 – 40% of the total project cost (excluding land)

Exactly what can JMBM do to help me with EB-5 financing for my development project?

Client confidentiality precludes us from listing clients and projects we have assisted with this program, but suffice it to say that some of the best known names in the business are tapping into this funding source to fill out their capital stack at a favorable cost. And we have helped some of the biggest and highest profile players.

In 2014, we represented clients in identifying, obtaining and closing more than $200 million of EB-5 funding, and as of December 2014, we have commitments for more than $300 million in the pipeline for 2015.

We specialize in representing developers and projects that we believe can qualify for “preferred” status. This concept is discussed in great detail in this article: “Hotel development financing: How to win the race for EB-5 capital.”

For developers and projects that qualify for “preferred” status, we provide business and legal advice to guide the developer through the entire capital raising process. This includes validating that the developer can qualify for the favorable financing and actually sourcing the capital. Here is a more complete list of how we can usually assist: CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

7 September 2014

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EB-5 Visas and China “Retrogression” – What’s it all about?


Jim Butler and Jonathan Bloch
Partners, Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP

In the past, when China exceeded its 7% allocation of US Immigrant Investor Visas (EB-5 visas), Chinese applicants were permitted to take advantage of unused EB-5 visas allotted to other countries. But as of the last week of August 2014, the US State Department decided that the issuance of new EB-5 visas to Chinese applicants will be frozen or “retrogress” (move backward) until October 1, 2014, when the new fiscal year starts.

At that time, a new visa quota of 10,000 EB-5 visas (for all countries) will become available for the next fiscal year through September 30, 2015. China will again be allotted only 7% of these visas but most experts expect that Chinese investors will be permitted to access visas unused by other countries in accordance with practice over the past 3 years. This means that the 10,000 visa cut-off date likely will be reached much earlier in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, and this may significantly affect fundraising in 2014 and 2015.

EB-5 Visas and China “Retrogression” – What it means to you

If you have a new hotel development in the pipeline and you are on the fence about EB-5 financing, now is the time to act!

Why should this latest development in EB-5 financing concern you — a mere 5 week “freeze” on the issuance of EB-5 investment visas for China? If you want to use EB-5 financing as part of your capital stack for a project in 2015, it should concern you plenty for the following reasons:

  • China has been the dominant source of EB-5 capital for the last 3 years — more than a staggering 70% of EB-5 visa applications.
  • The freeze will only affect immigrants filing I-526 applications who are born in Mainland China. Of course, over time, other countries may fill any shortfall of investors from Mainland China but that may take 2-3 years or longer to develop the EB-5 infrastructure that makes foreigners aware of the program, motivates them to immigrate to the US and provides  EB-5 “capital delivery” system (marketing agents, immigration attorneys and the like) that can match China.
  • Anything that delays, retrogresses, or threatens the certainty of EB-5 financing from China creates uncertainty that is bad for all participants in the EB-5 financing world — the Chinese investors, US developers, and the communities that benefit from the realization of new projects, new jobs for US citizens, and economic stimulus.
  • If the EB-5 issues are not fixed quickly, an irreplaceable source of financing could be lost for US developers, communities may lose the benefit of major new projects (from hotels to conference centers and port facilities), Americans will forfeit hundreds of thousands of new jobs each year, and we will lose a critical source of highly-educated, wealthy immigrant talent as America faces a critical labor shortage of skilled workers in the near future.

Based on our experience of assisting developers with EB-5 financing for more than 60 projects, we are confident that there are both short term and longer term solutions to these problems which are discussed at the end of this article. But first, we need to recap the background and setting for the EB-5 program. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

4 August 2014

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Frequently Asked Questions about EB-5 project financing
for new hotel development


Jim Butler and Jonathan Bloch
Partners, Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP


Why is there so much buzz about EB-5 financing?

In the last five years, EB-5 financing has become extremely popular in development circles and is being widely used by mainstream, institutional players including government entities such as port authorities, major hotel brands like Marriott and Hilton, and some of the largest owners of hotels and restaurants. EB-5 financing has provided low-cost, non-recourse, five to six year term financing for construction and development of new projects and offers a number of advantages to developers.

What is EB-5?

EB-5 is a provision in the United States immigration laws. It is the fifth “Employment Based” immigration provision providing expedited visa processing (hence “EB-5”). The program is a win-win-win arrangement giving wealthy immigrants the opportunity to earn a “fast-track” for a US green card if they make an investment of $500,000 or $1 million, and create a minimum of at least 10 permanent US jobs. In return, communities get the benefit of economic stimulation created by this investment and the new jobs. And developers get a valuable source of financing for new projects that is otherwise more difficult to obtain.

Is EB-5 funding available for new development and new construction?

Because foreign investor money must create NEW US jobs, construction and development projects are the normal target of EB-5 financing investment. Although the law does not restrict the nature of the investment to real estate, foreign investors have demonstrated a clear preference for real estate-related projects, particularly hotels, restaurants and resorts. EB-5 financing can also be used to add new facilities to existing ones, such as a new tower of hotel rooms, a spa, a restaurant or nightclub. And, in limited circumstances, EB-5 financing can be used to rescue a bankrupt or failing business, but this exception is difficult to use. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

30 July 2014

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How should hotel developers go after EB-5 financing?

Although the EB-5 immigrant visa program has been around since 1990, the current trend of using this as a source of financing for hotel development began only three years ago. We worked on one of the first hotel EB-5 financings for the W Hotel and Residences in Hollywood, and have since worked on more than 60 EB-5 projects all over the country. Now, use of the EB-5 financing program has gone mainstream. Headline grabbers include the $400 million financing of the SLS Hotel in Las Vegas, the $100 million Ritz Carlton & JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles and now the $1 billion Silverstein project to be built in New York City with a Four Seasons Hotel.

As a growing number of savvy hotel developers hurry to assess the EB-5 financing opportunity, they frequently receive conflicting advice as to the best way to pursue EB-5 financing. Many immigration lawyers and advisors tout the advantages of the developer forming its own regional center — basically to shave a few points off the all-in cost of EB-5 financing.

Although this advice may work well for the EB-5 advisors (in that they get $100,000 or more of fees), for most of the hotel developers we know, forming a captive regional center is a bad idea. This article should provide a note of caution for developers considering this course.

Based on our extensive experience with financing hotel development from EB-5 funding sources, we believe that the answer for most hotel developers will be to obtain “preferred” status for themselves and their projects — if they can do so — and to tap into the very best established EB-5 funding sources.  For more on this approach, see “Hotel development financing: How to win the race for EB-5 capital.CONTINUE READING →