Articles Posted in EB-5 Financing

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By Jim Butler and the Global Hospitality Group®
Hotel Lawyers | Authors of www.HotelLawBlog.com
29 July 2014

A viable source of capital and now mainstream

The EB-5 Immigrant Investment Visa program offers an alternative means of raising capital for hotel development projects in the U.S., and the lawyers in JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® and Chinese Investment Group™ have worked on more than sixty EB-5 projects all over the United States.

Over just the past 3 years, the EB-5 program has quickly gained the support of some of the largest, institutional-quality developers as well as major hotel brands. Perhaps a bit late, many developers have recently noticed the significant capital being raised through EB-5 and they are scrambling to catch up with those already far down the track.

Looming problem of limited bandwidth

Fortunately, EB-5 capital remains abundantly available. But unfortunately, there is limited bandwidth to tap into it. As a result, the competition of developers for access has become quite intense as they seek to gain the attention of the small number of players with the track record of success to complete their capital raise, and the increasingly discerning EB-5 investors who are much more careful today on who they trust with their immigration visa investment.

Why it is important to gain “preferred” status

Not surprisingly, the hotel developers who will win this race to receive EB-5 funding for their projects will be “preferred” hotel developers in every sense – preferred as to the excellence of the track record and experience of the developer, the quality of the project, the structure of the deal to satisfy EB-5 investor requirements and protect the developer, the experience and relationships with Regional Centers and sales teams, and experienced Counselors to advise on every aspect of the project.

The JMBM Global Hospitality Group® helps high quality developers with great projects achieve this “preferred” status and win the race for EB-5 capital. Some background on which developers and deals will be successful in raising EB-5 capital may be helpful in order to understand the importance of planning, structuring and positioning necessary to obtain the best result.

 

How to win the race for EB-5 capital:
Obtaining “preferred” status for developers and projects

by

Jim Butler and Jonathan Bloch

 

What does it mean to establish “preferred” status? What does it take?

The preferred status of a developer and project with respect to EB-5 financing has certain elements are more or less inherent in the project and developer, and other elements relate to structure and positioning to satisfy the needs of various participants in the EB-5 capital chain. An outstanding developer and project might fail to qualify as “preferred” without the proper Counseling, advice and structure, while a good developer might make the cut.

On the other hand, an inexperienced developer with a marginal project will never become preferred, even with the greatest coaching.

What are the benefits of being “preferred”? You win the race for EB-5 capital. Your deal qualifies for and receives EB-5 funding — in the maximum amount, at the lowest cost, in the shortest time, and with the greatest degree of certainty.

Who wins the race for EB-5 capital?

Who wins the race for EB-5 capital? The standard bell curve shown in the first graphic below helps answer this question.  CONTINUE READING →

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By Jim Butler and the Global Hospitality Group®
Hotel Lawyers | Authors of www.HotelLawBlog.com
25 July 2014

EB-5 financing has gone mainstream for hotel development

The use of EB-5 financing has exploded over the past 3 years as an important funding source for new hotel development. It is clearly now part of the “mainstream” being used with great success by increasingly institutional companies. Marriott was among the earliest advocates for the program and has used it for many high profile hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton/JW Marriott and Marriott Courtyard/Residence Inn hotels in DTLA. But more recently, other major brands have come on board and encourage developer use of EB-5 financing.

As lawyers who have worked on more than 60 EB-5 projects all over the country, we have noticed that everyone who investigates EB-5 financing wants answers to 5 big questions about the EB-5 financing opportunity for their project. It should come as no surprise that most of our EB-5 projects involve financing for new hotel development, because hotels are the most popular type of project for EB-5 investors and we have one of the most prominent hotel law practices in the world. However, our team has also successfully used EB-5 financing for a number of non-hotel projects including senior living, restaurants and solar farms.

The 5 questions every hotel developer is asking
about EB-5 financing

by
Jim Butler and Jonathan Bloch

In seeking to access EB-5 financing, our developer clients have asked a lot of questions, but most of them can really be summed up in the following 5 questions:

1. Will EB-5 work for me on my project?
2. How much money can I get?
3. How much will it cost?
4. How long will it take?
5. How can I get certainty of execution?

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Hotel Lawyer looking at the EB-5 program

Over the past 5 years, JMBM’s team has helped clients with more than 40 EB-5 projects all over the U.S. The program is more popular than ever and the standards continue to rise for sponsors who want to advantage of this funding technique.

I asked Jonathan Bloch, a corporate partner and Senior Member of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®, to put together an Executive Summary and Overview of the EB-5 Program for investors and developers wanting to explore the funding source for new projects.

Here it is.

An Executive Summary and Overview of the EB-5 Program
by
Jonathan R. Bloch | Senior Member of the Global Hospitality Group®

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administers the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5,” created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Under a pilot immigration program first enacted in 1992 and regularly reauthorized since, Congress has allocated 10,000 EB-5 visas for investors designated by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth. Of the 10,000 visas available annually for immigrant investors, 3,000 are reserved for investments in Targeted Employment Areas and another 3,000 are set aside for investment through the Regional Center Program.

Up until very recently, the EB-5 Program has been both controversial and underutilized. However, as a result of some positive developments by the USCIS, the Program has been revised to make EB-5 investments more readily available and easier to obtain. In addition, due to the difficult financing market that developers have faced, the number of petitions has increased from 332 in 2005 to 4,156 in 2012, and the approval rates for the Program have risen from 53 percent to 79 percent.

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On June 21, 2002 Guy Maisnik will be a featured speaker at the 2nd Chinese Investment and EB-5 Finance Forum in Los Angeles.

This Conference is designed for everyone interested in taking advantage of foreign investment from China “inbound” for U.S. real estate. It features some of the most knowledgeable and respected experts in the country on this subject and will facilitate foreign investors and capital sources networking with U.S. real estate professionals, developers, and owners.

Guy Maisnik, an industry veteran with nearly 30 years of real estate and hospitality experience, will provide practical tips and insights from lessons learned in representing Chinese investors in the U.S. Maisnik says, “The more you understand the nature of your investors, their concerns and the issues, the greater your chances for success with your transactions.”

Maisnik is a vice chair and a senior member of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® and Chinese Investment Group, and is also a member of and is involved in more than 40 Chinese investments in the U.S. — EB-5 or otherwise. Maisnik notes that “Chinese investors are particularly interested in hotel and related hospitality investment as well as broader classes of real estate.”
For more information on Chinese investment and EB-5, please click here or go to: http://hotellaw.jmbm.com/eb5_financing.

For more information on the 2nd Chinese Investment and EB-5 Finance Forum, click here or go to :
http://www.attractasianinvestors.com/index.html.

Come join Guy at the Forum and take advantage of this opportunity.
Embassy Suites Los Angeles International Airport/North
9:00 am – 4:30 pm
June 21, 2012
Register Now

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By Jim Butler and the Global Hospitality Group®
Hotel Lawyers | Authors of www.HotelLawBlog.com
25 October 2011

On Friday, October 21, 2011 I did a Q&A interview with the National Real Estate Bisnow about Chinese investment in U.S. hotels. Here is the full Question & Answer exchange, a portion of which appeared in the Biznow article.

There’s been an explosion of Chinese investment in the US, especially real estate. And many people believe it will surpass the Japanese investment of the late ’80s (estimated to have exceeded $120B).

There’s been an explosion of Chinese investment in US real estate. Who’s investing and where, and how much investment do you expect in 2011?

The increasing wave of Chinese investment in the U.S. is being fueled by the Chinese government (generally acting through construction companies, banks and other intermediary companies) and an exploding class of wealthy Chinese. The top .05% wealthiest Chinese have investible funds of more than $2.7 trillion, and there is a rapidly growing class of billionaires and more than 800,000 millionaires. Plus there is a huge rising middle class looking to travel and enjoy life.

Of course, in addition to Mainland China there are the Chinese in Taiwan, and everywhere else such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Indonesia.

A recent Merchants Bank report estimates that rich Chinese individuals — those with assets of more than 10 million yuan — have about 3.6 trillion yuan ($564 billion) invested overseas. No reliable numbers are available for total Chinese foreign investment or Chinese investment in the United States. The investors are largely staying under the radar to avoid publicity and possible adverse reactions, and there seems to be no means to track the investments and get an aggregate investment number.

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Formation of the Chinese Investment Group™

Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM) has announced the formation of the JMBM Chinese Investment Group™ to provide legal and business advice for the specialized needs of Chinese investors and Chinese investment in the United States for hotel, real estate, EB-5 and other U.S. investments. We have a dedicated team with great experience for this kind of work.

Here is more information about how this development might help you. Click here to download a PDF of this announcement about the Chinese Investment Group™.

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