25 June 2021
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Some believe the recent Behring v. Wolf case revitalizes EB-5 financing for developers because it rolls back the EB‑5 minimum investment to $500,000
On June 22, 2021, in the case of Behring Regional Center LLC v Chad Wolf, a federal court in the Northern District of California effectively invalidated the final rules for EB-5 which became effective in 2019. These rules raised the minimum foreign immigrant investment from $500,000 to $900,000 and imposed other restrictions.
Many commercial real estate developers are hoping this development will launch a new surge of EB-5 financing that could fuel their projects, as was the case for years (until a few years ago when the music stopped).
Don’t get too excited about reliable EB-5 financing coming back – but there may be a better alternative . . .
For many years, we helped developers source and close EB-5 financing for new construction and development projects. We had a 100% success rate in closing all our EB-5 deals totaling more than $1.5 billion. But we have not felt comfortable using this source of capital for several years, because none of the reliable sources we worked with were able to commit to a deal. They couldn’t raise the immigrant investor funds.
What happened? More than 85% of the funding came from Chinese immigrant investors, and the USCIS processing times for immigrant visas grew to more than 15 years! No investor wants to wait 15 years to get the immigration visa he is paying for today.
These processing backlogs effectively killed EB-5 as a reliable and robust source of financing for commercial real estate development. The court decision invalidating the final rules on EB-5 will not fix this or any other issues with the program.
But a better alternative to EB-5 financing has come mainstream and should be considered. Many are not aware of this alternative – Commercial PACE (or C-PACE).
Is C-PACE the “new EB-5” financing for commercial real estate developments? YES and NO . . .
C-PACE is the “new EB-5” financing for commercial real estate developers, but only in one notable sense: virtually every commercial real estate developer will at least seriously consider C-PACE for projects in the 2020s, just as they did with EB-5 in the 2010s.
Other than the skyrocketing popularity and even more favorable terms, the C-PACE solution has nothing at all to do with the EB-5 program CONTINUE READING →