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Is the EB-5 program is making our city even more diverse by attracting a growing Asian population?
EB-5 regional centers are increasingly playing an important role helping South Florida developers raise EB-5 funds and attracting foreign investors to our region. But despite their role in reshaping Miami real estate, regional centers remain a mystery to many.
GlobeSt.com caught up with Miami attorney Roger A. Bernstein, who co-owns an EB-5 regional center in Miami called American Life Investments LLC, to discuss the trend. In part one of this exclusive interview series, we asked him what role EB-5 regional centers play in the evolution of Miami’s real estate.
“EB-5 regional centers are increasingly helping redefine South Florida’s skyline,” Bernstein, co-founder of the immigration law firm Bernstein Osberg-Braun PL in Miami, tells GlobeSt.com. “EB-5 regional centers are entities regulated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service that serve as the conduits of foreign investment.”
The way he explains, these regional centers act as lenders pooling foreign capital raised in $500,000 increments from foreign investors—and lend the funds to qualified job creating EB-5 projects. In exchange, he says, the investors obtain residency and a path to U.S. citizenship.
“Many of the real estate projects being planned or under construction in South Florida are raising EB-5 capital for two reasons: one to help finance development costs at a reasonable rate, and second, to attract qualified foreign investors to their projects,” Bernstein says. “Nearly 85% of the EB-5 immigration visas granted every year are allocated to Chinese investors.”
As Miami evolves, Bernstein notes, the EB-5 program is making our city even more diverse by attracting a growing Asian population. As an example, he says his regional center is sponsoring CCCC Miami Towers, a mixed-use development being planned by China City Construction Holding Group and American Da Tang Group in Downtown Miami.
“The partners can afford to build the nearly $1 billion project without having to raise EB-5 capital,” Bernstein says. “Yet, they seek up to $350 million in EB-5 funds as a way to attract Chinese investors.”
- Roger Bernstein
- SkyRise Tower, Miami
- Bernstein Osberg-Braun, P.L.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
- American Life Investments
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