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It has been six months since sales launched for 125 Greenwich Street, a U.S. Immigration Fund project. With increased momentum, Developers, Bizzi & Partners, are revealing the three different residences of the building. Interior finishes, designed by March & White (pictured below), reflect the surrounding neighborhood elements such as the Hudson River and Downtown.

By Tanay Warerkar | Mar 1, 2018

[caption id="attachment_25492" align="aligncenter" width="920"] Gotham Photo Company[/caption]

It took a while to get off the ground, but when it finally did last fall, things started moving pretty quickly for 125 Greenwich Street. Six months after sales launched, the development is now ready to show off its sales gallery, which gives us a peek at the three different types of residences the building will have to offer.

The sales office is located on the 84th floor of One World Trade Center, and looks out on to the construction site. The developers, Bizzi & Partners Development, have built out three residences—two one-bedrooms, and one studio—that are reflective of the palettes future residents can choose from. Interior design firm March & White have labeled these finishes Aqua, Terra, and Stratus as a nod to the Hudson River, the Downtown area, and the sky. Here’s a peek at the three different finishes:

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The renderings of the kitchen palettes above also show off the different marble finishes the developers will offer namely Ancient Grey, Silver Brown Wave, or Fior di Pesco Carnico.

125 Greenwich Street has a total of 273 residences that range in size from studios through three-bedrooms, including several penthouses. Prices on currently available units range from $1.275 million and go up to $5.55 million.

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The 88-story, Rafael Viñoly-designed building will also have a robust amenity package that will take up the top three floors of the building and be known as The 88. The amenities, renderings of which were first unveiled in November last year, include an indoor lap pool, a spa and sauna, a fitness center, a private dining area, and a theater, among others.

When we last checked in with the construction site, the building was just get getting off the ground; the building is now at its 21st floor, and will eventually soar to 912 feet. Construction is expected to wrap in the fall of 2019.

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Indians are fifth largest investors in the program: US official

NEW DELHI | March 1

[caption id="attachment_25502" align="aligncenter" width="660"]USIF-EB5-India More takers The number of USIF Indian investors under the visa program quadrupled from 2016 to 2017 - Getty Images/iStockphoto[/caption]

The EB-5 Visa Program could be a good alternative for Indians wishing to migrate to the US, especially at a time when H1-B Visa rules are being tightened.

“The current administration isn’t against immigration, they are against illegal immigration. And they want to make the entire visa system more of a merit based system as opposed to a lottery. The EB-5 Visa is merit based as people are sacrificing something to get their green card,” said Andrew Graves, Director, Business Development, US Immigration Fund (USIF).

The EB-5 Program was created by the US Congress in 1990 and allows high net worth foreign investors to get a US visa for the investor and their immediate family through an investment of about $5,00,000 in a US business that will benefit the economy by creating a minimum of 10 permanent US jobs. Graves, who heads the India operations of USIF, said at present Indians are the fifth largest investors in the program but given the demographic size, they can turn into the second largest group in a few years.

“If you look at the demographics of India, it is an extremely large country and has lots of wealth. It has the second largest immigrant group to the US behind Mexico. The second largest international student base to the US is also from India,” he told BusinessLine, adding that most applicants use EB-5 for their children’s education in the US.

In 2017, there were only 307 applications under the EB-5 Visa from India as compared to 26,725 applications from those born in mainland China.

The number of USIF Indian investors quadrupled from 2016 to 2017 and Graves expressed confidence that it will increase further in 2018.

Graves however, said that changes are expected in the EB-5 Visa Program too. The US Congress may hike the minimum investment amount for EB-5 from $500,000 to close to $1 million and from $1 million to $1.8 million per applicant respectively.

EB-5 visas are sought by HNIs seeking permanent residency in US Romita Majumdar | Mumbai | February 28 us-immigration-fund America’s leading EB-5 Regional Center, US Immigration Fund (USIF), is encouraging Indians to apply for their EB-5 visas as early as possible given a possible change to the EB-5 program later this year and a tightening of other visa categories.

 “The requirements to be a qualified investor include one million dollars of net worth and a legitimate source of funds for the principal investment. The EB-5 Program could be expected to receive significant legislative changes by March 23, 2018. Now is the time to invest at the lower investment amount,” said Andrew Graves, the head of USIF’s India Operations.

 The US Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 to enable high net worth foreign investors to obtain a US visa for the investor and their immediate family by investing a minimum of $500,000 (Rs 32.6 million) in a US business that will benefit the economy by creating a minimum of 10 permanent US jobs.

 EB-5 has been under congressional review in the US and the investment amounts are expected to increase. According to the National Law review (US), there is a proposal to increase the minimum investment amount to $925,000 for projects in the new definition of targeted employment areas and increase all other projects by another $25,000 to more than $1 million.

 The EB-5 visa enables students and families to acquire a permanent US Green Card in a shorter time than H1-B, EB 1A/B/C, EB-2, and EB-3visa holders. In addition, the EB-5 visa allows students and immediate family members to obtain conditional US residency within 16-18 months, which can potentially give them access to lower in-state tuition rates and higher acceptance rates for prominent universities around the country.

 An immigration analyst, who did not wish to be quoted, said that even as Indian professionals aiming to work in US struggle to make sense of H1B regulations, it is highly unlikely that they will go for EB5 visas instead as the minimum investment amount itself is unaffordable for most applicants and it remains a preserve of high net worth individuals (HNIs).

 Shan Chopra, Managing Partner of The Chopras Group and partner of USIF notes, “A large number of our initial clients have done this purely to obtain access to the United States, not necessarily to migrate to the U.S."

 The EB-5 Program was seldom used until the global financial crisis in 2008-09 where many real estate developers looked for alternative sources of cheaper capital. Per USCIS data, Indian EB-5 visa applicants have consistently increased in recent years with 174 petitions filed in 2017, a 57 per cent increase from 2015.

 USIF plays a key role in the EB-5 process. The investment firm pools EB-5 capital from individuals and invests the pooled capital in highly qualified EB-5 projects in real estate with leading developers from New York City, New Jersey, California and Florida.

“EB5 applicants may include those settled in Middle east or students of wealthy Indians’ (parents) who do not wish to come back to India post studies or in some cases, IT professionals who are not able to get extension on their H-1 or L-1 applications,” said Ajay Sharma, President Abhinav Outsourcing, a visa consultancy firm. He added that while the program has been receiving lots of coverage since last one year, fact is that high interest from India is not getting converted into higher number of filed EB5 applications.

 USIF holds the exclusive rights for raising and investing EB-5 capital for several large-scale residential and commercial real estate projects. USIF’s 24 EB-5 projects will total roughly 18,000 EB-5 green cards arising from 6,000 investors and their families, numbers unmatched within the EB-5 industry.

 The number of USIF Indian investors quadrupled from 2016 to 2017 and the number of investors in 2018 is expected to increase to more than 200 given that the investment amount does not change said USIF .

 

As negotiations on Capitol Hill continue to reach agreement on a bill to fund operations of the U.S. federal government, many wonder whether U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) will shut down. USCIS continues to operate even if the other agencies of the U.S. federal government experience a shut-down. This situation occurs because USCIS is a fee-funded agency, meaning that the fees for its operations arise primarily from fees collected from applicants. 

Washington, D.C. – January 19, 2018: As negotiations on Capitol Hill continue to reach agreement on a bill to fund operations of the U.S. federal government, employers and immigrants are frequently anxious about whether U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) will also shut-down.

The short answer to this concern is “no”, USCIS continues to operate even if the other agencies of the U.S. federal government experience a shut-down. This quirky situation occurs because USCIS is a fee-funded agency, meaning that the fees for its operations arise primarily from fees collected from applicants. Additionally, many functions of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection) are also considered essential government services that are required to remain operational even if there is a shut-down. So, in the past, the USCIS has actually remained open for business during a government shut-down. The U.S. Department of Labor, however, is not so lucky: it has to shutter operations for lack of funding.

Readers from abroad may ask themselves: “How many times has the U.S. federal government shut down because of disagreement over funding?”. The answer to this question would require a much longer response than available in this report.

Negotiations continue with most observers expecting an agreement to keep the U.S. federal government operating through mid-February or mid-March of 2018.

I.A. Donoso & Associates, LLC, is a law firm based in Washington, D.C., and is recognized as a leading immigration law firm with recognized expertise in visas for EB-5 investors, professionals and academics.

EB-5 PROGRAM EXTENDED WITHOUT CHANGES FOR TWO WEEKS Washington D.C., Dec. 8, 2017 - The House and Senate passed a Continuing Resolution, H.J. Res. 123 on...

By Mark Maurer |  November 29 Witkoff, Fisher Brothers and Howard Lorber’s New Valley just pulled off about $650 million in financing for 111 Murray, part of which is a condominium inventory loan for the 800-foot Tribeca tower’s remaining unsold units, The Real Deal has learned. The developers recently closed a large loan from the lending arm of Blackstone Group for the project, which is expected to be complete by spring 2018. Sources said the loan is partially an inventory loan in the interim before all in-contract units close in the first quarter, as well as a takeout of the existing construction loan. The Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed project’s units are nearly 80 percent sold, according to a source familiar with the apartment sales. Sales launched at the 58-story, 157-unit tower in July 2015. That same month, the developers secured a $445 million construction loan from a group that included M&T Bank, Deutsche Bank and Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies. The new refinancing now comes solely from Blackstone, sources said. The deal has not yet appeared in property records, though there is a new agreement filing for the amount of the initial construction loan – just a portion of the total loan. Steve Witkoff declined to comment, and representatives for the project and Blackstone could not be immediately reached. Back when the offering plan was filed with the New York State Attorney General’s office, the tower had a total projected sellout of $973 million. Apartments have ranged in price from $2.5 million to $18.9 million.  The tower’s current projected sellout is $1.05 billion, according to the AG’s office. Condo inventory loans have become more popular in New York City recently, as a way to receive financing for a chunk of apartments that have not yet closed. The loans get paid as more units sell. Tessler Development and Time Equities secured condo inventory financingearlier this year for unsold units at their respective towers at 172 Madison Avenue and 50 West Street.   Will Parker and Danielle Balbi contributed reporting.