EB5 Investors Magazine "Top 25 Awards Edition" Volume 8 Issue 1 | Page 45

WINNERS LISTED ALPHABETICALLY TOP CORPORATE AT TORNEYS MICHAEL BAILKIN CORPORATE ATTORNEYS EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE M ichael Bailkin is a counsel to Akerman LLP, where he is the Co-Chair of its Opportunity Zone Practice Group. He specializes in economic development, both as a lawyer and developer. He previously served as a senior Economic Development official in New York City and was responsible for creating their initial incentive programs. In private practice, he has been responsible for securing over $3 billion in incentives. He also serves as an adviser and project manager for EB-5 projects. A key approach for him has been integrating EB5 investments with a broad range of local, state and federal grants and loans. WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY? An important trend in the industry is the use of EB-5 capital for projects in distressed areas that directly address poverty and provide real benefits for area residents. Until recently, most EB-5 funds were invested in high-end market areas. This is because it was relatively easy to obtain TEA (Targeted Employment Areas) status for those areas, and investors preferred those areas as long as they could get the TEA advantages. This also resulted in a few national developers controlling most of the EB-5 activity. Under current TEA rules, investors will be effectively limited to impacted areas, and the key to developers obtaining EB5 capital is to enhance feasibility conditions. HOW ARE YOU HANDLING THE ISSUE OF REDEPLOYMENT? Currently, legal rules and market conditions relating to redeployment are in flux. There is a need to recirculate EB-5 capital to enable a second round of job and investment impact, and to do so in a manner that fairly distributes the benefits/ costs. But the rules need clarification and the high rates sought by Regional Centers deploying capital has dampened demand. In any case, the most important goal generally is to increase the level of EB-5 capital for new projects at a time when the key market, China, has basically shut down . ROGELIO CARRASQUILLO R ogelio “Roy” Carrasquillo is the Managing Shareholder of Carrasquillo Law Group P.C. and Chair of its EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Services and Compliance and Securities Practices. Carrasquillo represents public and private clients using EB-5 as a source of capital, filing for EB-5 Regional Center designation, investors evaluating their options at the redeployment stage, as well as developers seeking to raise capital using the EB-5 Program. He is experienced with public-private partnership projects using EB-5 funds ,Opportunity Zones and Tax Credits. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and University of Pennsylvania Law School and is admitted to practice in New York and Puerto Rico. WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY? We saw a decrease in the number of new construction projects and developments, including those trying to incorporate EB-5 financing. We continue to see developers using EB-5 financing as an additional benefit and not as the sole purpose or financing CORPORATE ATTORNEYS EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE source for their projects. We also continue to see an interest from Latin American EB-5 investors. We have also represented several groups of investors who are undergoing the liquidation or redeployment of their EB-5 investments to ensure that their rights are properly protected and that they are treated fairly during this process. HOW ARE YOU HANDLING THE ISSUE OF REDEPLOYMENT? We have been advising investors and developers on issues related to the redeployment of EB-5 capital . Although the new USCIS guidelines on redeployment provided much needed guidance on the issue, they also implemented unexpected limitations such as the geographical location of the redeployment project. As more EB-5 projects reach maturity, investors find themselves trying to understand the corporate framework of their investment to ensure that their rights are protected during the process and to avoid unnecessary delays to the return of their investment. We have been working with these groups of investors to improve the transparency and help them navigate this process. EB5INVESTORS.COM 45