EB5 Investors Magazine - Page 38

Continued from page 34 inner city investment nothing is easy. For us, EB-5 didn’t seem to have any more challenges than any other tool. It did seem to scare people away because of the lengthy approval process and because of immigration. Since it has been used mostly for big real estate projects, not everyone thinks about utilizing it for other types of projects. Then there’s obviously all of the uncertainty around the approval process. I think for some people it is so difficult just getting all the right players together, and then it ultimately could not be approved for funding. That seems like a scary prospect. The other thing we found is that it is a pretty small field and there aren’t that many people that have the knowledge of EB-5. Not everyone will have access to the right experts or know how to find them, so there is that barrier as well. CC: Can you discuss your recommendations that you came to at the end the report, and who you see as having a role in helping enact them? KZ: We have three main recommendations. The first one was to develop an educational campaign about using EB-5 as a tool for impact investing in inner cities. We really think the economic development profession, potentially in partnership with organizations like yours, other trade associations, the public sector, and foundations, should help educate people about EB-5 and how it can be used in the inner city. Data is part of that, making sure that somebody is tracking these projects. Our total report is about 40 pages, but what most people have requested is the table at the back with the list of projects. We need somebody to collect more of that data. That’s obviously something that ICIC is interested in. If the public sector can’t do that, it means having a non-profit or somebody who’s really unbiased start to track these projects, start to learn from them, and start to track what kind of jobs are being created. The second recommendation was building this nexus of EB-5 experts, just getting to that point of “Okay, we want to do something with EB-5, now what?” Whether it’s some type of roster, or just different people that we could point people to in different inner cities and make sure they’re connected to some reliable EB-5 professionals. The third recommendation was—and this was geared towards the foundations and the public sector and some of the economic development coporations—that they should be out there identifying and investing in the projects and maybe supporting regional centers or partnering with regional centers. But I think, after the event, I would reframe the third item as really helping to develop a robust pipeline of projects. They know the projects; if they can get more information from the developers and what they’re looking for, they can help present the right opportunities. So building that robust pipeline, and when necessary, providing s ome direct investment in it to make them more attractive opportunities. ★ CAST A BIG SHADOW. ® With over 50 attorneys and three decades of experience, Bell Nunnally is proud to represent some of the most esteemed international businesses and individuals with their EB-5 immigration needs. Whether investing in a Regional Center or directly investing in a business, our experienced EB-5 team is committed to pursuing our clients’ interests in all aspects of the EB-5 investment and immigration process. To learn more about Bell Nunnally’s EB-5 team, please contact: Karen-Lee Pollak, Partner and Immigration Practice Chair 214.740.1475 | karenlp@bellnunnally.com | www.immigrationbn.com Bell Nunnally’s EB-5 team includes attorneys from its Immigration, Real Estate, Tax, Corporate & Securities, Commercial Finance, and White Collar Criminal & Regulatory Defense practice groups. 3232 mckinney avenue suite 1400 | dallas, texas 75204 | 214.740.1400 | www.bellnunnally.com 36 EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE