Kingsbridge Armory developer may court overseas investors

Project chairman on EB-5 program: “That is definitely something we’re considering”
April 15, 2014 04:50PM

The developer of the Kingsbridge National Ice Center, which would turn the armory into one of the world’s largest indoor skating centers, may use the federal EB-5 program to pool funds from wealthy international lenders in exchange for putting them on a path to U.S. citizenship.

The program provides developers with cheap capital, placing a relatively low interest rate on the funds, then in exchange grants lenders EB-5 visas. The program has proved particularly popular in China in recent years, where a growing upper-class increasingly looks to maneuver in the U.S. market, Crain’s reported.

“There’s a lot of interest in lending to quality projects,” Kevin Parker, founder and chairman of the Kingsbridge National Ice Center, which is managing the conversion project, told Crain’s. “But this is a project that is in a geographical area that qualifies for EB-5 and that is definitely something we’re considering.” Parker added that he hopes to arrange financing by the end of the year.

Other projects turning to the EB-5 program lately include BFC Partners’ $230 million outlet mall in Staten Island’s St. George and the Related Companies’ plan to cover part of its $750 million tab at Hudson Yards with the program. [Crain’s]Julie Strickland