Related has spent more than $1.4M to prevent changes to EB-5

Developer has raised $600M for Hudson Yards through controversial dollars-for-visa program

Jan.January 10, 2017 12:00 PM

Stephen Ross

From the New York website: Related Companies doesn’t want the EB-5 program to change and has spent more than $1.4 million in an effort to see that it doesn’t.

The developer has lobbied against proposed changes to the immigrant investor program, which offers green cards to individuals who invest at least $500,000 in U.S. businesses that create jobs. The proposed changes are aimed at curbing certain abuse of the program in gerrymandered districts, where luxury projects are linked to high-unemployment areas that qualify for the program. According to a federal government study released in October, most of EB-5 financing is dedicated to gerrymandered districts.

Since January 2015, Related has pumped more than $1.4 million on immigration-related lobbying — more than double spent by any other user of the EB-5 program, the Wall Street Journal reported. In previous years, the developer didn’t spend any money on immigration-related lobbying.

The developer’s interest in the program comes as no surprise: Related’s Hudson Yards development is a big time beneficiary of the program. For the project’s first phase, Related raised $600 million in EB-5 financing. The developer is reportedly in the process of raising more money through the program.

“Hudson Yards is now an economic engine pumping over $150 million a month in construction costs alone into the economy and creating thousands of jobs,” a Related spokesperson said. “We continue to support a robust expansion of the EB-5 program, greater transparency and stronger oversight measures to ensure the program’s integrity moving forward.”

A key provision of the program is set to expire in April, following several short-term extensions. Developers are hopeful that President-elect Donald Trump will implement a long-term extension, though he hasn’t publicly weighed in on the subject since winning the election [WSJ] — Kathryn Brenzel

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