EB-5 immigrant investor program doubles impact to $3.4B
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, left, and developer Homer Williams at the groundbreaking of a Pearl District hotel project funded by immigrant investors through the federal EB-5 program. An industry group reports the impact of EB-5 investing doubled in the U.S. in 2012 to nearly $4.3 billion.
A federal program that encourages foreign investment in the U.S. more than doubled in 2012, spurring nearly $3.4 billion in economic activity in the U.S. in 2012.
The federal EB-5 program supported more than 42,000 jobs in the U.S., according to a study commissioned by the Association to Invest in USA (IIUSA). The industry association represents organizations that broker EB-5 investments in the U.S.
EB-5 investments contributed $447 million to federal coffers and $265 million to state and local jurisdictions. In Oregon, immigrant investors supported nearly $2.5 million in household spending.
The report, released Thursday, comes on the heals of a review by the Brookings Institute that called for more federal oversite of the program, which rewards foreign investors with green cards if they invest at least $500,000 in economically distressed areas of the U.S. and support or preserve 10 jobs.
The IIUSA figures include investments made through regional centers or brokers, which generally include projects that amass funds from a variety of investors.
It does not include direct investment by investors who purchase companies outright, the model followed by Portland’s Aginsky Consulting.
The EB-5 program has been slow to gain traction in Oregon, but has been used by prominent developers to raise capital for construction projects.
A Homer Williams-led development team raised capital to develop the 225-room Residence Inn by Marriott, a $50 million project now under construction in the Pearl District. The same group is raising money, chiefly in China, for a Hyatt project at Portland’s Riverplace.
Commercial construction was the largest outlet for EB-5 investments, representing nearly $850 million in economic activity and supporting nearly 14,500 jobs.
EB-5 investments supported $188.7 million in legal services, $133 million in trade and $131 million in real estate-related activity, according to the IIUSA report.
Wendy Culverwell Staff Reporter-Portland Business Journal