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EB-5 Program Reauthorized

The EB-5 Program is Reauthorized

President Biden signed legislation today with the effect that the EB-5 program is reauthorized, in particular its Regional Center component, effective now through September 30, 2027.  The program is part of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (the “Act”), which itself is part of the Omnibus spending bill signed by the President.

 

The reauthorization of the Regional Center program follows an almost 9 month lapse, when prior efforts failed to extend the program beyond July 1, 2021.  The Regional Centers aspect of EB-5 have allowed foreign investors a special opportunity to invest in high-profile developments that they likely would not otherwise find accessible.  The EB-5 program had its controversies and numerous parties had worked to place safeguards to prevent fraud and encourage investment in areas that followed from the original intent of the program.

 

The EB-5 program allows foreign investors to invest a specified amount of capital into a U.S. enterprise that creates American jobs, in return for permanent residency.  With passage of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, changes were made to the program to presumably improve its implementation.  The new legislation emphasizes compliance with EB-5’s intent along with enforcement procedures.   Program sponsors under EB-5 will face greater scrutiny in recordkeeping, investment types, audits, and investor communications.   The minimum EB-5 investment amount now increases to $800,000 from the current $500,000 for Targeted Employment Areas and Rural Areas,  and, changes to $1.05 million from the current $1.0 million for Non-Targeted Employment Areas.  These changed minimum investments apply to both regional center and direct EB-5 investments.

 

With the news that the EB-5 Program is reauthorized, a backload of foreign investors who were in the midst of processing last June, will hopefully soon see progress in the processing of their investment / visa applications.

 

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program was created in 1990 by the Immigration Act of 1990.

GoBOLD Adventures

New Adventure Recreation Company Launches

Sustainable Environment Associates (SEAS) and Adventure Entertainment Cos. have launched GoBOLD Adventures™, an adventure recreation design-builder, and operator.   As the new adventure recreation company launches, GoBOLD is focused on new locations in several formats, from all-new destination facilities to augmentation of quality existing venues.

 

The convergence of these companies provides the comprehensive expertise in developing and operating adventure destinations. GoBOLD Adventures is comprised of international experts in multiple disciplines specializing in creating unique “bucket list” destinations.   GoBOLD’s projects range from scenic natural destinations in the U.S., to national and regional parks, remote island resorts, and jungle or desert glamping.

 

The two companies each brings an extensive capability in outdoor recreation and facility operations.   SEAS is associated with Pangaeon, through the leadership of international adventure recreation specialist, Paul Bierman-Lytle.   The Adventure Entertainment Cos. LLC are an owned affiliate of StoneCreek Partners LLC.  GoBOLD Adventures (GoBOLD Adventures.com) brings the development and facility management experiences of the two companies  within one operating organization.

 

The GoBOLD Adventures website includes information about the company’s locations and career opportunities.   As the new adventure recreation company launches, the company’s senior management intends a focus on expansion of the senior management and local rep teams for select global regions.

 

 

The 15-Minute City concept gains tracking.

The 15-Minute City Concept Gains Traction

The-15-Minute City concept is gaining traction around the world as a placemaking tactic and means to enhance quality of life.   Although “city” is used in this coined term, this planning concept is more about a focus on livable neighborhoods and districts.

 

The “15-minute city” is a term for urban design and master planning wherein it is possible to meet the basic “needs of living” within a 15-minute walk or bike ride from a person’s home.  The needs of living include such services and amenities as:

 

  • Places of work, or, at least a coworking venue;
  • Grocers;
  • Pharmacies;
  • Schools for children, youth;
  • Health care or medical facilities, or simply, doctor and dentist offices;
  • Recreation, leisure and/or green spaces; at least a pocket or linear park;
  • Cultural venues;
  • Mass transit accessibility;
  • Affordable housing is assumed;
  • Flexible zoning to allow places with different day-part uses, such as local school facility that can be a community gathering place at night or on weekends; and
  • Places of worship are seldom mentioned as part of the 15-Minute City concept, but such places may be among the most successful community-building forces that have existed.

 

 

The planning term was first coined by by Prof. Carlos Moreno, a professor at Sorbonne University (Paris, France).  Prof. Moreno is the director of entrepreneurship and innovation at The Sorbonne.  Though popularized by the professor, the 15-Minute City concept itself  has been explored in major cities throughout the world from Melbourne to Portland, prior to its burgeoning popularity as an planning concept.

 

During 2020, the 15-Minute City concept has surged in interest as a sturdy planning concept alongside the increasing acceptance of coworking facilities and communities.   Coworking venues situated in close proximity to homes simply adds an additional destination within a 15-minute “neighborhood” that is vital within a 15-minute radii.

 

The 15-Minute City concept is a multi-faceted placemaking tactic.

Another aspect of making the 15-Minute City concept workable is the presence of affordable housing within each 15-Minute City cluster.  Many neighborhoods and districts around the world may work well for most required services and work places, but do not have the array of housing choices necessary.

 

Integrating the 15-Minute City concept with allied planning concepts is particularly interesting to local governments charged with numerous quality of life objectives and economic development initiatives.   A 15-Minute City imperative, as an example, is also deemed helpful in reducing the use of fossil fuels (vehicles), fighting carbon emissions, and thereby fighting climate change.  Also, applying the 15-Minute City thresholds of accessibility also advances the objectives for some groups in reversing local zoning codes to allow increased affordable housing options and thereby, more diversity, inclusion, and social justice.

 

The 15-Minute City concept has created such interest that purpose-built apps have been created to evaluate any particular location for 15-Minute City thresholds. Here Technologies (Eindhoven, Netherlands) is one such company that has created this kind of threshold’s map to answer the question – Do You Live in a 15-Minute City? We expect that the 15-Minute City parameters and software applications that track such notions, will join similar concepts as a niche investment asset class among those pursuing environmental, social, and governmental investments (so-called ESG Investing).

Rep. Haaland Nominated to Lead Interior Dept.

Rep. Haaland Nominated for Interior Department

Rep. Haaland is nominated to lead the Interior Department.   With Senate confirmation, Rep. Haaland will become the first Native American to serve as Cabinet secretary.

 

President-elect Joe Biden nominated Rep. Debra Haaland to helm the U.S. Department of the Interior, a federal agency forever linked with the history of Native Americans since the nation’s founding.   The Albuquerque Journal has reported that Haaland’s nomination reflects Biden’s commitment to address the historical mistreatment of Native Americans including violations of treaty obligations.

 

The Interior Department administers roughly 500 million acres of public lands and plays a key policy role on tribal issues.   In her role, Rep. Debra Haaland’s Interior Department will oversee two key tribal offices – the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”) and the Bureau of Indian Education.  The U.S. Interior Department was first established in 1849, actually established after the BIA was first established in 1824 – the oldest agency within the Department of the Interior.

 

Rep. Haaland is a Laguna Pueblo member and is well-known for her leadership roles in tribal government, administration, and economic development programs and enterprises.  Laguna Pueblo is a federally-recognized tribe of Native American Pueblo people situated to the west of metro Albuquerque, New Mexico.   The Laguna Pueblo tribal reservation includes approximately 500,000 acres of land situated in Cibola, Valencia, Bernalillo and Sandoval counties.

 

A full article regarding U.S. Rep. Haaland being nominated to lead the Interior Department, is available at the Albuquerque Journal:  Haaland gets historic Cabinet nomination

 

 

Rep. Haaland is Nominated to Lead the Interior Department

The U.S. Interior Department administers roughly 500 million acres of public lands, involving a myriad of environmental, energy, and public access issues and concerns.

Planned Community Consultants

Golf Courses Remain a Focus for Redevelopment

Golf courses remain a focus for redevelopment and repurposing as property owners explore greater highest-and-best use for their golf assets.

 

The interest in such redevelopment is straight-forward.  Golf courses were overbuilt in the U.S. and in some global regions, and the 2008 recession decimated many golf owner’s financial resources.   At the same time golf participation has steadily declined year over year, at least through 2019 (there is an exception in 2020 due to Covid-19).  With this confluence of economic difficulties and ever-changing consumer preferences for their leisure-time activities, in many instances golf course assets offered a tantalizing opportunity for adaptive re-use and repurposing.  For many cities and communities with increasing interest in local economic development and specific agendas such as affordable (if not more inclusionary) housing, these golf assets are particularly ripe for highest-and-best-use consideration.

 

The mega project proposed by Hines for Riverwalk Golf Course in San Diego, will likely spur even greater interest in golf course redevelopment.   Golf courses are often situated within attractive residential communities, with reasonable roadway access and ingress/egress for feasible re-purposing as residential projects.   Hines found such an opportunity with the Riverwalk site in a decidedly “best case” way – the Riverwalk golf course just happens to be so well-located within its region that it can support substantial mixed-use redevelopment.  Hines has proposed such a mega redevelopment project there, which could see in excess of $1 billion in new development.

 

For more information about golf course redevelopment, we have started tracking such projects as part of our ongoing client project research.   We expect golf courses to remain a focus for redevelopment, for some time to come.   StoneCreek Partners also tracks other major real estate asset classes, with some of our research and tracking published here online.   The link is available  here:

 

Golf Course Redevelopment – the Latest

 

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