Senator Gillibrand visits rural EB-5 project in New York -

Senator Gillibrand visits rural EB-5 project in New York Staff

Bill Wolf, Evan Betzer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Vipin Nambiar, Roger Christoph

By Anayat Durrani

Since the passage of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, there has been increased interest in rural projects by EB-5 investors. One such rural project located in Hudson, NY caught the interest of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York who, on Sunday, June 4, visited the renovation project of the historic Pocketbook Factory, originally constructed in the 1880s.

“This renovation project of a historic icon in Hudson, NY is being funded using EB-5 for primarily two reasons: it qualifies as rural, and EB-5 investors’ security is a senior loan,” says Roger W. Christoph, CEO of Great NY Regional Center, that offers EB-5 financing for the Hudson project.

The RIA provides incentives to investors who make investments in “rural areas,” which are located outside of a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and have a permanent population of less than 20,000 people. Under the RIA, rural areas such as Hudson, NY, qualify for priority processing and 20% of the annual 10,000 EB-5 visas are set aside for these rural projects.

The benefit of rural EB-5 projects

Senator Gillibrand said in a statement that she is “glad to see EB-5 financing appearing in rural areas.” Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson also said, in a statement, that he was pleased with the updated EB-5 program, adding, “EB-5 is saving a significant piece of our history.”

The property got its name as the Pocketbook Factory in the mid-20th century when it was operated by the Mohawk Novelty Company, which manufactured garment and accessories, as well as pocketbooks. The factory will be transformed into a mixed-use commercial property anchored by a 43-key hotel. 

Evan Betzer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Vipin Nambiar

“With interest rates at such high levels, EB-5 is a welcome alternative for us,” Gabriel Katz of MacArthur Holdings, one of the developers of the project, said in a statement.

Co-developer Vipin Nambiar of HN Capital, who introduced EB-5 to Katz, said they have used EB-5 capital in several of their projects and called it a “win-win for the community and for foreign investors.”

Construction on the Pocketbook Factory has already started and is expected to last 24 months.

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