EB-5 Investments Emerge as Major Funding Source in South Florida

Riviera Point Corporate Center, a new 64,431-square-foot office building in Miramar, is ready for business. Constructed on a 4-acre site, the five-story building is comprised of office spaces ranging from 1,537 to 13,804 square feet and was developed by Riviera Point Invest + Develop Group. CBRE has been appointed to handle leasing.

The center has 30 investors and received $15MM in EB-5 funds. The EB-5 Visa program allows foreign nationals seeking permanent U.S. residency to invest in commercial enterprises. There is a $500,000 investment minimum, and if the qualifying investment generates at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers for two years, the EB-5 Visa becomes permanent.

“EB-5 has emerged as a key fundraising tool for the real estate industry,” reports Bloomberg, and our team at ComReal is proud to have been one of the first to champion the program in South Florida. In fact, a portion of our Lake’s Edge property was sold to a developer using EB-5 financing nearly a decade ago. That developer, Rodrigo Azpurua, went on to found the Riviera Point Group, which has raised more than $70MM in EB-5 funds since 2012. The new Corporate Center in Miramar is the latest of several projects funded by the program.


EB-5 Applicants by Year

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States like New York and California have taken advantage of EB-5 funds from Chinese investors for years. Today–thanks in large part to forward-thinking companies like ComReal–South Florida is seeing a major surge in EB-5 investments from Latin America as well. The number of Brazilian visas from the program rose tenfold from 2015 to 2018. Venezuela and Mexico saw similar increases in response to situations of hyperinflation and political unrest in their respective countries.

“When people see their own country facing dramatic or fundamental economic and political changes, they decide for a change, either for themselves or the next generation,” Azpurua told Bloomberg. Latin American investors are beginning to see the US as “a great place to bring their wealth to protect it.”

Recent reports indicate that Chinese-US investments are beginning to dwindle, which may have a major impact on NY and CA. Meanwhile, states like Florida and Texas are bracing for continuing growth: The number of EB-5 visas issued annually to Latin Americans looks likely to surpass 2,000 within the next three years.

We’re looking forward to a strengthening market for all involved.

ComReal is your go-to resource for all things Commercial Real Estate. Contact us today–we’re always happy to hear from you.