STAYBRIDGE SUITES by Intercontinental Hotels Group is a six-story, 153-room hotel development project located in Miami, Florida. (Photo courtesy of EB-5 Florida Hotels.)
ASI Global is a group of affiliated companies that acquire, build and operate commercial real estate specializing in the hotel industry. In recent years, ASI Global has partnered with high profile developers and operators in the hotel industry to strategically penetrate the South Florida market and provide world class service within the hospitality industry.
EB-5 Florida Hotels & Investments Regional Center, LLC, is an affiliated company that holds the Immigration License approved by USCIS in 2015 to undertake EB-5 Programs in Miami, FL with the sole purpose of promoting the program and assisting foreign investors to secure a US green card for them and their family based on job creation requirements.
This Group has over 8 years of experience in the EB-5 industry and over 25 years of experience investing in and building the Florida and International commercial real estate industry. In an interview with EB-5 Florida Hotels & Investments Regional Center, LLC's Investor Relations Manager, Bryana Cassinera, we discuss what sets this EB-5 Regional Center apart from the rest.
What are the strengths of your Regional Center and project team?
Ms. Cassinera explains, "Everything is in-house. We own the land of the projects. We have gone into ventures with financial entities such as NES Financial to assure financial and escrow services to our investors. We also act as owner-representatives on [projects such as] Staybridge Suites since we hold a GC license in the state of Florida. Our Directors have development backgrounds."
She explains that the investors benefit from EB-5 Florida Hotels' Executive Team's extensive background in commercial and hotel project development. President, Luis Prado's expertise is in finance and construction. He is also a licensed General Contractor and is able to supervise projects at every stage to ensure efficiency. Executive Director, Ruben Briceño, specializes in project development and financing, and advises foreign investors with extensive background in the hospitality industry and franchises. Chief Architect, Tony Rodriguez, holds a Real Estate License, a Broker License, and is certified as a Residential and Advance Commercial Property Appraising Realtor. He has a long history of designing and building projects in the hospitality and residential industries in the United States.
Their website summarizes, “Our EB-5 investors enjoy a team of professionals that handle every aspect of the EB-5 project from the search, to the design, to the funding and escrow, all the way to the build.”
What is different about your funding strategy from other EB-5 Regional Centers?
"What differentiates [EB-5 Florida Hotels & Investments Regional Center, LLC] from other regional centers is that we are more of a boutique and we find the right capital structure that fits with the project and with the developers. We always like to secure the construction of the project with a senior loan plus some type of bridge loan to be repaid by EB-5 money as a second lien position loan" states Ms. Cassinera.
EB-5 Florida Hotels & Investments Regional Center, LLC, mitigates risk by not relying solely on EB-5 funding. On their Staybridge Suites project, their bank loan amounts to $18,500,000, while their EB-5 capital investment only makes up $8,500,000.
"We find the appropriate level of capital leverage that mitigates construction risk and financial risk," says Ms. Cassinera.
Do you have a job creation buffer? Why is it important?
Job creation buffers are a staple of EB-5 Florida Hotels & Investments Regional Center, LLC.
"On our Staybridge Suites project we had a buffer of 45 employees. We only needed 170 and will generate 215" says Ms. Cassinera. Additionally, on their Fairfield Inn & Suites project, EB-5 Florida Hotels projects 175 total jobs created, when only 130 are to be used for EB-5, giving them a buffer of 45.
Large job creation buffers attract EB-5 investors, as each EB-5 investor must create 10 jobs for qualified U.S. workers, in order to fulfill the EB-5 Program requirements and be approved for a green card for themselves, their spouse and their unmarried children under the age of 21.
Are your projects designated T.E.A.? What is the incentive?
Ms. Cassinera says, "All of EB-5 Florida Hotels' projects are located in Targeted Employment Areas (T.E.A.)." EB-5 applicants receive incentives for investing in projects located in Targeted Employment Areas; the main one being the lower minimum qualifying investment amount from $1,000,000 to $500,000.
What are the current projects that EB-5 Florida Hotels & Investments Regional Center, LLC are working on?
Ms. Cassinera outlines that “EB-5 Florida Hotels has two current projects and a few in the works.”
The more recent of the two projects is Staybridge Suites by Intercontinental Hotels Group. This project is located in Miami, Florida, adjacent to the Miami International Airport. Its expected completion date is in the 3rd quarter of 2017. Staybridge Suites is a six-story, 153-room hotel development project that also features commercial areas.
The second project, Fairfield Inn and Suites, by Marriott, is set to break ground in August 2017. Located in Tamarac, Florida, on the Colony West Country Club, Fairfield Inn and Suites is a five-story, 120-room hotel development situated on 2.7 acres. The Colony West Country Club features a professional golf course. Its expected completion date is in the 4th quarter of 2018.
“When a new project begins,” Ms. Cassinera says, "we always urge our investors to come see the [development] sites." EB-5 Florida Hotels also has real time cameras at their construction sites to monitor development progress and show to investors.
What is the future for EB-5 Florida Hotels & Investments Regional Center, LLC?
According to Ms. Cassinera, "Our projects currently only consist of hotels, but we are not closed off to other industries." They are excited for future portfolio expansion.
ASI Global focuses on acquiring, building and operating commercial real estate specializing in the hotel industry to advantageously infiltrate the South Florida market and provide world class service within the hospitality industry.
According to their website, EB-5 Florida Hotels & Investments Regional Center, LLC's vision is to "Grow an award winning Florida Hospitality & Commercial Portfolio that achieves consistent returns to our investors."
For more information about EB-5 Florida Hotels & Investments Regional Center, LLC, click here to visit their website.