The emerging partnership between the Kushner Companies and the Chinese insurer Anbang regarding the 666 Fifth Avenue tower in Midtown Manhattan includes a huge payout to Kushner, run by the family of Donald Trump son-in-law Jared, Bloomberg reported. And the deal—fuzzy, if not fantastical—would rely on the controversial EB-5 investor visa program to raise $850 million in low-cost loans to convert office space to luxury condos.
If so it exemplifies the cravenness and sketchiness of EB-5, which is supposed to create ten jobs per $500,000 investor in needy areas, but instead essentially subsidizes developers in prosperous urban zones, often with little hard evidence of job creation. No wonder one New York real estate banker likened EB-5 to “legalized crack cocaine.”
And it also suggests that the Trump administration, resistant to immigration and critical of Chinese business practices, may expand rather than curtail EB-5, which has been the subject of fierce debates in Congress about reform and reauthorization.
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