EB-5 attorney: We’ll ‘do a lot of projects here’

Developers talking about a new hotel in the Dayton area may tap assistance from high net-worth foreigners, the owner of a local manufacturer said Friday.

Albert Naggar, owner of Tipp City’s Process Equipment Co., is trying to generate interest in his new federally designated EB (Employment Based)-5 region, a 38-county area around Dayton where rich foreigners will be invited to invest in job-creating projects.

Naggar and his team held a private, introductory session on the investment tool Friday at the Dayton offices of accounting firm Brady Ware & Co.

The U.S. government makes available 10,000 EB-5 visas annually — just one percent of a typical annual allotment — to wealthy foreigners looking to move to America with their families. In return for investing in a business that creates at least 10 jobs, the immigrants get green cards and a path to permanent residence, if they seek that.

Larry Behar, an EB-5 and immigration attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., told developers at the Brady Ware meeting that once an initial investment is approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, further investors are often approved much more quickly.

Naggar gave no other details about a possible new area hotel, other than saying discussions are in an early phase. Naggar, who lives in New York City, is confident EB-5 investments will create Dayton-area jobs.

Canada in mid-February cancelled its own investor-visa program, which will make U.S. EB-5s more valuable, Behar said.

“We’re going to do a lot of projects here,” Behar told listeners in a standing-room-only meeting room. He predicted that a year from Friday, this EB-5 region will be “the most dynamic in the state of Ohio.”

Naggar’s EB-5 region, which includes parts of Northern Kentucky and Southeastern Indiana, will take not less than $3 million investments. Favored projects will include hotels, restaurants, medical-focused businesses, manufacturing and more.

Eighty percent of investors come from China, often because investors there want to ensure their children are educated in the U.S., Behar said. Small investment returns are expected, but an initial EB-5 investment can often lead to further American investments, said Behar and Brady Ware principals. In many cases, their net worth is beyond $10 million, Behar said.