NYCRC Fresh Direct EB-5 Project – Phase II Attributes
So that we provide you with the proper support please see below the latest project update on Fresh Direct Phase II EB-5 Project. It is helpful to know that the project is now 94% complete with all minimum jobs required by USCIS already created for EB-5 I-829 processing.
Further, this project is uniquely underwritten and structured to minimize risk to the EB-5 investor with the following (20) attributes in combination that you will not find in any other EB-5 project on the market:
- NYCRC has a proven track record with (21) I-924 project approvals, over (1,650) I-829 approvals and (2) projects that have fully repaid a total of $125 million or (250) investor families. Further, we anticipate more repayments this year to investors in our earlier projects as they were launched;
- Fresh Direct – Phase II has an I-924 project approval from USCIS which approves the project and related job creation methodology necessary to remove the condition from your temporary green card;
- Fresh Direct - Phase II has I-526 investor approval from USCIS which together with the above I-924 approval helps to minimize the immigration risk related in EB-5;
- Fresh Direct – Phase I is now complete and is open and operating as of January of 2018;
- Fresh Direct – Phase II is nearly complete with over 94% of the project funding already spent and all USCIS minimum required job creation achieved
- PROJECT IS 100% OCCUPIED unlike the competition;
- Sterling National Bank and Escrow Agent has previously provided bridge funding for Fresh Direct and has underwritten the relocation of the company to the new headquarters facility in the Bronx, New York;
- Fresh Direct has as its institutional equity partner JP Morgan Bank Private Equity who has underwritten the company and provided $246 million equity investment over the past two years to fuel the growth of the company. It is important to note that JP Morgan Bank Private Equity is subordinate to the EB-5 not the other way around. This is evidenced in the (2) letters provided, one of which is the cover letter to the pro forma operating statement showing 2 years of operating history and 10 years pro forma for the new headquarters facility;
- NYCRC projects are located on Government owned land with special tax and operating expense benefits allowing it to be more competitive than other companies with lower operating costs and higher margins making it easier to repay the EB-5 in five years;
- The NYCRC always provides some form of a completion guaranty from credit worthy owners/borrowers like Fresh Direct which significantly reduces the project related risks and provides a higher level of certainty that the prescribed number of jobs will be created;
- The NYCRC provides the investor with a leasehold mortgage security interest and specific assets in the form of collateral in the project protecting the EB-5 Investor capital investment. This collateral is appraised at $225 million and the projected EBITDA for Fresh Direct in 2022 is $117 million both of which will be used to refinance or repay the EB-5 capital investment;
- The project is in a “Single Census Tract” TEA or Target Employment Area which is an important part of the new legislative proposals that have been released by the government;
- The NYCRC in its documents has permitted the borrower of the EB-5 to repay the EB-5 investor on the 5thanniversary of the 1st I-526 approval (December 7th 2017) which means that investors can be repaid on or after December 7th, 2022 provided they have their I-829 approval as with any other responsible project;
- Fresh Direct is a 17-year old company founded in New York in the early days of the internet and is now America largest internet food grocer and known for its prepared meals as well as the sale of groceries and alcohol.
- Fresh Direct is the largest internet food grocer in the country and has been competing against many companies in this space successfully including Amazon for over five years. Fresh Direct’s revenues are over $650 million and going to $750 million in 2018 while Amazon revenues in the same space are only $50 million;
- Amazon sells inventory from the shelves of existing stores like paper towels while Fresh Direct provides prepared meals that are fresh and delivered either the same day or next day;
- Fresh Direct has 60-minute delivery in metropolitan New York – Amazon does not;
- Unlike other EB-5 projects Fresh Direct is currently open, operating and generating revenues while still under construction;
- One alternative plan for repayment in December 2022 when the Loan matures would involve JP Morgan Private Equity requesting from the commercial bank lending side of JP Morgan Bank a global refinancing of the EB-5 in addition to longer term financing that will allow Fresh Direct to return some of the $246 million in private equity provided by JP Morgan Private Equity. EB-5 will be repaid by setting this $130 million aside and paying each EB-5 investor upon receipt of their I-829 approval (See attached letter from Fresh Direct containing refunding language);
- The Loan term has begun as of December 7th 2017 and matures December 6th, 2022 when each investor is repaid provided they have their I-829 approval. There is no RISK of redeployment of the EB-5 capital in our projects.
With new legislation pending, it is important to invest with an established regional center with a strong track record of approvals and repayment. Unlike many other EB-5 projects, having both I-924 & I-526 approvals is important. Also, 1600 I-829s separates us from all other RC’s