As deadline nears, EB-5 bills start hitting lobbyists inboxes Update of Sen. Grassley’s and Sen. Leahy’s 2016 proposal is making the rounds

From left: Sen. Patrick Leahy and Sen. Chuck Grassley

After months of close to no action, senators are finally updating their proposed reforms to the controversial EB-5 investor visa program and circulating draft legislation ahead of an April 28 expiration date. On Tuesday, the offices of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), two of the EB-5 investor visas loudest voices for reform, began shopping a tweaked draft of a bill they introduced in the previous Congress.

Though still far away from where much of the real estate industry stands on EB-5, it does include some provisions that reflect changes that real estate lobbyists have said they could live with. Although the Department of Homeland Security under President Obama set forth a proposal to raise the minimum invest for a visa from $500,000 up to $1.35 million, Grassley and Leahy’s current legislative proposal would would usher in an $800,000 minimum.

That’s likely an acceptable figure for many EB-5 stakeholders: In a March 8 hearing in the House Judiciary Committee, Angelique Brunner, the president of EB5 Capital and EB-5 Investment Coalition s spokesperson, said she was hoping to see legislation that would result in a minimum much lower than $1.35 million and more in the neighborhood of $1 million. She previously said that the Obama-recommended minimum of $1.35 million would “kill the program.”

The bill also includes integrity measures that appear universally well received, such as requiring routine audits of regional investment centers to check for compliance with SEC regulations.

“The industry is viewing this as an offering of some type,” said Holland Knight lobbyist Ron Klein, who represents EB-5 clients like the US Immigration Fund. “This is their attempt to put something in front of everybody and ‘say let’s get back to work on this,’” Klein said, “but there are still some very substantial issues to be resolved here.”

Key issues the real estate industry is still waiting to debate include how the effective date爱上海同城论坛 爱上海同城s of any new reforms will be put in place, as they have the potential to rock deals already in progress, damaging project finances. There are also significant disagreements on the designation of Target Employment Areas (TEAs), in which foreigners must invest to qualify for the lowest possible investment amount, currently just $500,000 and $800,000 under Leahy and Grassley s proposal.

The proposal could change how TEAs are drawn and wrestle control away from the states, making TEAs conform with census tract criteria. Some in the real estate industry argue this is shortsighted, and that census-guided TEAs are a poor standard for measuring whether projects are impacting underserved communities.

The bill would further mandate that some EB-5 visas be reserved exclusively for rural 新上海贵族宝贝论坛 上海贵族宝贝交流区projects, which could mean the backlog fo[……]

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Trump Tax Plan

If you ve been pondering how you as a home owner or buyer might fare under the new Republican tax overhaul plan, here are a few points to consider.

Although the tax proposal got fattened up a little over the summer moving from a White House outline of barely one page to a framework now consisting of nine pages there s been minimal meat added to the bones regarding housing.

Yes, the mortgage interest deduction will still be preserved, but with the doubling of the standard deduction to $12,000 (single tax filers) and $24,000 (joint filers), many current itemizers taking the mortgage writeoff are likely to opt for the standard deduction.

That may sound fine to you there are undeniable attractions to the idea of simplifying the tax code by allowing taxpayers to take a single, large deduction instead of itemizing multiple smaller ones but it may not be a net benefit for you, depending on the final details. If, as expected, you lose the current personal exemption of $4,050, plus you ve got kids, a spouse, a house and other key deductions are eliminated, you could end up paying more in federal taxes, not less.

If most people take the standard deduction, the homeownership stimulant effects of the mortgage interest writeoff could be diminished and have an impact on home prices. A study by auditing and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers earlier this year found that reducing the number of taxpayers who claim the mortgage deduction along with eliminating local tax writeoffs and factoring in lower marginal tax rates could lower the investment value of homes and depress prices by an average of 10.2 percent.

The study was commissioned by the National Association of Realtors hardly a disinterested party in the tax debate. But some academic studies also have concluded that there is a tax-subsidy component built into home values that would be depressed if tax incentives such as the mortgage interest deduction were cut or removed. Last year a study by a Federal Reserve economist estimated that totally eliminating the mortgage interest deduction would cause the average household in the country to lose 10.9 percent of its home value.

The lack of detail in the Republican 上海夜网 阿爱上海同城tax framework makes it difficult for anyone especially home owners to calculate what the changes would mean for their personal federal tax bill. The framework offers新上海贵族宝贝论坛 上海贵族宝贝交流区 to collapse the current seven marginal tax brackets into just three 12 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent but does not provide income cutoff points associated with each bracket. So you can t be sure where you end up.

The framework is also coy about just which deductions currently taken by millions of individuals no longer would be permitted. It only identifies two personal deductions that would survive the cuts charitable contributions and mortgage interest. This leads to the inevitable conclusion that one of the biggest and most politically sensitive writeoffs, state and local taxes, would not survive. In fact, the eliminatio[……]

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Harry Macklowe

Courtroom tales from real estate’s biggest divorce — and how it could disrupt an empire

From left: Linda Macklowe, Peter Bronstein, Justice Laura Drager and Harry Macklowe (Illustration by Christine Cornell)

Just after 5 p.m. on a recent Wednesday, Linda and Harry Macklowe packed up to leave the Tribeca courtroom where, for the previous seven hours, paid experts had testified in their $2 billion divorce.

Linda exited first. Steeling herself for the tabloid photographer lying in wait, she stretched her lips into a wide, static smile. Harry — known to regale reporters with “take my wife”-style jokes — hung back, tapping away on his phone.

“Asshole,” Linda muttered as she walked by him.

Incensed, his mouth agape, Harry said: “Did the press hear that?”

The following day, he struck back from the stand. In his telling, the storied 13-million-square-foot Macklowe property empire was a product of one person’s chutzpah and vision: his.

“Your wife testified that she helped you find architects. Is that true?” Peter Bronstein, his lead attorney, asked.

“I couldn’t connect that at all,” Harry replied.

Did she entertain clients?

“I searched my mind for that one, and I didn’t have any recollection.”

Did she contribute design ideas?

“Husbands and wives talk, but as far as ideas, I don’t know what that means.”

Harry Macklowe has played dice with the Manhattan skyline for decades. It’s a well-worn narrative by now: The pigheaded developer who infamously razed Times Square dwellings in the dead of night, the gambler who lost his beloved GM Building along with a $7 billion office portfolio yet clawed his way back into the pantheon, the aesthete with a Helmsley-esque devotion to his properties. With 432 Park Avenue, his legacy was secure, and with 1 Wall Street and a new mystery office project, the 80-year-old was set to end his career with a flourish. But the divorce, set off at least in part by Harry’s affair with a much younger woman, threatens to slash a fortune built over half a century. And since Harry remains active in the market, his liquidity and net worth are of interest to his lenders and partners, and to anyone looking to buy in a Macklowe project.  

Justice Laura Drager, the judge handling the ongoing trial, has promised to split the Macklowes’ holdings 50-50. But what Harry is worth, and what Linda is owed, is a matter of fiery debate. It’s Solomon splitting the baby, real estate edition.

“The only way these folks can possibly work out getting those items that are near and dear to their heart is by them working it out,” Drager said from the bench. “You want this court to approach things with a scalpel, and this court doesn’t have the time and resources to do that.”

Michael Stutman, a divorce attorney who’s not involved in the case, agreed. “The judge doesn’t have a scalpel,” he said. “She has a chainsaw.”

II: The crucible

Around 8:30 each morning, a phalanx of lawyers heads into 71 Thomas Street, a limestone-and-brick building at the corner of West Broadway.

Clerks fro[……]

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Title Insurance

In Albany, title insurers testify that new regulations would kill jobs, raise costs Department of Financial Services’ Maria Vullo said those claims are false

Maria Vullo

The nation s most powerful title insurers descended on Albany on Friday for a showdown with Gov. Andrew Cuomo s administration over the industry s penchant for showering clients with gifts, fancy dinners and luxury box seats at Yankee Stadium. The hearing could have big implications for how the title insurance firms conduct business and staff their operations.

On one side sat representatives from the four families of title insurance, eager to testify in a hearing convened by the state assembly that the practice is essential for conducti上海夜网论坛 上海夜网ng business and retaining clients. On the other was Maria Vullo, superintendent of the state’s Department of Financial Services, who is spearheading a crackdown on excessive marketing expenses in the industry.

At the hearing, title insurers argued that a ban on entertaining clients is anti-competitive and threatens jobs. They also said costs would rise for consumers if the ban went through.

“Not true,” Vullo replied, telling Assembly members that she believes the regulations will actually lower insurance rates for homebuyers.

At times contentious, Friday’s hearing was scheduled amid an outcry over DFS regulations that took effect Dec. 18. The rules prohibit title companies from offering clients meals, entertainment and gifts. Just two days after the rules took effect, DFS agreed to delay the implementation until Feb. 1 pending the outcome of Friday’s hearing.

On Friday, Vullo said “there is no place” for companies to win business on the basis of who “can lavish the most expensive gifts, t上海夜网 阿爱上海同城hrow the best parties, hand out the best seats to sporting events or socialize with referral sources at strip clubs.”

“These so-called ‘marketing’ expenses are not direct to the consumer, which is part of the problem,” she said.

According to Vullo’s testimony, title insurers wrote $1.1 billion in premiums in New York in 2016. That represented nearly 10 percent of market nationally, which had $11.7 billion in premiums that year, she said. That s partly because rates are significantly higher in New York — about 40 percent more than Connecticut and 25 percent more than Massachusetts and New Jersey.

“Unfortunately, it’s not just going after a few bad actors. It is a widespread practice of the industry. The fact that everyone does it doesn’t make it legal,” Vullo said. “That’s what we’re addressing.”

But representatives from major insurers, including Stewart Title Insurance Company, Fidelity National Title Group and First American Title Insurance, defended their marketing tactics, arguing that it s often a perfectly appriopriate business practice.

“[Clients] might want to go to lunch or coffee. 上海千花社区 上海千花网交友With all due respect, they may want to go to a ballpark,” said Steven Day, executive vice president of Fidelity National Title Group. He drew a distinction between what h[……]

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Hamptons Real Estate

Hamptons Cheat Sheet: Matt Lauer slashes $2M from Sag Harbor estate s price, renovations underway at Grey Gardens more

Clockwise from top left: Little Edie Beale at Grey Gardens in East Hampton in the 1975 documentary Grey Gardens, Lorraine Bracco lists her Bridgehampton home for $3.8 million, Matt Lauer cut another $2.15 million off the price of his Sag Harbo阿拉爱上海同城 爱上海龙凤419桑拿r estate, and a Robert A.M. Stern-designed East Hampton mansion sold for nearly $9 million.

Matt Lauer slashes asking p上海千花网交友 上海千花网论坛rice of Sag Harbor estate 
Disgraced former NBC anchor Matt Lauer has cut the price of his Sag Harbor estate for the third time since listing it more than a year ago. The former Today show host recently chopped another $2.15 million off the asking price, with the 25-acre Deerfield Road property now listed at $12.75 million. The 8,000-square-foot house was built in 2004 and has six bedrooms and six-and-two-half bathrooms. Lauer bought the property with his now-estranged wife Annette in 1999. Susan Breitenbach of the Corcoran Group has the listing. [Daily Mail]

New owners renovating East Hampton s famous Grey Gardens
With new owners and a massive renovations underway, Grey Gardens, the East Hampton estate that was home to Big and Little Edie Beale looks very different today from the unkempt mansion made famous by the 1975 documentary of the same name. The house s porch and chimneys have been removed, and the entire structure is set to be lifted off its moorings to make way for a full basement, the East Hampton Star reports. Sold for $15.5 million in the fall by journalist Sally Quinn, who had bought Grey Gardens in 1979 with husband Ben Bradlee, the historic home s new owners said through their contractor that the restoration will return the property to its former glory, saving as much of the original structure as possible. [EHS]

This week in tiny houses: 540-square-foot Noyack cottage sells after 2 weeks
Having two bedrooms and two bathrooms in only 540 square feet didn t hurt a Noyack cottage that hit the market recently. The tiny house on a quarter acre property on Lake Drive in the Bay View Oaks community went into contract 17 days after being listed for $650,000. Originally built in 1956, the renovated cottage has new appliances and updated bathrooms. [Curbed]

Southampton School District to buy $2.3M house for offices
The Southampton School District is in contract to buy a $2.3 million house at 50 Narrow Lane for use as administrative offices. The 4,700-square-foot home is across the street from the high school and will need to be retrofitted, bringing the total cost of the property to about $5.4 million. The school district s offices have been in a trailer next to the intermediate school on Leland Lane since 1971. A proposal to build new offices at that location would cost an estimated $5.9 million. Voters will need to approve the purchase in a referendum on May 15. [Southampton Press]

‘Sopranos’ star Lorraine Bracco lists Bridgehampton home for $3.8M
Lorraine Br[……]

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Long Island Real Estate News

Get the latest Long Island real estate new阿爱上海同城 阿拉爱上海同城s, straight to your inbox TRD’s weekly newsletter is a must-read for the real estate industry

The Real Deal’s Long Island Real Estate roundup focuses exclusively on the most important issues impacting the industry in Nassau and Suffolk counties. This weekly newsletter features a mix of market analysis, breaking deal news, inside info on what’s happening in both the commercial and residential scenes and much more.

Sign up today and never miss an update on what s happening in the market.

For advertisin爱上海 爱上海同城手机版g opportunities, please email [email protected] or call 212.260.1332.

Tags: long island
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Premier Agent

StreetEasy launches new “My Agent” feature — with notable disclosures After Premier Agent backlash, new feature explicitly defines buyer agent

Susan Daimler and StreetEasy s new features

StreetEasy is letting Premier Agents in New York City double down on the lucrative advertising program.

The Zillow-owned portal is rolling out “My Agent,” an optional feature that lets buyers continue working with agents they’ve already contacted on StreetEasy. Specifically, Premier Agents who spend a certain amount of money advertising on StreetEasy can send “My Agent” requests to thei新爱上海同城对对碰论坛 上海同城对对碰交友社区r buyers; if the buyers opt-in, they can stay connected and share listings on an ongoing basis.

Susan Daimler, StreetEasy’s general manager, introduced the new feature in a blog post on Monday.

Zillow has likened the f上海龙凤论坛 新上海贵族宝贝论坛eature to a Facebook friend request or a LinkedIn connection. Once a buyer has connected with a Premier Agent, the agent can go back and contact the buyer — via email or a pop-up box — to ask if they’d like to keep up the relationship. If the buyer says yes, the same Premier Agent becomes their single point of contact for sharing listings and communicating about properties on StreetEasy. That agent’s name also will appear on all of the listings the buyer views (instead of competing Premier Agents).

“My Agent” is being billed as a way to streamline communication between Premier Agents and buyers. But while Zillow has rolled out the feature in other cities, the StreetEasy version will have a specific pop-up window that specifically defines the role of the buyer’s agent. “This is a buyer’s agent,” the text will read. “A listing agent represents the seller.”

Sources said the explicit distinction is likely a response to blowback StreetEasy felt last year after it launched Premier Agent, an advertising program that lets buyer s agents have their name appear alongside other agents listings.

At the time, several major agents and firms said the program confused and misled consumers. Along with a new $3 per day fee to post rental listings, some firms cited Premier Agent as a reason to stop feeding StreetEasy their listings automatically. Others have since reversed their position and are using Premier Broker, the version of Premier Agent that lets firms purchase buyer leads en masse.

Meanwhile, New York State regulators are weighing new guidance for agent advertising, after the Real Estate Board of New York complained last year about Premier Agent. An April 2 opinion letter suggested the portal (and other real estate websites) could be required to add disclosures that inform buyers unequivocally that they are not contacting the listing agent. (Other real estate websites could also have to add disclosures when they share listings online.)

In her blog post, Daimler acknowledged the nuance of advertising in New York City.

“We also recognize that NYC real estate is complicated, and we should seize opportunities to educate the consumer at critical points in their home search[……]

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303 West 42nd Street

Loans, loans, loans: Estate of porn prince refinances Times Square properties Granit Point Mortgage Trust provided the debt for office conversions

Show World Center on 303 West 42nd Street (Credit: Jeremiah s Vanishing New York)

The Deuce will soon see the last remnants of its gritty peep show past transform into sterile workspace.

Entities tied to the estate of porn magnate Richard Basciano secured roughly $74 million to refinance two Eighth Avenue properties months after plans were filed to turn them i上海贵族宝贝 上海千花网龙凤论坛nto office buildings.

Granite Point Mortgage Trust Inc. was the lender on the deals for 303 West 42nd Street and 300 West 43rd Street, according to a filing with the city s Department of Finance.

上海夜网 阿爱上海同城Granite Point and Basciano s estate also did not return requests for comment.

The financing includes a $26.2 million project loan and a $35 million building loan.

Basciano s estate filed plans in May 2018 to turn the Times Square properties 爱上海同城 爱上海into offices.

The property at 303 West 42nd Street has long been known as the home of the infamous sex shop Show World Center, one of the last 上海龙凤论坛 新上海贵族宝贝论坛rem阿拉爱上海同城 爱上海龙凤419桑拿aining XXX stores that had survived the redevelopment of Times Square and the crackdown on porn shops in the 1990s.

Basciano died in 2017, but told Crain s before his death that Show World Center sits on prime real estate.

Tags: Real Estate Finance, Time Square
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Michael Cohen

Cohen testimony highlights: Russians don t buy condos with satchel of rubles Former personal attorney to president said Trump sought loan to acquire football team, media company

Michael Cohen is sworn in before testifying before the House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill (Credit: Getty Images)

At a congressional hearing in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, former Trump Organization attorney Michael Cohen testified that President Trump purposely inflated the values of his New York real estate holdings in order to obtain a loan from Deutsche Bank.

The requested loan was connected to an attempt to acquire the Buffalo Bills football team and the Forbes media company, Cohen said.

As one example of the value exaggerations, Cohen cited 40 Wall Street, which in exhibits presented to the committee, Trump pegged at $524.7 million in 2011. Cohen said Trump used comparable figures from similar properties, which is typical industry practice, but that 新上海贵族宝贝论坛 上海贵族宝贝交流区ultimately the value was based upon what [Trump] wanted to value the asset at.”

Find an asset that is comparable, find the highest price per square foot that s achieved in the area and apply it to that building, he told members of Congress. Or, if you re going by the rent roll, you go by the gross rent roll times a multiple and you make up the multiple, which is 阿拉爱上海同城 爱上海龙凤419桑拿something he had talked about and it s based upon what he wanted to value the asset at.

In fact, the Trump Organization obtained an official appraisal from Cushman Wakefield for 40 Wall Street in 2015, in a similar amount ($540 million), which it then used to sell mortgage-backed securities. The Morningstar credit ratings agency, however, assessed the value in a pre-sale re上海龙凤论坛 新上海贵族宝贝论坛port and cut it by more than half, to just $262.3 million, after adjusting for millions in annual rent concessions and leasing fees.

Cohen, who was sentenced to three years in prison for previously lying to Congress and payments made to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, was disbarred by the State of New York this week. On Wednesday he testified that company CFO Allen Weisselberg and Donald Trump, Jr. were complicit in the hush money arrangement, and that he believes Trump, Jr. is the Executive-2 referenced in federal prosecution filings for approving Cohen s reimbursement. Several news outlets have reported that Trump Organization executives other than Cohen were of interest to prosecutors for their potential role in Cohen s reimbursement for the payments.

However, after the the hearing, the Wall Street Journal reported, based on familiar sources, that Executive-2 is company controller Jeffrey McConney, and not he president s son.

Cohen s testimony touched on real estate projects, such as plans for a Trump Tower in Moscow that Cohen and associate Felix Sater worked on at Trump s behest during the 2016 presidential election. The plans are currently being scrutinized by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation into potential collusion with Russians during t[……]

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Brooklyn Office Leasing Firms

This month, in addition to ranking the Manhattan firms that leased the most office space, The Real Deal  did a close u新上海贵族宝贝论坛 上海贵族宝贝交流区p on the Brooklyn market.

Below is our subscriber-exclusive ranking of the top Brooklyn firms of 2018.

上海夜网论坛 上海夜网RANKFIRMTOTAL SQ. FT. LEASEDTOTAL. NO. O新上海贵族宝贝论坛 上海贵族宝贝交流区F D上海千花网交友 上海千花网论坛EALSSQ. FT. FOR LANDLORD DEALSS上海龙凤论坛sh1f 上海龙凤论坛Q. FT. FOR TENANT DEALS
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