Nigerian firm partners Houston EB-5 in $116m project

By Tunde Osho

After more than five years of partnership with Houston EB-5, an investment programme administered by the United States government, Nigerian real estate investment firm, 3INVEST, has said that commencement of development work on the project will begin with a groundbreaking ceremony at the project site in San Antonio, Texas, United States, on January 30.

Houston EB-5 last year introduced its product offering- The Thompson San Antonio hotel and the Arts Residence to the West African market.

The EB-5 housing investment scheme offers foreign investors the opportunity to become a US citizen by investing in the programme. The offer includes complete capitalisation of the investment project of choice; fast-track permanent and legal residency in the U.S for investors and their immediate family, and share in the profit of the project. The minimum investment is $500,000, with repayment within 3-5 years at four percent interest rate. Funds will serve as an additional equity capital to the partnership.

According to the Principal Partner of 3INVEST, Ruth Obih, the Thompson San Antonio and the Arts Residences, positions itself as the premier luxury boutique hotel in San Antonio. It consists of 20 storey buildings of 162 guestrooms and 58-residence.  The ambience features 15,000 square feet of riverfront meeting space and a Skybar Club, providing sweeping views of the city. Located at the epicenter of San Antonio’s vibrant performing arts district and across from the River Walk, The Thompson San Antonio and Arts Residences is estimated to cost $116 million, and will sit on 337,000 square-foot of land and is being developed as a mixed-use property.

The development, slated for completion in 2019 will include The Arts Residences’ luxury condominiums atop San Antonio’s first Thompson Hotel, an international collection of design-forward, luxury lifestyle hotels and resorts. Besides, forty percent of the condominium homes in The Arts Residences at the Thompson San Antonio hotel has been sold since the sales gallery opened nine months ago. This is said to be a new record as the fastest-selling high-rise luxury condominium project in Texas. They are priced from the high $400, 000 to over $4.5 million for penthouses.

“Thompson San Antonio hotel and the Arts Residences fit perfectly with 3Invest’s profile for high-quality EB5 investment funding. Like previous Houston EB5 projects, it has received great support from both the City of Houston and the City of San Antonio. A “TEA” designation has been assigned to the project, lowering the minimum investment amount from $1 million to $500,000”, said the Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director, Houston EB5, Acho Azuike.

The President / CEO Houston EB5, Mr. Roberto Contreras, explained that the Houston EB5 has had a 100 percent success rate on I-526 and I-829 petition approvals for its investor clients. “We consistently deliver world-class investment projects and demonstrate long-term financial strength, as we help investors achieve their business and residency goals,” he said.

Similarly, the Executive Vice President/ Chief Investor Relations of Houston EB5, Emilio Guzmán, said that through the marketing of previous projects, Houston EB5 has established strong investor pipelines in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, thereby helping to assure complete capitalisation of projects.

“Because of Houston EB5’s success in Nigeria with previous projects, we are now looking to expand our investor reach into Ghana, where we are certain many investors would like to take advantage of these immigrant investment opportunities for their families. Given that real estate investments remain much safer in nature than typical business investments, compounded with the strong economies of Houston and San Antonio, participants in Houston EB5 projects can expect a more reliable, timely return on their investments,” Guzman assured.

The Executive Vice President, Global Acquisitions & Development for Two Roads Hospitality- an international lifestyle hotel group which owns and operates the Thompson Hotels brand, Todd Wynne-Parry, said the firm is thrilled to bring Thompson Hotels’ unique brand of luxury to downtown San Antonio, considering that the city is ‘culturally and economically’ dynamic and has a robust future. “Thompson San Antonio will be a locally-immersed hotel and another valued social venue, contributing to the community and counting our neighbours among our guests,” he said.

The President of Jordan Foster Construction’s Commercial Group, Leland Rocchio, also expressed satisfaction with the prospects the construction offers. “We are very excited to get construction underway and play a major role in creating this landmark mixed-used development,” he said, adding that the Arts Residences and Thompson San Antonio hotel will further enhance the culturally rich arts district and growing downtown by providing a positive impact on the community and its long-term intrinsic value.

The City of San Antonio is one of the top three fastest growing U.S. Economies in 2018 in Headlight Data. San Antonio was nominated for 2018 as one of the Best Travel Destinations in the World by National Geographic and Travel plus Leisure.