How Jared Kushner built a luxury skyscraper using loans meant for job-starved areas

They worked with state officials in New Jersey to come up with a map that defined the area around 65 Bay Street as a swath of land that stretched nearly four miles and included some of the city’s poorest and most crime-ridden neighborhoods. At the same time, they excluded some wealthy neighborhoods only blocks away.

.. The tactic — critics liken it to the gerrymandering of legislative districts — made it appear that the luxury tower was in an area with extraordinarily high unemployment, allowing Kushner Companies and its partners to get $50 million in low-cost financing through the EB-5 visa program.

.. Apartments in the Bay Street building, marketed as Trump Bay Street, rent for up to $4,700 a month and offer sweeping views of Lower Manhattan. A nearby commuter train shuttles passengers to the World Trade Center within minutes. The area within a roughly three-block radius around the building had an unemployment rate of just 2.6 percent in 2015, according to census data.

..Under the EB-5 program, a wealthy foreigner can get a fast-track residence visa by investing at least $500,000 in a project in a “targeted employment area.”
..Kushner Companies, meanwhile, is rushing to raise $150 million in low-cost financing through EB-5 for a separate project in Jersey City: a pair of luxury towers in an area called Journal Square.
..He also said jobs created by the project could be filled by workers from the depressed areas only miles away.
..Developers typically pay only 4 to 8 percent interest annually on money raised through EB-5, experts said. Conventional financing can carry interest rates of between 12 and 18 percent.