Atlantic American Partners (AAP), a Florida-based equity fund manager for EB-5 investors, has been paying close attention to the Florida legislature’s efforts to curb foreign ownership of real property in the state. On May 8, 2023, Governor DeSantis signed into law SB 264 which generally restricts the issuance of government contracts or economic development incentives to, or real property ownership by, foreign principals, which are certain individuals and entities associated with foreign countries of concern.
According to the new law, foreign “countries of concern” include the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Cuba, the Venezuelan regime of Nicolás Maduro, and the Syrian Arab Republic.
With respect to conveyances of real property in this state, the law generally:
- prohibits foreign principals from owning or acquiring agricultural land in the state;
- prohibits foreign principals from owning or acquiring any interest in real property within
10 miles of any military installation or critical infrastructure in the state;
- prohibits China, Chinese Communist Party or other Chinese political party officials or members, Chinese business organizations, and persons domiciled in China, but who are not citizens or lawful permanent residents of the U.S., from purchasing or acquiring any interest in real property in the state; and
- provides limited exceptions from the ownership restrictions for the purchase of one
residential property that is not on or within 5 miles of any military installation in the state.
In AAP’s fund model, all decision-making is done by the general partner. Individual EB-5 investors have no control over where or how the money is invested. Nonetheless, AAP was concerned about the bill’s negative impact on EB-5 investment in the state of Florida, particularly for those investing in equity or any EB-5 direct.
To address their concern, AAP engage their State Senator, Senator Collins, who sponsored the bill in the Florida Senate. As a result of their outreach, Senator Collins assured AAP that the bill is not intended to apply to the EB-5 Investor Visa Program and that Florida appreciates the positive impact the program has provided the state.
In addition, the Senator drafted a letter further indicating his desire to make sure this new law does not incorporate any restrictions to the EB-5 program in Florida. The law directs various state agencies to adopt implementation rules and AAP is committed to staying engaged throughout the rule-making process.
About Atlantic American Partners
Founded in 2000, Atlantic American Partners (“AAP”) manages private equity funds exclusively for EB-5 investors. AAP pools investors’ capital and invests in a portfolio of several projects per fund to diversify investors’ money and reduce risks. Its recent focus is on multi-family, student housing and hospitality. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, AAP has invested across the U.S. in 45 new development projects with a total value in excess of $2.3 billion and has 2 more projects in various stages of development in its current offering.