What is an EB-5 Regional Center?

For those who are interested in the US EB-5 investor visa you may have encountered the term ‘Regional Center’. There is some confusion over what a Regional Center is exactly and why investors choose to invest in EB-5 projects via such an entity. In this edition of our newsletter we give a brief overview of the Regional Center and what its benefits are.


A Sponsor of Capital Investment Projects
An EB-5 Regional Center is a service agent organization designated by the US immigration authority (USCIS) that sponsors capital investment projects for investment by EB-5 investors.  It is an investment mechanism for investors and companies looking to complete a project under the EB-5 Program. The benefit of having a Regional Center designation is that the regional center can take advantage of indirect and induced (activty from economic impact) job creation, not just direct job creation. This means that the Regional Center can make it easier to reach the job creation requirements under the USCIS rules.


The Benefit of a Regional Center for Investors

An approved Regional Center can be any private or public economic entity that is involved with the promotion of economic growth and job creation. Investing through a Regional Center is not the only way to invest in EB-5 projects, but the benefit of a Regional Center investment is that the investment project is managed for the investor. This suits investors who are more concerned with obtaining residency status rather than directly managing an investment on their own.


Instead of investing directly into the project, the Regional Center sets up an investment fund for the benefit of the EB-5 investors. In one kind of set-up the investor will then invest in the investment fund, and this fund will then loan the funds to the project. The project then uses the investment from the fund to build or develop the project, and of course then to create the jobs. There are other EB-5 project organizational types, but this is arguably the most beneficial in terms of efficiency and security in job creation.
Central Florida EB5 Regional Center


At the Feltrim Group of companies we have both established our own Regional Center and also are developing projects. Our first project is Balmoral Resort, sponsored by our Regional Center, Central Florida EB5 Regional Center. This prjoject received exemplar approval from the USICS. Balmoral is a vacation home development of 245 homes and a $5 million amenities area, creating 534.6 jobs. All investment slots have now been taken and we have just launched investment in the Feltrim Preparatory Academy and R9 Ronaldo Soccer Academy. This is a new preparatory school, general sports academy and soccer academy associated with the Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo. This project will create 19 jobs per investor – well over the minimum 10 jobs required.


The Central Florida EB5 Regional Center is listed on the USCIS website. Click here to view and search under ID: ID1330451257


For further details download our guide below or visit the USCIS website.

Balmoral Resort Florida opened its gates to visitors Friday, in Haines City, Florida, to great fanfare in a ceremony attended by over 300 guests including resort developer Garrett Kenny of Feltrim Group, Congressman Darren Soto of Florida’s Ninth District, and coincided with the groundbreaking of a new R9 Soccer academy at the same resort by Brazilian superstar player Ronaldo, who also participated in the groundbreaking.


Balmoral is a new vacation home resort comprising of almost 250 mostly single-family style homes, each with its own private pool. What makes this resort different from the average vacation home resort is the over $5 million in amenities including a water park, wedding pavilion, resort pool and spa, games room, restaurant, along with many lakes and gardens. Not only this, the new under construction R9 soccer academy makes Balmoral somewhat unique as a vacation home resort.


The weekend’s events opened the first phase of the Balmoral Resort. Phase 1 consists of the amenities area plus over 100 vacation homes. The homes were predominantly purchased abroad by buyers from the UK, Asia and South America.


Congressman Soto stated at the opening of the resort; “I’m pleased to extend my to congratulations to everyone here today at the opening of the Balmoral Resort! The Haines City Chamber of Commerce, Feltrim Group, and everyone here deserve credit for bringing this beautiful resort to our district.”


According to Feltrim CEO Garrett Kenny, “Balmoral will contribute over $125 million to the local economy in property taxes initially, but with the R9 Soccer Academy and our plans for a private school and basketball academy at this location we see that increasing substantially.” Congressman Soto remarked, “The Balmoral Resort is already contributing to the local economy, through construction jobs and continuing employment at the resort. In addition to its many amenities for visitors and residents alike, we are thrilled to see the R9 soccer academy, the first of its kind in Polk County.”


The soccer player Ronaldo participated in the groundbreaking for his new R9 academy at Balmoral along with Garrett Kenny. The academy will feature a full-size professional soccer field, two training fields, classrooms, and other facilities. Mr. Kenny explained why he wanted to bring the R9 to Balmoral. “We chose to bring R9 to Balmoral, because firstly it is associated with one of the greatest soccer players of all time and secondly because we were very interested in the fact that R9 isn’t just a soccer academy but it also has excellent programs to help develop young people in all aspects of their lives through the use of sport such as building character and in setting goals, so in that way R9 really fits in with our larger vision for Balmoral and what we are trying to do here in Haines City.”


The R9 academy at Balmoral is due to open by the end of 2017. Phase I of the Balmoral Resort is now open and accepting guests, while sales of vacation homes in the Phase II of the resort are now underway

Recent Posts


Press Release:

Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldo – a three-time winner of the FIFA World Player of the year award, and former club player for Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid – will attend a groundbreaking ceremony on March 31st for his latest R9 academy, at the new vacation home resort Balmoral Resort Florida in Haines City, near Orlando, Florida.


The new academy, to be spread over 5 acres, will encompass a full-sized professional soccer field, three training fields, class rooms, an auditorium and more and is seeking to attract young players from all over the world to learn the special Ronaldo technique. According to the developer of the academy and the adjacent resort, Irish entrepreneur Garrett Kenny of Feltrim Group, the building of this facility is symbolic of the growth of soccer in the US and in Florida; “Central Florida is truly an international location and so it’s only natural that the world’s most popular sport would find a home in Orlando. We are thrilled that a great star like Ronaldo is opening an academy with us in our new Balmoral Resort.”


Ronaldo himself stated “We are excited to move into the US market, especially in Florida, where soccer has a great influence in the community. Ronaldo Academy’s focus is more than forging athletes, is to develop youth through soccer. The Balmoral project is a perfect opportunity for us to do that, and I’m excited to be with Garrett during the groundbreaking ceremony in late March.”


The groundbreaking of the new R9 academy will coincide with the opening of the first phase Balmoral vacation home resort; a development of 245 vacation homes and a $5 million amenities area which will include a water park, clubhouse, restaurant, wedding pavilion and games room featuring the world’s largest Pac-Man arcade console.


The academy at Balmoral will form part of a larger masterplan development, currently slated to include the resort, the academy in addition to a private boarding school and sports complex. The R9 academy is scheduled for completion by December 2017.

Press Release:

Vacation Home firm Feltrim Resorts will open the gates of its new resort Balmoral near Orlando, Florida this March, and according to its CEO, Garrett Kenny, this new resort set to give local hotels a run for their money.


Traditionally the provider of resort vacationing, hotels are now feeling the pressure from new vacation home resorts such as Balmoral which provide guests with the extra space and comfort of a vacation home, but are now increasingly providing top class amenities to go along with the accommodation. Mr. Kenny points out that Central Florida is more popular than ever, attracting over 66 million visitors in 2015 alone, yet the occupancy rate of hotels has decreased slightly. According to Kenny this is due to the increasing attractiveness of vacation home resorts.

“Vacation homes are moving out of their infancy” according to Kenny, helped no doubt by Airbnb and online portals. “What a gated resort like Balmoral offers guests is space for the grandparents, all the kids, the pet while also providing the family with a private pool with their home, Smart TVs, lots of bedrooms and a convenient place to park. This, along with amenities of a five-star hotel such as a water park, resort pool, games room, and restaurant, plus concierge services. So it starts to become a very attractive option for families arriving in their cars from other parts of Florida or the US.”

The new Balmoral resort is located in the Haines City area, about 25 minutes from Disney World and less than 15 minutes from LEGOLAND. A $125 million resort, once completed will comprise 245 3-8 bedroom vacation homes, with each single-family-home featuring a private pool. The resort will officially open on March 31st with a glitzy gala opening event. Slated for later in 2017 is the opening of the resort’s R9 soccer academy, associated with Brazilian legend Ronaldo.

The popular 150-acre theme park, at Winter Haven, is offering a Kids Go Free deal to Florida residents.

Florida’s LEGOLAND is gaining a reputation for providing great value for money for visitors. The popular 150-acre theme park, at Winter Haven, is offering a Kids Go Free deal to Florida residents. The promotion is open until 31 July with the purchase of an adult ticket at http://www.legoland.com/kidsgofreefl.


Tickets are valid for visits up until 5 September. Up to three free children’s tickets can be redeemed per transaction. Florida residency is required and will be verified with the credit card billing ZIP code. In addition, the popular theme park and waterpark, which is within easy reach of the Balmoral at Waters Edge theme park from leading developer and agent, Feltrim Group, has a choice of special offer season tickets for Florida residents and international visitors that can provide access to LEGOLAND Florida, the Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds and Sea Life Orlando.

LEGOLAND Florida offers more than 50 rides, shows and attractions and is the largest LEGOLAND theme park in the world. It features more than 28,000 LEGO models made up of more than 58million LEGO bricks.

It includes Miniland USA, Lego Kingdoms, LEGO Technic rides, the Imagination Zone, Duplo Valley, the LEGO World of Chima, Cypress Gardens and LEGO Water Park, plus the Wells Fargo Fun Town 4D Theater that features The LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure and LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS 4D: The Book of Creativity and other shows. LEGOLAND Florida is just 10-minutes away from Balmoral at Water’s Edge, the newest luxury lakeside development from top developer and agent, Feltrim Group.


Chief Executive Officer, Garrett Kenny, says, “LEGOLAND Florida is the nearest major theme park to Balmoral and Feltrim Group owners and renters love it, particularly those with younger children. With its special offers and deals, it offers excellent value for money and the new NightLights display provides a spectacular end to a fun-filled day there.”


Balmoral at Waters Edge, south of the Disney area, near Orlando, which features high-end Tuscan-style custom homes with three to eight bedrooms, is perfect for vacation homes and rental property. Its extensive on-site leisure facilities include a resort-style pool with luxury clubhouse, waterpark, lakeside beach, gym and spa, gourmet kitchen, restaurant and more. They are set in a 113-acre private gated community, with tranquil parks, gardens, walkways and lakes.

Seasonal Events at LEGOLAND

During the summer, LEGOLAND Night Lights offers extended park hours at no extra cost, a fireworks spectacular, character meet-and-greets a new LEGO Friends show, LEGO scavenger hunt and more. On September 10 & 11, the park holds its LEGO Star Wars days, for two full days of fun from a galaxy far, far away! Visitors can meet LEGO Darth Vader, help create a giant LEGO Star Wars mural and dress up as their favorite Jedi, Sith, droid, smuggler, scavenger or Stormtrooper during a fun, interactive costume parade. It is all included in normal admission prices. LEGOLAND Water Park features a Build-A-Raft River, DUPLO Splash Safari and the Joker Soaker water playground, a LEGO Wave Pool and Splash Out and Twin Chasers slides. It is open on select dates up to October.

Foreign buyers bought more United States property in 2015/16 – and their top target was Florida, new data shows.

Buyers purchased 214,885 residential properties across the US in the year to March 2016, up 2.8% on the year before, according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors.


Florida accounted for more than one in five (22%) of all sales to foreign nationals, states the 2016 Profile of Home Buying Activity in US Residential Real Estate, which has just been published. Latin Americans, Europeans and Canadians – who tend to buy in warm climates for vacation purposes – mostly sought properties in Florida.


Chinese buyers were the leading purchasers at $27.3billion, exceeding the value of the next four ranked countries combined, with $8.9billion spent by Canadians, $6.1billion by Indians and $4.8billion by Mexicans.


Overall, 102.6billion was spent on residential property, just 1.3% lower than last year, mainly due to a strong dollar and foreign economic pressures.


Foreign buyers typically spent $277,380, higher than the median price of all U.S. existing home sales of $223,058. Chinese buyers typically spend the most, with a median price of $542,084.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says this year’s findings highlight the tremendous appeal U.S. real estate still has on many foreign nationals despite the price of property becoming less affordable. “Weaker economic growth throughout the world, devalued foreign currencies and financial market turbulence combined to present significant challenges for foreign buyers over the past year.

“While these obstacles led to a cool down in sales from non-resident foreign buyers, the purchases by recent immigrant foreigners rose, resulting in the overall sales dollar volume still being the second highest since 2009.

Foreigners – especially those from China – continue to see the U.S. as a solid investment opportunity and an attractive place to visit and live. Although China’s currency modestly weakened versus the U.S. dollar in the past year, it’s much stronger than it was 5 to 10 years ago, thereby making U.S. properties still appear reasonably affordable over a longer time span.”

Garrett Kenny, Chief Executive Officer of top Central Florida developer and agency, Feltrim Group, which has a high proportion of international buyers in its luxury resorts, says education is a strong motivator for many Chinese investors.

“With around half of our homes in our newest luxury lakeside development, Balmoral at Waters Edge, being snapped up by Chinese buyers, demand from Asia continues to be strong. Many buyers are looking for homes near good schools, as they see the benefits of their children being educated here. Others see business opportunities of being in the Orlando region and want to take advantage of strong buy-to-let demand from the 66 million tourists the area attracts.”


A majority of foreign buyers over the past year purchased a single-family home, and nearly half bought in a suburban area, says the National Association of Realtors report. Two–thirds or more of buyers from each China, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom purchased detached single-family homes, while Canadian buyers were the most likely to buy a multi-family home.


NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buying Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate, conducted in April 2016, surveyed a sample of Realtors to measure the share of U.S. residential real estate sales to international clients, and to provide a profile of the origin, destination, and buying preferences of international clients, as well as the challenges and opportunities faced by Realtors in serving foreign clients. The survey presents information about transactions with international clients during the 12-month period between April 2015 and March 2016. A total of 5,960 Realtors responded to the 2016 survey. The National Association of Realtors is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

24 townhomes are set to be complete by September

Things are really heating up at Feltrim’s exciting new resort Balmoral at Water’s Edge. Construction is continuing apace, and we’re really getting to see how the resort will shape up. Plus, a great new home type has just been released at the development. As of this writing the model homes at Balmoral plus its 24 townhomes are set to be complete by September, while construction on all the other homes on Phase I of the development is well underway. For regular construction updates visit www.balmoralflorida.com/construction-updates In addition to the homes we can now see some great progress on the $5million amenities center at the resort.


At Feltrim we’re very excited about all the great amenities that will form part of this development. Not only will we have a waterpark, restaurant, resort pool and natural lakes, lakefront wedding pavilion, but we’re also getting very enthusiastic about our new video games room. It is being designed by one of Orlando’s best video game arcade designers. So look forward to Star Wars games, classic games like Pac Man, dancing machines and lots more.

Balmoral Florida

And not just that, there more great things to come

In addition, planning for our R9 Soccer Academy from Brazilian superstar Ronaldo is also well underway, and will be a fantastic addition to an already great resort. More details on this in the next few weeks.


Finally, we have just introduced a new home type at the development called the Stratford. We are particularly happy with the design of this home. It will be a two-story 3-bedroom single-family style home. All bedrooms are master suites and the home will feature a spacious loft area. As with all Balmoral homes in Phase I, the Stratford will come fully furnished to luxury standards and will feature a private pool, and Feltrim will also offer the 6% NET leaseback contract.


Beyond Balmoral new additions are being added to nearby Legoland, such as a new Ninjago land and some great nighttime attractions. And as Balmoral is the closest luxury resort to Legoland we’re thrilled to see this enormously popular theme park go from strength to strength.


Visit www.balmoralflorida.com for more information or phone +1 863 353 0011