1. Tax credit of 10% of the total eligible project cost or 50% of the cash invested by the investors (whichever is less).
  2. Alternate Credit of 40% of Eligible Investment, the first third to the second year of operations, the rest in subsequent years Alternate Credit of 30% of Eligible Investment, the first 10% at the time of obtaining the financing, the remaining 20% , the first part when receiving the first guest paying, the rest in subsequent years.
  3. 100% exemption from special municipal taxes on construction.
  4.  100% exemption from sales and use taxes.
  5. 100% exemption from special taxes and municipal taxes for new projects, and 90% for existing projects subject to substantial renovations or expansion Vieques and Culebra 75%.
  6.  90% tax exemption or 100% extension if the project is located in the islands Vieques
  7. Up to 90% exemption on personal and municipal taxes on real estate




Puerto Rico’s governor touts $120M deal,
OZs to hotel investors

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said there’s a “perfect storm of opportunities” awaiting those investing on the island as it seeks to recover from a devastating 2017 hurricane

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló
(Credit: iStock and Getty Images)

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló is trying to entice investors to the island’s hotel sector with a flagship $120 million deal and new tax credits.

On the second day of New York University’s International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, Rosselló spoke to hundreds of attendees about tax credits and how private development can piggyback off of federal aid money that the island will receive as it recovers from the aftereffects of Hurricane Maria in 2017.

“We’re going to have an enormous amount of resources coming to Puerto Rico because of the rebuild,” he said. Couple that with the 30 to 40 percent tax credits the territory provides for tourism developments and the federal Opportunity Zone program, which incentivizes investors to deploy their funds by the end of 2019, and you get a “perfect storm of opportunities,” Rosselló added.

Rosselló said Puerto Rico is seeking to double its number of hotels rooms in five to seven years with a focus on luxury hotels and resorts. During his session, the governor broke down a new deal led by Miami-based developer
R. P.C.  ,New York-based investment firm M. A. C. and Texas-based developer and operator A. H..

The deal by Rosselló involves the $120 million acquisition of the former 500-room Gran Meliá Puerto Rico on a peninsula known as Coco Beach, which is about a 30-minute drive from San Juan. The seller is Meliá Hotels International, a Spanish hotel chain, and the buyer is a joint venture between R.P.M. and other The individual breakdown of ownership interests was not immediately clear at the time of this story.

OZ Real Estate financed 60 percent of the deal with debt and Puerto Rico provided $37 million in tax credits. The hotel, shuttered by Hurricane Maria, is expected to reopen as a Hyatt Regency in the fall. A source with knowledge of the deal said that due to the storm and then the Zika virus outbreak in 2016, the partners had to “look back quite far to get a [borrowing] base.”

Royal Palm development associate René Bello told The Real Deal that the island’s susceptibility to hurricanes and storms was “a determining factor in why we went with private lending.” Transactions in Puerto Rico commonly involve banks as a lender, added Carla Campos, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.

Discussion of the high burden of insurance against natural disasters was a big topic throughout the conference, but Royal Palm CEO Daniel Kodsi said extreme weather doesn’t worry him.

“We’re Miami developers. We’re not concerned. We know how to deal with hurricanes,” he said. “Hurricane Maria was a once in a 50-year occurrence. So we’ve got 50 years.”

Coco Beach, the site of the now-shuttered Gran Meliá, is also in a designated Opportunity Zone, which allows investors to avoid or delay paying capital gains taxes if they invest in certain areas. Rosselló said that the Coco Beach land wasn’t initially included within the program but he later appealed to the U.S. Department of the Treasury to include it in the program. The Treasury Department clarified its guidelines for Opportunity Zones in April.

“That area was not populated. [So] it was a hiccup within the calculation,” said Rosselló, noting that as a governor he was given the chance to suggest a list of areas for designation to take advantage of the program’s benefits and exemptions. “When there was something left out the states and territories could go and appeal, and we went and appealed it,” he added.

One of the new equity partners, Investor, had a preexisting controlling stake in 1,000 acres surrounding the Gran Meliá. Royal Palm, best known for its involvement in the Miami Worldcenter project, is working on a master plan for developing the entire parcel. The Coco Beach peninsula currently has two 18-hole golf courses, as well as St. Regis and Wyndham branded hotels nearby.

Campos, head of Puerto Rico’s tourism body, said that Monarch and Royal Palm are now searching for additional investors and development partners to build six additional hotels (or about 2,500 new rooms) on the Coco Beach peninsula, while also looking at other assets. She noted that $1.5 billion in investment dollars would be needed to complete the entire Coco Beach project.

Rosselló, a former biomedial researcher who became Puerto Rico’s governor in January 2017, added that the Gran Meliá deal is a sign of the potential awaiting investors on the island.

“This is an example of what can happen to the rest of Puerto Rico,” he said.






to offer opportunities for permanent US Residency to qualified investors

through EB-5 Visa investments in strong US projects.

The EB-5 program is a logical and natural win-win platform for global



… providing EB-5 visas to those who wish to invest in the United States.

We count with specialize personnel to deal with the EB-5 process, for

the partners convenience.

The United States Congress created the EB-5 immigrant investor visa

category to attract foreign capital to the US while creating jobs for

American workers in the process.

Under the EB-5 Visa program, each $1,000,000 (USD) of investment

($500,000 in a TEA) must realize 10 direct US jobs in the development


• First, the investor must establish a business or invest in an existing

business (to develop or turnaround) that was created or restructured

after November 19, 1990.

• Second, the investor must have invested $1 million (only $500,000

when investing in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA or rural area) in

the business.

• Third, the business must create full-time employment for at least 10 US

workers (jobs may be direct, indirect or induced).

The EB-5 Visa is especially attractive to those high net worth individuals

seeking to obtain a fast-track residency status in the USA, freedom from

political instability in their home country or western education for their


• A direct route to a Green Card in the United States for you, your

spouse and any children under the age of 21 – Fast track solution for

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• As part of services to our investor partners, could help bring them into

our company as an EB-5 partner.




New Opportunity Zones rules are


Will developer money follow?

The government’s rules give more leeway to funds and businesses

looking to invest in distressed areas nationwide

The government released its long-awaited and latest set

of Opportunity Zone regulations Wednesday, hoping to

provide investors who have been on the fence with the

clarity needed to begin developing projects in distressed

areas nationwide.

Real estate developers have become enamored with

Opportunity Zones, seeking to raise funds into the billions

of dollars.

But without complete certainty on the program’s rules,

many developers have held back on deploying that capital.

Industry experts said that development projects could start

pouring into the designated zones with the new

regulations from the Treasury and the IRS.

Under the new regulations, funds now get a 12-month

grace period to sell Opportunity Zones assets and then

reinvest the proceeds into an Opportunity Zone. Before,

there was concern that these funds would be penalized for

failing to reinvest the proceeds immediately.

The White House @WhiteHouse

Also, under the old guidelines, a business that operates in

a designated zone had to make at least 50 percent of its

gross income from activity in that zone.

Now, that business can also qualify if 50 percent of its

wages or hours come from revenue earned from within the


The new regulations also clarified how a leased property

could qualify for the tax benefit.

The rules should provide some “comfort to use the

incentive,” said Jill Homan. Her real estate development

firm, Javelin 19 Investments, focuses on Opportunity

Zones. Homan said the provisions mean that investors

can still qualify for tax breaks if they invest in funds that

sell off some Opportunity Zone assets.

Before the new regulations were released, President

Trump along with Housing and Urban Development

Secretary Ben Carson and Treasury Secretary Steven

Mnuchin spoke about the importance of the federal

program at the White House Opportunity Zones Council.

Trump said even he was surprised by the success of the


The federal Opportunity Zone program gives developers

and investors the ability to defer or potentially forgo paying

capital gains taxes if they invest in a designated

Opportunity Zone. The first regulationswere released in

October, but developers wanted more guidance before

they started to deploy capital.

The biggest benefit goes to investors and developers who

hold their money in an Opportunity Zone for at least 10

years. That would allow them to forgo paying all their

capital gains taxes on their Opportunity Zone investment,

a feature particularly attractive to real estate developers.

Investors who wanted to receive the maximum tax break

would also need to invest by the end of 2019, creating a

rush for Opportunity Zone investment.

The new rules did not give guidance around how to

measure the value of or report on Opportunity Zone

investments. This was a concern for critics who worried

that the program will incentivize gentrification, or benefit

wealthy developers for projects that they were already

planning to build.

Some government officials anticipate the program could

spur $100 billion in new investment into the more than

8,700 zones throughout the U.S.

Sec. Carson told The Real Deal last month that his agency

cannot mandate affordable housing in the zones. It will,

however, give preference for developers who apply for

certain federal grants to build affordable housing within

Opportunity Zones.