Financing Helped Bring Cellular and Wi-Fi Service to all 281 New York City Underground Subway Stations

NEW YORK, NY – September 26, 2022 – The New York City Regional Center (“NYCRC”) is pleased to announce the full repayment of $75,000,000 to EB-5 investors in its Subway Wi-Fi Infrastructure offering.  This repayment brings the total amount of loan proceeds repaid in NYCRC offerings to $852.5 million. 

A NYCRC-managed fund provided a $75 million loan to Transit Wireless to assist with the construction of a new wireless infrastructure network that brought cellular and Wi-Fi service to all 281 New York City underground subway stations.  The build out of the network was completed in 2017 and today provides over 5.7 million New York City subway passengers with connectivity every day.  During a typical year, more than 140 million cellular calls originated within the underground subway stations and 120 million Wi-Fi log-ins were made to the public Wi-Fi network.  The network’s 150-mile fiber optic backbone also handles countless text messages, app usage, and all the many ways commuters use their smartphones.   The infrastructure network has also helped revolutionize how the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“MTA”) interacts with riders underground – whether through enhanced public safety communications via Help Point Kiosks or the system-wide countdown clocks for train arrivals.

“We are proud to announce the full repayment of $75 million of capital to EB-5 investors in this offering,” said Paul Levinsohn, NYCRC Co-Managing Principal.  “We are certainly honored to have played a role in bringing high-speed Wi-Fi to New York City’s underground subway stations.  The build out of this wireless infrastructure network has truly transformed the commuting experience of New Yorkers by allowing millions of passengers a day to take advantage of every minute of their commute with cell service and internet connection.”

“Our thanks to Transit Wireless for their professionalism and hard work, and the respect they’ve shown the offering’s 150 EB-5 investor families,” said George L. Olsen, NYCRC Co-Managing Principal.  “And our congratulations to the MTA and Transit Wireless on making this important infrastructure project a reality.”

The borrower of EB-5 capital, Transit Wireless, was the company selected by the MTA and the New York City Transit Authority to build out and operate a shared wireless infrastructure network within New York City’s underground subway stations, including connectivity services for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless customers.  Since its inception, this cellular and Transit Wireless Wi-Fi network has been connecting millions of customers to the digital world as they make their daily commutes.  Transit Wireless designed, constructed, and now operates the cellular and Wi-Fi subway station networks. 

The MTA recently announced another public-private partnership with Transit Wireless to expand cell coverage to the 418 track miles of subway tunnels, along with new Wi-Fi service to all above-ground subway stations.  The expansion will leverage Transit Wireless’ existing infrastructure and continue the transformation of New York City’s subway system into a fully digitally connected transit network that gives riders the ability to use their mobile devices throughout the entire subway system. 

About the NYCRC

The NYCRC was approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in 2008 to secure foreign investment for real estate and infrastructure projects under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.  Congress created the EB-5 program to stimulate economic development through foreign investment. The program’s mandate is to use foreign investment to spur job creation while simultaneously affording eligible foreign investors the opportunity to become lawful permanent residents of the United States. The NYCRC was the first EB-5 regional center approved in New York City. To date, 1,828 I-829 petition approvals have enabled 5,291 individuals to secure permanent residency in the United States via NYCRC offerings. 

Over the past 14 years, NYCRC-managed funds have put $1.57 billion of capital to work across a broad spectrum of infrastructure and real estate projects in New York City.  Much of this capital has been invested in underserved areas in need of long-term economic growth.  Examples include:

  • $811 million to finance ground-up, redevelopment, and infrastructure projects in Brooklyn, including seven projects totaling $383 million in the Brooklyn Navy Yard;
  • $108.5 million to finance ground-up and redevelopment projects in Washington Heights, an Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone; and,
  • $220 million to finance ground-up construction in the Bronx.

The NYCRC announced the completion of project construction in 19 of its offerings to date.  These completed projects successfully utilized NYCRC EB-5 financing to assist in the construction of over 3.8 million square feet of new development and renovation as well as important infrastructure initiatives.