Addison Main Street (2) by Gerry Dincher is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by Congressional Republicans and President Trump, new businesses are opening in Opportunity Zones created by the law, bringing new jobs and services to economically distressed areas.

The Opportunity Zone provision provides capital gains tax relief for long term investments in low income communities.

Listed below are examples of Opportunity Zones good news. (If you know of any additions to this list, please send to [email protected])

2nd South Market (Twin Falls, Idaho) — A food hall is opening because of the TCJA Opportunity Zone program, and is slated to create new jobs:

One of the nation’s fastest-growing trends, food halls, is coming to Twin Falls. 2nd South Market, slated to open this summer, will be housed in the historic 1926 downtown Twin Falls building formerly occupied by the Salvation Army. 2ndSouth Market will be the first Opportunity Zone project to open in Idaho and the state’s third Opportunity Zone investment.

Opportunity Zones were established in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to encourage long-term investment in low-income communities through tax breaks.

Kelsar Property owners Dave and Lisa Buddecke are gutting and remodeling the 94-year-old building to expose original wood ceilings/trusses, windows and doors. At Second Avenue South and Hansen Street, the 13,000-square-foot indoor area will house several food vendors in a large open space concept. The 14,700-square-foot outdoor fenced space will be open during summer and fall for additional outdoor seating, private events, open-air markets and corn hole games. A stage is planned for live music and other amenities. — February 27, 2020 Twin Falls Times-News article

Agatha (Johnson City, Tennessee) — An Apple app’s office is moving to the city, and will be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

According to the Mastered in Tennessee website, there are currently four Opportunity Zone projects in the Tri-Cities area. The projects, business type, and value are:

Agatha – Johnson City – $200,000. The firm’s Twitter tag describes it as a who-done-it game where you walk (run, etc.) in real life to make progress in the game. — November 22, 2019 DonFenley.Com article

American Life Building (Birmingham, Alabama) – The TCJA’s Opportunity Zone legislation is paving the way for an empty building to be converted into housing units, some of which will be reserved for those who are unemployed or underemployed:

“A Birmingham opportunity zone project is the $24 million conversion of the 84,000-square-foot Stonewall Building, almost 40 years vacant, into the American Life Building, with 140 one and two-bedroom flats and loft-style apartments. In addition, five of the development’s units will be reserved for rental to clients of The Dannon Project, a local nonprofit that provides workforce development and other services for underemployed and unemployed residents. It is slated for completion next year.” – September 15th, 2019, Alabama (

Amtrak (Baltimore, Virginia) — Amtrak is investing in a redevelopment of Baltimore’s Penn Station located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Amtrak officials said Thursday they consider the redevelopment of Baltimore’s Penn Station to be “critical” and will continue to move forward on the project even as the railroad company suffers a major financial hit due to Covid-19.

Chairman Anthony Coscia said during a teleconference that Amtrak will likely lose $700 million in adjusted operating earnings due to the pandemic, and it’s possible the losses could be greater. Ridership has fallen 95% and Amtrak has temporarily suspended several of its routes while modifying others to deal with reduced demand. Prior to the onset of pandemic, Amtrak had been on track to break even for the first time ever.

Despite the grim outlook, Amtrak executive Stephen Gardner said the government-owned company will continue to move ahead on the long-planned redevelopment of Baltimore’s historic train station even as it makes adjustments and reduces expenses.

“There are a core set of essential projects across really all the different dimensions of the company…that are really critical to our long-term strategy and success,” said Gardner, chief operating and commercial officer. “We continue to advance those as we can through the environment. Baltimore is one of those.”

Gardner said people should expect delays because of supply chain issues, workforce availability and other challenges companies across the U.S. are facing. He also said Amtrak will defer capital improvements that it deems “are not right now critical.”

“We remain committed to our big strategic objectives and our important projects,” Gardner said. “Baltimore Penn Station redevelopment is a critical one, along with several other station projects that we continue to advance.”

The redevelopment of historic Penn Station has been in the works for years. Penn Station Partners, a master development team selected by Amtrak to manage the project, plan to convert the site into a hub in the Station North and Mount Vernon communities. Penn Station is the eighth busiest station in the Amtrak system.

Other plans by Penn Station Partners include developing a residential tower on what today is a flat-surface parking lot at Lanvale and Charles streets, as well as new development on parcels owned by Amtrak near the station. The additions will hold retail, residential and office space.

Bill Struever, CEO of Cross Street Partners, which is part of the development team, said in March the project remained ongoing.

Last year Amtrak announced plans to invest $50 million in improvements to the historic station as part of an overall $90 million investment.

The project was awarded a $3 million Maryland Historic Revitalization Tax Credit from the Maryland Historical Trust and Gov. Larry Hogan has also authorized workforce training and job creation tax credits and property tax breaks as incentives for opportunity zone investment.

Blueprint Local, a fund based at Brown Advisory in Fells Point, announced in February it would provide an undisclosed amount of private capital through opportunity zone funding for the project. — April 23, 2020 Baltimore Business Journal article


American Residential Group (Tulsa, Oklahoma) — The company is building an apartment in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

American Residential Group (ARG) is announcing construction plans for “The View”, a multifamily property to be located in the Tulsa Arts District. The proposed 198-unit, six-story project will be the premier residential development in the city. The Class A complex will feature luxury unit finishes, rooftop amenity deck, expansive interior corridors and an attached parking structure. Along with a rooftop pool overlooking ONEOK Field, the property will offer stunning views of the Tulsa skyline.

The View will be located directly across the street from the ONEOK Field and will share a neighborhood with The BOK Center, Cain’s Ballroom and Guthrie Green. Adjacent to Tulsa’s Central Business District, the Arts District has evolved over the past several years into an energetic mix of world-class museums, eclectic restaurants, private businesses and entertainment spaces.

ARG purchased the entire square block on the Southeast corner of Archer & Elgin from the Tulsa Stadium Trust in 2015 for total redevelopment purposes. The lot falls in a Qualified Opportunity Zone, which allows investors in these targeted funds to receive substantial capital gains tax reductions. In order to receive the full benefits of the deferment over the course of its short, seven-year life, investors must act prior to Dec. 31, 2019. — January 2, 2019 press release

Americus OST LLC (Houston, Texas) — The company is building a medical campus in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Former Houston Rockets player Hakeem Olajuwon and local real estate investor John Ballis have sold a 4.64-acre site near the Texas Medical Center to a local developer, according to a press release from Houston-based Transwestern.

Transwestern Commercial Services has been hired to advise the new owner on its plans to develop a mixed-use project at the site, 1990 Old Spanish Trail, per the release. TCS Vice President Robby Winston is providing advisory services for the new owner, an entity called Americus OST LLC. Houston developer Andrew Schatte is the principal of Americus OST.

John Ballis Jr. represented both the buyer and the seller in the land deal, which closed in March, according to Harris County records.

“The new owner is looking to create a mixed-use development that would complement the highly respected health care, educational and research institutions that are adjacent to the site,” Winston said in the release. “As one of the last undeveloped parcels in the Texas Medical Center, this site presents the unique opportunity to bring additional supportive capacity to this rapidly growing innovation district. Our property will enhance those larger master plans taking shape.”

Transwestern also is serving as development manager for the TMC3 project, which is scheduled to break ground by the end of the year and be complete in 2022. The Americus OST site is next to the 37-acre TMC3 site. The new TMC3 campus alone is expected to have a $5.2 billion impact on the city of Houston and create a projected 30,000 new jobs, the Houston Business Journal previously reported.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to work with the Texas Medical Center and member organizations in developing this property in keeping with the master plan of the TMC3,” Schatte said in the release.

The Americus OST site also is located in a designated Opportunity Zone, which makes it eligible for significantly reduced capital gains taxes if certain federal requirements are met. Click here to read HBJ’s cover story about Opportunity Zones. — June 12, 2019 Houston Business Journal article

Appalachian Highlands Resort (Erwin, Tennessee) — Resort is being built in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

According to the Mastered in Tennessee website, there are currently four Opportunity Zone projects in the Tri-Cities area. The projects, business type, and value are.

Appalachian Highlands Resort – Erwin – $8.8 million. This project is identified as a 20-acre, 871,200 sq. ft.  real estate operating business in the hospitality sector. — November 22, 2019 DonFenley.Com article


Aptitude Development (Louisville, Kentucky) — The company is building a student housing complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

With all eyes this month on The Kentucky Derby, the executive team at Aptitude Development has found a winning bet.

The Marshall student housing community in Louisville broke ground Oct. 18 to reportedly be the first property to take advantage of the Opportunity Zones program. The 10-story, 231-unit community sits on a 1.5-acre lot near the University of Louisville, offering a unique, unobstructed view of race track Churchill Downs.

As groundbreaking approached, its Principal and Co-Founder Jared Hutter restructured the deal to leverage the program’s valuable tax benefits, Student Housing Business first reported.

“No one has been able to show us a project that broke ground earlier,” Hutter says. “We planned to build at University of Louisville, anyway, and this financing certainly made that decision even easier. Opportunity Zones is great because it encourages development, and given the tax break’s 10-year horizon, it encourages a higher-quality product. More care is taken in the entire construction decision-making when you plan to hold the property because it’s not a build-and-flip project.”

Hutter is positioning the $40 million, 591-bed community’s 8,000 square feet of amenity space on the penthouse floor, facing south, to take advantage of the view of the track. The Marshall also will have a 2,500-square-foot outdoor terrace.

“We wanted to try something new and exciting in how we designed this community,” he says. “There’s nothing else like it in this market.” — May 1, 2019 National Apartment Association article

Atlas Real Estate Partners (Nashville, Tennessee) — The real estate company is building a mixed-use space which will include apartments, retail, and office space, located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Details are emerging regarding a mixed-use project two local real estate investors and developers are planning for Wedgewood-Houston, with the three-building development to include 314 residential units and 25,000 square feet of retail and/or office space.
Documents submitted on behalf of Nathan Hysmith and Beau Fowler to Metro show two future buildings — one each located on either side of Merritt Avenue — as well as an updated existing structure are being proposed at the site. The existing building (see here) sits to the left of the structure home to Dozen Bakery and Zeitgeist Gallery and to the south of the building that accommodates Nashville Craft Distillery.
Fulmer Engineering, EOA Architects, Manuel Zeitlin Architects and S&ME (land surveying) are working on the project. No specific images and no groundbreaking have been released or announced to date.
The team will go before the Metro Planning Commission on May 28 to seek final specific plan rezoning approval, the document notes.
Hysmith and Fowler, teaming with New York-based Atlas Real Estate Partners, in June 2019 paid approximately $8.76 million for the property, which has addresses of 640 Merritt Ave., 714 Merritt Ave. and 520 Hagan St. That acquisition followed the pair’s $4.5 million purchase a week prior of about two acres of property at 700 Hamilton Ave., which sits across railroad tracks from the property on which the mixed-use project is planned.
In addition, the ownership group owns a tiny 0.15-acre parcel located at the southwest corner of Hagan and Merritt and for which it paid $750,000 in August 2019, according to Metro records. That parcel is part of the aforementioned mixed-use project.
The various properties qualify for tax incentives via the federal opportunity zone program. Truck Center Inc., a used truck and truck parts dealer, operates at 518-520 Hagan. Kerr Brothers and Associates (a general contractor) had operated at the intersection of Hagan and Merritt but has since moved to nearby Chestnut Hill. — April 16, 2020 Nashville Post article


Affiliated Development LLC (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) — The company is building an apartment complex located within an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Construction started on The Six13 apartment building in Fort Lauderdale after the developer secured $19.3 million in project financing.

Affiliated Development LLC, a Fort Lauderdale-based multifamily developer, obtained the loan from City National Bank on April 4 for the six-story development, which will have 142 one and two bedroom units.

The Six13, named for its location at 613 NW Third Ave. in the Progresso Village neighborhood, will have a 197-space garage and 5,991 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, including a restaurant.

Like other apartment projects rising in South Florida urban cores, it will have out-of-the-box amenities such as a gated dog park, a residents only bike-share program, co-working space and a fourth-floor pool with cabanas.

But unlike other new apartment projects, it won’t come with the sometimes cost-prohibitive rents as Affiliated has vowed Thee Six13 will be more attainable.

The developer is considering average rents of $1,500 to $1,700 a month for one bedroom and $1,700 to $1,900 for two bedrooms, said Jeff Burns, CEO and principal of Affiliated.

The prices are all less than the $1,902 average for Fort Lauderdale for March across apartment sizes reported by multifamily information provider Rent Café. While affordable housing is an issue across South Florida, this Fort Lauderdale average was higher than both Miami at $1,702 and West Palm Beach at $1,455.

“A lot of these people who are going to live there have a high income. They are making a good living. It’s just that this is one of the most cost-burdened places in the entire country because our income-to-cost-of-living discrepancy is higher than anywhere else in the country,” Burns said.

The planned rents are good news for residents who work in Fort Lauderdale’s urban core but can’t afford to live there, Burns said.

“We wanted to provide them an opportunity to live close to where they work, close to where they play,” he said.

Exactly how is Affiliated able to offer the cheaper rents at a time of rising land and construction costs? Part of the financing for the $40.3 million project is $7 million in gap funding from the Fort Lauderdale Community Redevelopment Agency.

“Without the CRA funding, we would not be able to offer this kind of a discount to the tenants,” Burns said.

The project also is in an opportunity zone, a state-designated distressed areas where investors can grab tax advantages.

While the opportunity zone doesn’t necessarily translate to lower rents, it was how the developer secured the remaining $14 million in financing.

The so-called OZ program created by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 allows investors to defer paying taxes on the capital gains they invest in opportunity zones, while areas that could use the help get the financial boost.

The federal program dictates that investors place their capital gains in a qualified opportunity zone fund.

Affiliated went about the structure differently. It created a qualified opportunity zone business and met individually with investors, who created their own opportunity zone fund to invest in the project, Burns said.

“It was a group of investors we put together, and that includes us,” he said.

The Six13 units are set to be delivered next spring. — April 17, 2019 Palm Beach Daily Business Review article


Aldi – St. Paul (St. Paul, Minnesota) — Aldi is building a new location in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

As director of St. Paul’s Frogtown Neighborhood Association, Caty Royce returned from a policy summit in Chicago last year more alarmed than hopeful about the opportunities in “Opportunity Zones.”

The federally authorized tax shelters allow investors to avoid paying capital gains taxes for up to 10 years if they funnel their profits into new real estate development within low-income census tracts.

“For me it was this huge red flag for any neighborhood along the Green Line, particularly for Frogtown, Rondo and Hamline,” said Royce.

Critics worry that in poor neighborhoods, national investors will be drawn to projects that low-income residents can’t afford, such as luxury housing. They’ll buy up cheap real estate, tear it down and put up something more expensive.

But on Thursday, city officials and private developers held a groundbreaking aimed, in part, at proving the opposite.

St. Paul’s first two Opportunity Zone projects are under construction near Phalen Boulevard and Clarence Street, much to the delight of some neighborhood advocates.

Within months, the 2.5-acre site will be home to a new Aldi grocery and the Entira Family Clinics, two new “anchor” tenants for the Phalen Village area, which sits in an Opportunity Zone. Both businesses are expected to open in late 2019. — April 12, 2019 St. Paul Pioneer Press article

Alpha Capital Partners – Columbus (Columbus, Ohio) — The company is building townhomes in an Opportunity Zone created by the  Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Pittsburgh based real estate investment firm and leader in opportunity zone investment projects has just acquired Hamilton Creek Apartments (14 Oak Road), a 45-acre townhome-style multifamily property in Columbus, Ohio.

Alpha wants to bring a new vibe to this established community. Built in 1960, the 376-unit rental community caters to mid-sized families and has a unit mix of two-bedroom and three-bedroom townhomes. The property is conveniently located next to the Rickenbacker International Airport at the intersection of Alum Creek Drive and London Groveport Road Southeastern part of Columbus, Ohio.

Alpha plans to rebrand Hamilton Creek and spend $9 million in upgrades on the Columbus property. The first phase of redevelopment for Hamilton Creek will commence in the fall and includes exterior renovations and interior updates. The redevelopment project will be managed by Alpha’s in-house construction services team and is slated to be completed by 2021. “We are excited about what Alpha is going to do and how we plan to add value for Hamilton Creek’s current and future residents. Our redevelopment efforts will give this former military housing the necessary boost it needs to beautify the neighborhood and attract new residents,” said CEO, Jide Famuagun.

While this property is in an opportunity zone area, its location was equally an attraction for Alpha Capital Partners. The property is approximately 14 miles from downtown Columbus and is four miles from the outer loop of I-270. Famuagun stated, “What also drew our attention to this property was the massive industrial distribution centers and the boom in employment these facilities brought.” — September 6, 2019 Alpha Capital Partners press release


Alpha Capital Partners – Lafayette (Lafayette, Louisiana) — The company invested in an apartment complex  located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A Pittsburgh-based real estate firm has bought the University Place Apartments, a 192-unit complex just south of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Alpha Capital Partners announced the purchase, which courthouse records show was for $12.5 million, from Connecticut-based Realco Capital Partners, of the property at 200 Oak Crest Drive.

University Place, one of the oldest around the UL campus, is currently the closest student housing to campus. It offers a pedestrian bridge connecting to the campus, a fitness center, swimming pool with LED lighting and a cyber café, Alpha officials said in the announcement.

Attempts to reach a spokesperson with Alpha about possible upgrades to the property were unsuccessful.

“The upside of this property provides the opportunity to reposition the asset and resident experience through a value-add strategy supported by significant capital that would not have been possible without the opportunity zone program,” said Jide Famuagun, CEO of Alpha Capital Partners.

“The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has witnessed record setting enrollment for five consecutive years, and I believe that with the expertise our team brings, we will be successful in repositioning and rebranding this asset.”

The purchase is the 10th student housing property for Alpha, which specializes in student housing and multi-family communities in secondary and tertiary markets. It is also one of five identified in its Opportunity Zone Fund, a $250 million fund launched last year to take part in the federal Opportunity Zone program.

An Opportunity Zone is a low-income Census tract area identified as having the potential for investment and redevelopment with tax breaks for companies and individuals who invest there, either by building a business themselves or investing with others through a fund.

“Our team has been working on the Opportunity Zone concept since summer 2018,” Famuagun said. “We are very excited to acquire projects such as University Place into the fund.” — May 22, 2019 Acadiana Advocate article

Alpha Capital Partners – Nashville (Nashville, Tennessee) — The company is building a 300-unit apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Real estate investors from Pittsburgh and Chicago, buoyed by lucrative new tax breaks, have bought land in North Nashville for a major apartment development.

The 300-unit apartment complex is a fresh example of newcomer money flowing into some of Nashville’s lower-income urban areas. The investors are spurred by the federal Opportunity Zone program — which defers, reduces and even potentially eliminates taxes on capital gains tied to those areas.

In a joint venture, Pittsburgh-based Alpha Capital Partners and an affiliate of Chicago’s Brierhill Capital are pursuing the apartment development on the vacant 2.7-acre property at 1501 Herman St. The land is located between Fisk University, which used to own it, and Marathon Village, a revitalized former car factory now home to a collection of shops, restaurants and businesses such as Corsair Distillery and Antique Archaeology. The latter is owned by Mike Wolfe of History Channel’s “American Pickers.”

The Herman Street project is the first in the Opportunity Zone fund that Alpha Capital Partners created last fall (with a target of raising $250 million from investors, according to regulatory filings). The 2017 tax law that President Trump championed created the tax benefit.

In a press release, Alpha Capital touted the project’s location relative to Amazon’s forthcoming 5,000-job office hub at downtown’s Nashville Yards development, seen on the map below.

“The location of this project is a significant win given its proximity to affluent residential neighborhoods and modern retail concepts,” said Thomas McGahan, managing director of investments at Alpha Capital.

This appears to be Alpha Capital’s debut Nashville development.

Details such as the cost of the development, status of financing and construction timeline weren’t immediately clear. Metro approved a zoning change in December to allow for this type of project. Metro records indicate the developers have not yet applied for building permits.

“Alpha’s development and construction teams are up and running with project execution,” said Jide Famuagun, CEO of Alpha Capital Partners.

An affiliate of Brierhill Capital paid $4.5 million for the land in February. Company principals include Ben Kriger and Christopher Lefkovitz.

That purchase price is a 50 percent markup from what Nashville developer Richard Bacon, through his company Cottage Partners, paid for the land in mid-2018. Brierhill worked with Bacon to change the zoning for the site beyond buying it from him, Kriger said in an email.

Nashville’s Truxton Trust Co. loaned $2.7 million to Brierhill for the land purchase, according to public records. — April 2, 2019 Nashville Business Journal

Aviation Safety Resources (Stanford, Kentucky) — The company is moving their corporate headquarters to a new location within an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

In a move that signals an expanding national presence, Aviation Safety Resources, Inc., (ASR) announced that it will move its corporate headquarters to Stanford, Kentucky and open a new 12,000 square-foot manufacturing and assembly facility. The new facilities will create 12 new high-paying jobs this year and more than 40 full-time positions in the next three years.

ASR designs, tests and produces whole-aircraft emergency recovery parachute systems designed to safely bring down an entire aircraft and its occupants in the event of an in-air emergency. The company is poised to disrupt the market for whole-vehicle recovery systems with an innovative approach and new technologies that will revitalize, reinvent and transform aviation safety with a series of new products and engineering services.

“ASR is the first company to offer the next generation of vehicle recovery systems specifically designed to meet the safety needs of the emerging flying car market,” said Larry Williams, ASR president and CEO. “Our expansion into central Kentucky represents an important step in our continued growth and we are extremely proud of the talented team that will launch these new facilities.”

Lincoln County Judge-Executive Jim Adams said, “We are extremely excited that a company with such an innovative product and worldwide profile has chosen to locate its headquarters and final assembly operations in Lincoln County. ASR’s decision is a testament to the vibrant community and supportive business environment we’ve worked so hard to create. We can’t wait to welcome them to their new home.”

The ASR facilities will be located at the Lincoln Business Park and is scheduled to open in September 2019. The location is within a designated Opportunity Zone, a new federal community investment program that connects private capital with undercapitalized communities across America and offers significant federal tax benefits for investors.

George Leamon, executive director at the Stanford-Lincoln County Industrial Development Authority, said, “We are building strong relationships with a number of exciting industrial partners and have significant projects underway. The aviation and aerospace industries are key to Kentucky’s future, so this new Aviation Safety Resources’ facility is great news for Lincoln County residents and business community.”

The new jobs created include engineering, assembly and administrative positions. The ASR workforce consist of industry leading engineering professionals with extensive design-build experience in both parachutes and aircraft.

“We have been in conversations with city, county and state officials for many months now and are in the final stages of negotiating an incentive package, which has been key in our final decision,” Williams said. “Relocating our headquarters to Kentucky was a natural step as Kentucky has a very strong presence in the aerospace market. As we continue to invest in our company, we are confident this new location in Lincoln County will help us attract and retain top talent and provide a new and improved environment for all ASR employees, vendors and customers

“We look forward to working with the county judge-executive, the Stanford-Lincoln Industrial Development Authority and other community leaders as we embark on our next chapter of growth. We also want to thank the State EDC, Stanford-Lincoln IDA and the local business community as they continue to support the growth and investment in our manufacturing operations,” Williams added.

ASR continues to seek investors for its life-saving technology. — May 20, 2019 The Messenger Advocate article

Baker Hotel and Spa (Weatherford, Texas) — The hotel’s designation in an Opportunity Zone helped spur a renovation project at the hotel:

If you were among those who thought renovation of the long-closed, deteriorating and often vandalized Baker Hotel would never happen – one of the project’s development leaders was admittedly right there with you at times.

“Hell, I was a naysayer for a period of time,” Laird Fairchild told the Mineral Wells Index in a special interview Tuesday inside the lobby of the hotel that by early Thursday afternoon should be in the hands of Baker Hotel Holdings LP.

“The resurrection of The Baker would not be possible without the overwhelming support of the citizens of Mineral Wells,” said Patton, also in a press release. “From the start, they have been very vocal in their belief that this project would be a cornerstone in the redevelopment of downtown. The City government worked tirelessly with our team to put in place a public-private partnership that made sense for everyone. We also must thank Governor Abbott for designating this project and a majority of downtown Mineral Wells as an Opportunity Zone. That designation was the linchpin that helped pull all this together and make this long-term investment possible. This project is a substantial commitment that greatly enhances the renaissance of this wonderful city.” — June 20, 2019 The Weatherford Democrat article

Benson Hill Biosystems (St. Louis, Missouri) — The company is expanding and moving headquarters in order to be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Throughout the region, developers with projects in eligible areas, known as Opportunity Zones, are using the new tax break provision to raise more money. At the same time, those developers say, the program is helping attract new investors to St. Louis.

Yet right next door, the 136-room Fairfield Inn and Suites, being developed by Equis Hotels, is using an Opportunity Zone fund. In Creve Coeur’s 39 North plant science district, Larry Chapman’s Seneca Commercial Real Estate is, too, as part of the $52 million future headquarters of Benson Hill Biosystems. Lawrence Group’s City Foundry project has also used the new provision to raise capital for the Midtown entertainment and office development. — January 11, 2020 St. Louis Post-Dispatch article

Blue Ocean (Baltimore, Maryland) — The developer is building an apartment complex located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Maryland-based developer Blue Ocean has announced its acquisition of The Middle River Depot, located in Eastern Baltimore County, Maryland. Middle River Depot is the largest industrial building in the state of Maryland, and is an expansive and historically significant property.

CBRE’s Mid Atlantic Institutional Group oversaw the sale of the 2-million-square-foot project to Blue Ocean. “Although there continues to be massive amounts of national, institutional capital flowing into industrial investments in the Mid-Atlantic region, this opportunity was acquired by a local investor who understands the strategic nature of the location, and who will work closely with the community to create value,” said Executive Vice President Bo Cashman of CBRE.

At nearly 2 million square feet, the facility is slated to become one of the largest Real Estate Opportunity Zone developments in the Mid-Atlantic and is expected to spur economic development and create thousands of jobs. A MARC train station is located within a couple hundred yards of the property, creating a transit-oriented and sustainable commercial real estate development that is rare in Baltimore County. — September 27, 2019 Blue Ocean press release

Brandywine Realty Trust (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) — The company is building a mixed-use space in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Brandywine Realty Trust opened Drexel Square, a $14.3 million park that will serve as the cornerstone of Schuylkill Yards, an ambitious 6.9-million-square-foot mixed-use community under development at the front door of University City.

The 1.3-acre park is the first phase of Schuylkill Yards, which Brandywine is developing in partnership with Drexel University. Its completion sets the tone for what the developer is hoping to accomplish with the project.

“Schuylkill Yards is a large-scale development, but it’s really about changing the existing perception of University City and Philadelphia,” said Jerry Sweeney, CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust, in an interview with the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Drexel Square was built on a dingy surface parking lot that was the first impression of University City for the millions of people who use 30th Street Station each year; in that way, Drexel Square is an initial step to alter perceptions.

The 12,064-square-foot elevated space has 23 redwood trees, raised planter beds and pathways that represent the meridians of the globe, symbolizing the connections Schuylkill Yards aims to create while also serving as ways to navigate the park. The space, which can accommodate 500 people, was designed by West8 and Shop Architects.

“We wanted to create a durable wow effect,” Sweeney said. “We want people to walk out of the train station and say, ‘Wow!’ ”

John Fry, president of Drexel University, said few developers would take what amounts to an extremely valuable piece of property, one that could easily accommodate a 50-story building, and instead create a public space. “It says a lot about our collective vision,” he said.

With the park finished, next up for Schuylkill Yards is the $43.3 million completion of the redevelopment of the former Bulletin building. Spark Therapeutics will occupy office and lab space in that structure and will be fully moved in by the end of the year. The first floor will house 35,000 square feet of retail space and several tenants are under consideration, including a food hall.

The next two projects Brandywine will focus on involve securing anchor tenants to fill one-third of a proposed 800,000-square-foot office tower and constructing a building that will have 325 apartments and creative office space. That second tower could start as early as next year since demand for apartments remains strong, Sweeney said. Longer-range, Brandywine plans to build a 300,000- to 400,000-square-foot life science building. It has partnered with Longfellow Real Estate Partners of Boston on that project.

Schuylkill Yards sits in a Keystone Opportunity Zone as well as a Federal Opportunity Zone, giving tenants tax breaks and another enticement to move into one of its office buildings. While those benefits are attractive, Sweeney said one of the biggest lures is its proximity to 30th Street Station. — June 11, 2019 Philadelphia Business Journal article


BrightFarms (Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania) — The company is building a greenhouse that will grow food year round in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Ground was broken Monday for a greenhouse that will grow food in water.

Abby Prior, BrightFarms vice president of marketing, said the hydroponic greenhouse will use ponds to grow produce year round. Climate control will be key.

“We control the temperature, the humidity and, to some extent, we can control the light,” Prior said. “We do use some artificial light and we use shades when we need shade.”

Four acres will be developed for growing space with a single acre used for packing, cooling and shipping. Baby greens, salad greens such as spring mix, and herbs will be grown there.

Though it is an indoor operation, the plants may attract insects. They will be controlled without pesticides.

“We use something called integrated pest management,” Prior said. “If we have a bug, we bring in another bug that eats or kills that other bug to control the pests in the greenhouse.”

Eric Lallum, vice president of construction, said the area off Route 522, west of Selinsgrove, was ideal.

“We look for areas where we can orient the site so the greenhouse faces south,” Lallum said. “That gives us the maximum sun, and it is as flat as we can get it.”

The produce will be packed on site and ready to market at all Giant Food Stores. An officer with the Carlisle-based food store was glad to hear of the greenhouse’s establishment.

“We are very excited,” said John Ruane, Giant Food Stores chief merchandising officer. “We’ve been doing business with BrightFarms for many years. We have a great partnership. This just makes it even more local for us.”

The property was designated as a 10-year Keystone Opportunity Zone, which Lallum called an incentive. Low-interest loans offered by the state also are being pursued. — May 22, 2019 The News-Item article

Block 216 (Portland, Oregon) — A company is building an apartment building in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Developers of a mammoth downtown tower are betting their ultra-high-end building will fetch condo prices and hotel room rates unprecedented in Portland.

Block 216, a proposed 35-story structure at Southwest Ninth Avenue and Alder Street, will cost about $600 million to build, making it one of the most expensive single-building projects in the city’s history.

Developers say the new building will bring a new level of luxury to Portland. Ironically, investors in the project will benefit from hefty tax breaks under a federal Opportunity Zone program intended to stimulate investment in poor neighborhoods. — August 10, 2019 The Oregonian article


BTI Partners (Hollywood, Florida) — The firm is building an apartment building that is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The 25-story Parc Place was originally approved for Hollywood-based MG3 Developer Group in October 2018. The 3.24-acre site is now under contract to Fort Lauderdale-based BTI Partners, led by veteran commercial developer Noah Breakstone.

The project would rise at 1727-1745 Van Buren St., 1700-1716 Harrison St., and 1740-1760 South Young Circle. It would replace the “Hollywood Bread” building, an 11-story structure that has been shuttered for years.

The project is in an Opportunity Zone, which could create significant tax savings for the developer. — October 9, 2019 South Florida Business Journal article


Carmel Partners Inc. (Los Angeles, California) — The company is converting the building into an apartment complex with 1,210 residential units, located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

On the edge of West Adams, Cumulus is rising. Developer Carmel Partners Inc.’s project sits on 11 acres at the corner of Jefferson and La Cienega boulevards near the Expo Line.
Cumulus is slated to have a 31-story high-rise and a seven-story mid-rise building, with a combined 1,210 residential units.
The property is the former site of a Cumulus Media Inc. radio station.
“There’s a nod to that history,” said Dan Garibaldi, Carmel Partners’ managing partner of development and construction, citing the project and buildings’ names, as well as an on-site recording studio.
The 31-story ARQ tower, designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz & Associates Inc., is scheduled to start leasing this summer, with residents able to start moving in this September.
The seven-story VOX building, designed by TCA Architects, is expected to open in spring 2021.
Garibaldi said the location was a huge plus.
“It’s at the crossroads of Culver City and West Adams. It’s surrounded by the Hayden Tract and the Culver City Arts District. There’s a lot of fast-growing tech, media and entertainment, but there’s not a lot of housing there, and the Cumulus provides a lot of housing,” he said.
Garibaldi said he anticipates that Cumulus will help create a greater sense of community in the area.
The amenity-rich project will have coworking spaces, a recording studio, spas and pools.
The development’s 100,000 square feet of retail will be anchored by a Whole Foods store, which is expected to open in fall 2021.
Garibaldi said the project was “in the middle of the lease up process” and would be curating fast-casual to higher-end dining options, coffee shops, fitness centers and retailers.
Active West Adams
West Adams is home to a plethora of developments. CIM Group has filed plans for a large number of projects in the area, including a mixed-use site with 69 residential units and 6,000 square feet of retail at 5109 W. Adams Blvd.
CIM owns at least 40 sites in the area, said Jeff Gerlach, a vice president at CBRE Group Inc.
“They, over the last couple of years, have been buying up small sites here and there, and are now in the stages of building everything out,” he said. “CIM really is controlling this whole project and this whole area. Their master plan and their vision is to create an Abbot Kinney- or a Highland Park-esque retail destination.”
Gerlach added that there was high demand for office space in the area, too.
“The reason we’re seeing this is largely because of the Westside office dynamic,” he said. “There’s very high rental rates and very limited amounts of space. West Adams has become this outlet for this demand for space and companies looking for space that’s a little bit more affordable and still centrally located. It’s on everybody’s radar now. In the last 12 months, it’s gone through some pretty significant changes.”
Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. Vice President Christian Kasparian agreed.
“Between Culver City, the Westside and downtown L.A., prices in terms of office space, retail space, everything continues to go up. West Adams has been an affordable pocket for the time being. You have housing which is one of the more affordable locations within L.A., making this area very attractive to employers and employees,” he said.
Public transit in the area is also attractive, market observers say, with the Expo Line and the upcoming Crenshaw Line.
“Developers are trying to take advantage of being a transit-oriented area and all the incentives,” Kasparian said.
Part of the reason development is happening so quickly is that West Adams is in an opportunity zone. The zones aim to increase development in economically distressed areas by allowing investors to defer taxes on capital gains. — March 23, 2020 Los Angeles Business Journal article


CapStone Holdings (St. Louis, Missouri) — The company will be opening a food hall, theater, and offices in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A Florida investor announced Tuesday it had acquired a $40 million stake in Midtown’s City Foundry development, a $210 million renovation of the former Federal Mogul industrial site into a food hall, theater and offices.
The announcement from investor CapStone Holdings comes as the project, spearheaded by the Lawrence Group’s Steve Smith, approaches an anticipated summer opening after more than four years of planning and construction.
“St. Louis is ready for this unique kind of experience and we are extremely pleased to have CapStone as a key funding partner in assisting us realize our vision,” Smith, principal owner of City Foundry, said in a statement.
CapStone is headed by Keith J. Stone and focuses on investing in real estate and high-growth opportunity technology firms and financial tech startups.
“The significant buzz that is building among the business community, the excitement among residents and the national attention this and other projects are generating for St. Louis all confirm the factors leading to our partnership in City Foundry,” Stone said in a statement.
City Foundry, long an abandoned factory visible from Highway 40 (Interstate 64) is located in an Opportunity Zone, a designation created by the 2017 federal tax law that offers tax benefits to real estate investors. City Foundry was able to use the zone to raise capital for the project. St. Louis has also approved $19.4 million in tax increment financing assistance for the huge redevelopment. — March 4, 2020 St. Louis Post-Dispatch article

Canyon Partners Real Estate LLC and Fore Property (Orlando, Florida) — The real estate company is building a new apartment community in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Canyon Partners Real Estate LLC and Fore Property have formed a joint venture to develop 19 South, a 384-unit apartment community here. Canyon invested $29.8 million of equity into this project, which is located within a qualified opportunity zone. Construction is slated to begin in March 2020 and achieve completion by May 2022.

A spokesperson for Fore tells that 19 South is a 4-story, wood-framed development that is LEED-designed and will feature two resort-style courtyard pools, a modern arcade and gaming area, a 24-hour fitness center, an outdoor park area, as well as a fitness trail. — January 23, 2020 GlobeSt.Com article

Capital Square (Richmond, Virginia) — The company invested in a 350-unit multifamily community:

“RICHMOND, VA – Capital Square, a leading sponsor of tax-advantaged real estate investments, announced the launch of CSRA/GS Opportunity Zone V, LLC. The project-specific opportunity zone fund is raising capital to develop 1601 Roseneath Road, a 350-unit multifamily community with ground-floor retail space, in the Scott’s Addition designated opportunity zone in Richmond, Virginia. CSRA/GS Opportunity Zone V, LLC seeks to raise $32,396,000 in equity from accredited investors.  “Capital Square is thrilled to enter this joint venture with Greystar Real Estate Partners to develop a Class A, mixed-use multifamily community in Scott’s Addition,” said Louis Rogers, founder and chief executive officer. “Greystar is the largest property manager in the nation as well as a top 10 builder and owner of apartment communities.” — March 4, 2020 MutltifamilyBiz article

Caliber (Phoenix, Arizona) — The company is building a behavioral health clinic that will be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Caliber-The Wealth Development Company has closed a deal as the property owner and developer of a 62,592-square-foot behavioral health clinic in downtown Phoenix. The 96-bed facility will be occupied by Dr. Cameron Gilbert and his company, Medical Behavioral Hospital of Phoenix LLC., and will care for patients struggling with medical and psychiatric conditions. Caliber purchased the facility, located near 14th Street and McDowell Road, for $10 million and will complete $9.5 million of renovations in the next year. 

“This is a great example of how opportunity zones can truly make a positive impact on communities by enabling projects that are profitable, yet otherwise may not have attracted traditional funding,” said Chris Loeffler, CEO and co-founder of Caliber-The Wealth Development Company. “The clinic is expected to bring 80 high-income jobs into downtown Phoenix and, more importantly, serve a population in desperate need for advanced care.” 

The clinic is the fourth investment to be included in the Caliber Tax Advantaged Opportunity Zone Fund, LP. and is one of the first healthcare opportunity zone properties across the country. Over the past year, Caliber has emerged as an industry-leading expert in opportunity zones and its Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund (QOF) has raised more than $40 million since its launch in Q4 2018. The fund is open to investment of short- and long-term capital gains, providing significant tax savings to investors, and is expected to reach its $500 million goal within two years. — August 7, 2019 AZ Big Media article

Capital Square (Charleston, South Carolina) — The real estate firm will be building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

National real estate firm Capital Square has announced the launch of CSRA Opportunity Zone Fund IV. The project-specific opportunity zone fund is raising capital to develop 529 King Street, a 50-unit, luxury apartment hotel and retail property within a designated opportunity zone in Charleston’s historic King Street corridor.

The fund seeks to raise $7.7 million in equity from investors and has a minimum investment of $100,000. Plans for the development include a five-story structure with 50 apartment hotel units, 4,218 square feet of street-level retail space, a rooftop lounge open to the public and a fitness center, library and co-working space on each floor.

The project will be co-developed with development, management, hospitality and design firm the Method Company. The finished property will operate under Method’s ROOST Apartment Hotel brand. — January 21, 2020 Connect Atlanta article

CAVU Aerospace (Mesa, Arizona) — The aerospace company is opening an aircraft component repair facility in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

CAVU Aerospace Inc. is opening a $5 million aircraft component repair facility in Mesa, with plans to hire up to 75 employees.

The Stuttgart, Arkansas-based aerospace company, which focuses on end-of-service aircraft dismantling, engine repair and aerospace maintenance, was founded in 2010.

Component repair is a new business for the company, and Mesa will be the first of this facility for the company, said Ken Kocialski, CAVU Aerospace’s managing partner.

“We’re very excited to get this operation started,” said Kocialski, who has lived in Chandler since the 1980s and will work out of the new facility. “This will bring our operation full circle.”

A Los Angeles-based investment firm purchased the 20 acres of land in an opportunity zone for $2.25 million in February. — August 1, 2019 Phoenix Business Journal article

Claiborne County, Mississippi — Over 30,000 jobs are coming to to the Mississippi county because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

A stretch of economic development on the verge of breaking in Claiborne County could eventually create more than twice as many jobs than the counties current population.

In 2017 under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress and signed by President Trump low income urban and rural areas could receive special attention for investors and businesses to develop and create jobs and get federal tax deductions. Now Claiborne County is next in line.

Out of 100 areas declared “opportunity zones”, Claiborne County is taking advantage to seek big changes.


Leading the charge to be the first to move in is Houston Engineering Services Company, (HESCO)looking to bring the liquidating natural gas (LNG) business along the Mississippi River.

“It’s taking natural gas and liquefying it to below -260 degrees Fahrenheit,” HESCO CEO Monte Burton stated. “Allowing it to be turned into a liquid state which allows it to be transported.”

Burton expects to have his company break ground on building the plant west of Alcorn State by January requiring up to 1,000 construction jobs alone. But many question if the community can handle that production.


Following HESCO the County Chamber expect more plants and companies to follow totaling 6400 acres of industrial space filled around the southwestern Claiborne County region estimating 30,000 new jobs when finished. — August 16, 2019 WJTV Article

Catalyst Opportunity Funds (Bozeman, Montana) — The company is investing in a workforce-attainable apartment complex:

Catalyst Opportunity Funds has launched its first three investments. The projects are located in Salt Lake City and Bozeman, Montana, and represent a total investment of $28 million. The projects include Industry SLC and Pickle and Hide in Salt Lake City, which will transform outdated industrial properties into creative office and retail, and in Bozeman, Catalyst is investing in a 60-unit workforce-attainable apartment complex.

“We positioned the fund to be an impact investment fund that is focused on getting market-rate or even better than market-rate returns for investors while identifying opportunities where our investment can have an impact in the low-income communities where we are investing,” Jeremy Keele, managing partner at Catalyst, tells “The thesis is to identify markets throughout the country that have historically been under invested and finding high-impact projects that are supported by the local community.”

All of the projects will work to revitalize blighted communities, ensuring the social impact component of the opportunity zone legislation is met. “The first three projects are all in the mountain west, and all three really focused on workforce affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization,” says Keele. “We are taking dilapidated, rundown, industrial neighborhoods and working with sponsors that know the neighborhoods well to create product that is geared toward bringing the neighborhood back to life through investment and infrastructure.” — February 10, 2020 GlobeSt.Com article

Central Southwest Development LLC (Dallas, Texas) — The company is building a storage unit in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

One of Dallas’ first Opportunity Zone developments will be a new self-storage center west of downtown Dallas.

Central Southwest Texas Development LLC is building the project on Lone Star Drive near Interstate 30 in West Dallas. The 141,950-square-foot self-storage center will be on a 2.4-acre site that is in one of the more than a dozen federally designated Dallas Opportunity Zones that qualify for special tax breaks.

New businesses and investments in the targeted census tracts get deferred capital gains and other beneficial tax treatment. — November 13, 2019 Dallas Morning News article

Clay Street Commons (Nashville, Tennessee) — The group is building 60 apartments along with retail space, in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A trio of developers has paid $2.3 million for land in North Nashville, where they aim to build 60 apartments and some retail space.

The group, operating as Clay Street Commons LLC, now owns a pair of roughly 0.56-acre properties on opposite sides of Ninth Avenue North, according to new public records. The land is two blocks from Buchanan Street, home to Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria, which has become a landmark on what is one of the commercial gateways in the historically black neighborhood.

Steve Armistead, a principal in the development group, estimated the development would cost roughly $12 million. In an interview, he described two buildings that would mirror each other, on 1919 Ninth Ave. N. and 1928 Ninth Ave. N.

“We’re looking to hit a price point that works with the local community and also services demand from the workforce in MetroCenter, downtown Nashville and elsewhere,” Armistead said. “It brings a little density to that area, but it will be very thoughtfully done.”

Armistead is a founding principal at Brentwood-based Armistead Arnold Pollard Real Estate Services LLC. In the 1990s, he was among the first to spot the potential to transform a derelict rail yard into the Gulch, which is today Nashville’s most metropolitan urban neighborhood.

Others involved in the development include: Tim Morris, a principal at Academy Development Partners in the Washington, D.C., area, and Jared Bradley, who owns several Nashville companies, including The Bradley Development Group, The Bradley Projects and Certified Construction Services.

The same group is under construction on a 38-unit townhome development at 2400 21st Ave. S., named Linden Row. Unlike that project, the apartment development planned in North Nashville sits in an Opportunity Zone — which makes the developers eligible for unprecedented federal tax breaks in exchange for long-term investments in historically low-income areas.

The Opportunity Zone benefits have drawn a number of new developers into North Nashville. “This is my first time really making a full commitment to North Nashville,” Armistead said.

He added that Opportunity Zone tax breaks didn’t spark his group’s interest. “That is not what’s driving this, though it happens to be a part of it,” he said. “This was really more driven by creating housing units that fall more toward the ‘affordable’ range. Opportunity Zones just happen to be a benefit years down the road.” — November 6, 2019 Nashville Business Journal article

Carneys Point Township (Carneys Point, New Jersey) — The township is building a warehouse in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A 1.284 million square foot warehouse complex is coming to Carneys Point Township. The deal, signed at the end of March, will be one of the many projects on tap for the Salem County town. Although the tenant utilizing the warehouse has not been finalized, the warehouse is expected to create as many as 500 jobs.

The rural town of 7,100 is located in the state’s least populated county, which struggles with high unemployment figures (6.3% in February compared to the state’s average of 4.7%) and low household income of about $52,800 on average.

The warehouse will be close to the McLane Distribution Center, a Wawa fulfillment center located on the westbound side of Route 40 that has already expanded multiple times. Plans include installing a traffic light at Courses Landing Road at Route 40, an intersection that’s been a problem area for years, according to Carneys Point Township Mayor Ken Brown

“What really makes me happy is everybody in our government in our township worked together on this project,” said Brown. “From our codes people to our committee people, to our office personnel, to

our attorneys, and everybody else with one focus: To get this job done and bring jobs to our town.”

New Jersey-based Arbok Partners and Panattoni Development Company will build the warehouse. Both companies and the partnership specialize in industrial development.

Bo Farkas, who oversees all acquisition and development opportunities for Arbok Partners, said searching for potential areas for development is like trying to find “diamonds in the rough.” Carneys Point fit the bill for the warehouse project. The area is minutes from the New Jersey Turnpike, close to the last exit before heading over the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

“One of the things that New Jersey has a shortage of are big box distribution buildings, especially those in the one million square feet size range. That was the main impetus for seeking out larger sites like the one in Carneys Point.”

Carneys Point is one of two Salem County municipalities designated as an opportunity zone, an initiative the state says tries to bring more development and economic opportunities to urban and rural areas. — April 7, 2019 South Jersey Times article

Clearday Inc. (San Antonio, Texas) — The company acquired a medical building property, which they plan to renovate and reopen, which was made possible because of the Opportunity Zone program:

“Clearday, Inc., a leading innovator in longevity care and wellness services, has made the first Opportunity Zone (OZ) investment in San Antonio District 10. With the investment, totaling a minimum of $3.2 million, Clearday has acquired and is transforming the medical building property located at 8800 Village Drive, adjacent to the Northeast Baptist Hospital campus. Upon completion of the building renovation, Clearday will consolidate its corporate headquarters – as well as those of its Memory Care America subsidiary and other affiliate businesses – at the site.” — February 21, 2020 Business Wire article

Cobblestone Inn and Suites (Brookville, Indiana) — The hotel opened up in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Brookville, IN—Thursday, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Cobblestone Inn and Suites was held in Brookville on the future site, located at 9135 US 101.

Jenny Wilz, Major investor of Cobbles Stone Inn and Suites stated that the venture was all started when Tourism conducted a feasibility study for the community to see if Brookville and Franklin County could support the need for a hotel and then an opportunity zone grant became available. This is when Jenny Wilz along with her husband Mick, of Brookville, started to express their interest in investing in a hotel for the town.

Cobblestone came for a visit to Brookville in January of 2019 to look for sights. The final site was not on the original list of sites for the hotel, but it became the perfect option according to Wilz.

According to Brian Wogernese, President and CEO of Cobblestone Hotels, the Brookville location will be a 2 story, 45 room facility. The entrance will be in the center of that facility. Other amenities will include overflow parking for boats, a gift shop for forgotten items, and a bar with hot breakfast daily. Currently, the hotel is slated to open in early July of 2020. — October 25, 2019 WRBI article

Columbia Ventures LLC (Jacksonville, Florida) — The company is converting a warehouse into 200 affordable apartment units in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A $50 million plan to transform the Union Terminal Warehouse into 200 affordable apartment units is set to begin in June, assuming the city provides about $4.5 million in incentives, the project’s lender told the Business Journal.
Atlanta-based Columbia Ventures LLC bought the 330,000-square-foot warehouse for $4.6 million in 2018, financing the purchase with a $4.5 million loan from the Local Initiative Support Corporation.
LISC Real Estate and Lending Officer Chuck Shealy told the Business Journal on March 12 that the developers planned a project costing around $50 million that would include 200 apartment units and 30,000 square feet of “commercial creative/maker space.” Apartments would rent at affordable to workforce rates, tiers pegged to the area’s median income.
LISC, which focuses on projects that produce affordable housing, often provides bridge loans and other flexible lending options to projects in the downtown area.
“A good portion of the building was occupied by artists, photographers, wood workers – craftsmen of those types,” said Shealy. “They want to keep that element in the project.”
The developers expect to start construction in June, Shealy said. Columbia Ventures Managing Partner Dillon Baynes did not return a call for comment Monday.
Columbia’s secured funding, which, among other items, includes money from LISC and the tax shelter benefits of an opportunity zone, is about $4.5 million short of the project’s budget, Shealy said. The company plans to ask the city for that sum, he said.
The eight-acre parcel at 648 and 700 E. Union St. is just outside of downtown’s northern boundary, so the request will be made to the Office of Economic Development, rather than the Downtown Investment Authority. That request has not yet been made. — March 30, 2020 Jacksonville Business Journal article

Commonwealth Utilities Corporation (Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands) —

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced Friday that the Departments Economic Development Administration is awarding a $1.7 million grant to the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. on Saipan to assist with the construction of a new water filtration system. The EDA grant, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $431,604 in local funds and is expected to help create 370 jobs and generate $110 million in private investment.

The Trump administration is committed to helping U.S. territories recover and rebuild after natural disasters, said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. These critical infrastructure improvements will support Saipan’s efforts in creating new jobs and spurring economic growth.” — February 18, 2020 Trade Arabia article

Community Builders Of Kansas City (Kansas City, Missouri) — The company will build a multifamily development in Kansas City located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Community Builders of Kansas City will develop The Rochester on Blue Parkway, the first market-rate, multifamily development east of Prospect Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri, in generations.

The 81,400-square-foot, $12.6 million project, one of the first announced in a Kansas City-area Opportunity Zone, will have 64 residential units across four stories.

“The Rochester brings a residential option to this corridor that does not now exist,” said Emmet Pierson, Jr., president and chief executive officer of CBKC. —  April 1, 2020 RE Journals article

Connect Outdoors, Inc. (Johnson City, Tennessee) — An outdoor technology and analytics business is moving to the city and will be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

According to the Mastered in Tennessee website, there are currently four Opportunity Zone projects in the Tri-Cities area. The projects, business type, and value are:

Connect Outdoors, Inc. – Johnson City – $1 million. This operating business is in the outdoor recreation, technology, and analytics sector. The firm’s website announces itself and an online platform connection user to the outdoors by using data, technology and unique experiences. — Nov. 22, 2019, DonFenly.Com Article.

Crane Development (Toledo, Ohio) — The local real estate development company established Library Square Opportunity Fund to acquire and reposition four blighted and distressed three-story buildings in downtown Toledo:

The buildings will be transformed into a vibrant mixed-use corridor with ten residential units and four new commercial spaces. The $1.75MM OZ project has attracted $500,000 of equity from accredited investors and provides the added benefit of Ohio’s Opportunity Zone Income Tax Credit which gives investors a 10% return during the construction period. The project was awarded US-EPA assessment grant funds and will utilize facade grants through a City of Toledo program funded by CDBG. Library Square will also apply for a CRA tax abatement which will protect the buildings from property tax increases resulting from the improvements for the next twelve years. Renovations have commenced and the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. Many Toledo neighborhoods, including downtown, have experienced decline resulting from disinvestment over the last twenty years, leading to a poverty rate almost twice the national average. The Opportunity Zone program incentives have driven investment into the City of Toledo and will make a tangible impact on job growth and the revitalization of downtown. — May 20, 2020, Crane Development statement

Crown Royal Developers (Van Nuys, California) — The developer is building an apartment complex for extremely low-income residents located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Local firm Crown Royal Developers has filed plans for a 71-unit apartment complex in Van Nuys, with eight units set aside for extremely low-income residents.

The Beverly Hills-based company wants to build the 78-foot complex at 14518-14526 Erwin Street, just west of Van Nuys Boulevard, according to plans filed with the Los Angeles City Planning Department. The site is located in a federal Opportunity Zone, which provides tax incentives for long-term investors who pour money into projects in distressed areas. The Treasury Department just opened an investigation into the program, following media stories that raised questions about who was benefiting from the program.

Crown filed its plans with Santa Monica-based architecture firm Minarc through an LLC. The signatory is Asaf Glazer, president of Crown Royal Developers.

Van Nuys has seen some activity in the affordable housing arena lately. In September, prolific affordable housing developer Skid Row Housing Trust announced plans to expand into Van Nuys, with a 64-unit apartment building for low-income or very low-income tenants.

California and L.A. in particular continue to grapple with the lack of affordable housing. Gov. Gavin Newson recently threatened to withhold state transportation funds from municipalities if they fail to meet new housing production targets. — January 16, 2020 The Real Deal article

Custom Container Solutions (Milton, Pennsylvania) — The steel container company moved to central Pennsylvania and is creating 100 new jobs in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

MILTON, Pa. — The state has designated an old industrial site in central Pennsylvania as a Keystone Opportunity Zone and now nearly 100 jobs are coming to an old factory that had been shut down.

The plant in Northumberland County has been vacant and collecting dust for the past decade, but starting next year, it will help create almost 100 jobs in central Pennsylvania.

The old manufacturing plant in Milton Industrial Park will be up and running next year. The building has sat vacant since 2008 but will soon be home to Custom Container Solutions, a company that makes steel containers.

“It checks almost every box in our wish list, and so now our team is excited to have closed on the property, and we are moving forward with fitting out the equipment and starting to hire people,” said Todd Vonderheid of Custom Container Solutions. — October 21, 2019 ABC 16 article

D3 Development (Durham, North Carolina) — The company is transforming a textile mill into an apartment complex with multiple restaurants in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Work is underway on a development to transform a desolate, decrepit former textile mill into a residential showplace and turn a sleepy small town into a popular destination.

Mike Hill, CEO of D3 Development, told Triad Business Journal that the tricky financing process was finalized last month. Crews are busy in the early stages of creating 176 apartments and two restaurant spaces at Granite Mill, 122 E. Main St. in Haw River.

Hill said D3 closed on financing March 7. General contractor C.T. Wilson of Durham estimated the cost of producing the apartments and a “cold, dark shell” for the future restaurants at $29 million. D3 estimates a $38.9 million total cost for the 296,811-square foot project on 12.4 acres on the banks of the Haw River.

“We’re off and running on this project,” Hill said. “A lot is happening already.”

D3 is best known as the developer of the highly acclaimed American Tobacco mixed-use project in Durham, a $200 million-plus rehabilitation of a Lucky Strike cigarette factory into 850,000 square feet of offices, housing units, restaurants and recreational facilities.

Asbestos cleanup at Granite Mill started late in 2018. Tasks underway now involve grading, roofing, plumbing and window restoration. The facility, used to produce corduroy by Cone Mills, includes nine brick buildings and two others with metal skins, varying from two to six stories with an assortment of sizes and styles of brick and windows.

With several high-profile projects under his belt, including the $48.5 million Durham Performing Arts Center and the $18.5 million Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Hill said he opted against a formal groundbreaking, waiting instead for a ribbon cutting when the project is completed.

Following an “aggressive” schedule, Hill said the plan is for the apartments to be ready for occupancy before the end of 2019.

“Everybody has bought into that objective,” he said, adding that D3’s Lofts at the White Furniture renovation in Mebane followed a similar timeline.

Trivest McNeil Real Estate, which manages the White Furniture property, will also be the manager at Granite Mill.

Hill and his partners are investors in the project. The state also awarded a $5 million grant to the town of Haw River, which is making a $4.875 million loan to the project and spending $125,000 for parking improvements and a public river walk on the east bank of the river.

Hill said other financing will come from a U.S. Housing and Urban Development construction and permanent loan; federal historic tax credits; state of North Carolina mill credits; and a tax credit bridge loan. The project is also eligible for federal Opportunity Zone tax benefits.

Hill said much of his upcoming focus will be on finding tenants for the 15,000 square feet of restaurant space along East Main Street.

“The restaurants are important,” Hill said, acknowledging the need for attractions for residents and foundations to spur further development in the area. “I have to get going on it.” — April 18, 2019 Triad Business Journal article

Davcon Aviation, LLC and Mesa Hangar, LLC (Mesa, Arizona) — The companies are planning to add 20 hangars to Mesa’s Falcon Field Airport that will include office space, located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Mesa’s Falcon Field Airport, known for its rich history and as a major economic engine for the city, is adding at least 20 hangars to accommodate its growing clientele.

The municipal airport, which serves private and military aircraft, announced last week that it’s preparing for a 23-acre development — complete with ancillary offices and manufacturing spaces.

Davcon Aviation, LLC, and Mesa Hangar, LLC, will construct the phased project on more than 1 million square feet of vacant city land on the northwest side of the airport.

“We are really excited about it,” said airport Director Corinne Nystrom. “One of our big missions has been to finish developing the airport with a strong presence of hangars and aviation businesses and this is exactly what we’ve been looking for. It’s a big win for mesa.”

The land will be leased for 40 years, and the initial design concept estimates that the hangars will range from 5,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet.

The number and size of the hangars will vary, depending on the preferences of the new tenants, and will offer high ceilings and wide doors.

The hangars will seek to accommodate corporate jets and specialized fixed-wing and helicopter uses, explained Lynn Spencer, airport economic development project manager.

“One of the things that is so exciting about getting the new hangars is that a lot of the inventory will allow us to have a new stock of facilities that can attract a different variety of businesses and size aircrafts,” she said.

“This is going to allow for more potential businesses and jobs to come here,” Spencer added.

The project is anticipated to cost more than $30 million, but because the airport is self-sustaining, it won’t be dipping into any of the city’s general fund.

The U.S. Treasury Department designated Falcon Field as an “opportunity zone,” meaning it’s an economically-distressed community where new investments could be eligible for preferential tax treatment.

Opportunity Zones are designed to spur economic development and job creation, according to the federal Internal Revenue Service website. — May 20, 2019 East Valley Tribune article

Dora Hospitality Group (Indianapolis, Indiana) — The company is bringing a new hotel that will be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The new owner of the iconic King Cole building at 1 N. Meridian St. plans to turn the 104-year-old edifice into a hotel, following the lead of several other downtown building owners.

On the heels of the King Cole news came an announcement from Fishers-based Dora Hospitality Group that it’s teaming up with the owner of Shapiro’s Delicatessen to build a 118room, six-story Intercontinental-branded hotel on the south side of downtown at Meridian and Sycamore streets.

Details about the King Cole project are scarce, but plans filed with the city describe the project as “King Cole building hotel,” and a renovation permit issued by the city notes interior demolition.

The building owner is Indy Propeo LLC, which bought the building in January from West Coast Properties LLC for $3.9 million.

Several tenants of the 11-story, 1915 building told IBJ they have either already moved out or have been asked to vacate by the building’s owner.

The building owner’s address is the same as the Chicago address for The Gettys Group, a hospitality-industry developer that works with more than a dozen hotel brands, including Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt, Radisson and Holiday Inn.

The Gettys Group declined to comment about the King Cole project.

The hotel to be built across from Shapiro’s Delicatessen by Dora and Shapiro will mark the debut of InterContinental Hotels Group’s Even Hotels brand in Indianapolis.

To be completed in fall 2020, the hotel is being built on land owned by the Shapiro family. The land is part of an Opportunity Zone established by the state, a designation that will provide tax breaks to the investors.

Developers say the hotel will offer a full gym, a glass enclosed media and meeting room, a piano, and wellness amenities. It also will have an open-air bar and what it calls an “unplugged area,” where guests can play board games as well as eat and drink. — August 30, 2019 Indianapolis Business Journal article

East Coast Kombucha (South Norwalk, Connecticut) — The kombucha brewery is setting up shop in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

After plans fizzled last year for a brewery adjacent to the SoNo Ice House skating rink, a kombucha startup has identified a new location in South Norwalk.

East Coast Kombucha is now listing its planned brewery operation at the Chestnut Street building that once housed Pac-Kit Safety Equipment, which assembled first-aid kits there prior to its 2011 sale to Fairfield-based Acme United which subsequently moved the operation to Washington.

Last year, East Coast Kombucha began the process needed to secure city approval for a brewery on Wilson Avenue in an enclave of brick buildings next to SoNo Ice House but did not move forward, with co-founder Steve Gaskin telling Hearst Connecticut Media at the time that the company was no longer searching for space in Norwalk.

East Coast Kombucha now lists its address as 57 Chestnut St. in South Norwalk, both on its Facebook page and in a job advertisement it posted last week seeking a kombucha brewer, with the fizzy drink produced through the addition of yeast and bacteria to tea.

The property at 57 Chestnut St. was purchased last year by an entity led by Keith Brown of RBA Properties in Norwalk. The building is in a city enterprise zone that allows tax incentives for certain activities including manufacturing.

The property is located as well at the southwesternmost corner of one of Norwalk’s three new “Opportunity Zone” districts authorized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which allows investors to claim tax breaks on any capital gains from the sale of startups, with the Wilson Avenue site lying outside that district.

Kombucha sales rose 37 percent in 2017 to $556 million, according to estimates published at last year’s KombuchaKon conference sponsored by the Kombucha Brewers International trade group.

Both Coca Cola and Pepsico of Purchase, N.Y., have acquired kombucha labels in the past few years in Mojo and Kevita respectively, with the Greenwich private equity firm KarpReilly having been a past investor in Kevita. On Monday, KarpReilly announced it had led a $3.5 million investment in a Colorado startup called Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha, with other investors including Brendan Synnott, founder of Bear Naked granola once based in Norwalk and owned today by Kellogg’s.

East Coast Kombucha is one of two KBI members in Connecticut, alongside Cross Culture Kombucha in Danbury which runs Thursday through Saturday a taproom on Division Street, while having expanded distribution to health food outlets like Green & Tonic and Sobol, the Westport Farmers Market and other cafes, restaurants and fitness centers.

Cross Culture hosted also a workshop last year to help people learn to brew kombucha at home. — February 18, 2019 The Hour article

Economic Development Corp. (Michigan City, Indiana) — The company is building a 52-unit condo building located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

 If you’ve ever dreamed of a lakefront home on Lake Michigan, a developer is bringing more options to the market.

Washington Landing Condos is building more waterfront condos with sweeping views of Lake Michigan and a “signature restaurant” in Michigan City.

Construction of the new 100 Washington Landing condo building is expected to start this fall.

The 52-unit condo building in downtown Michigan City will stand five stories tall and will be located on the edge of Washington Park, within walking distance of the beach, marina, Washington Park Zoo and other destinations.

It will be west of the existing row of lakefront housing that flanks Trail Creek as it empties into Lake Michigan. The developers say the project’s “modern, sleek and simple design maximizes the stunning lake views as the main attraction.”

Jenilee Haynes Peterson, economic development manager for Economic Development Corp. Michigan City, said it will be the first new waterfront housing to be built along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Michigan City in at least a decade.

“There’s a pent-up demand,” she said. “They just started selling pre-sales last week, and sold the seven units they had up for presale right away.”

All the units have lake views. They’re all 1,000 square feet with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

“I am excited at this level of investment for Michigan City,” EDCMC Executive Director Clarence Hulse said.

“This caliber of project is definitely raising the bar and is the first of many new projects coming to Michigan City. Having progressive leadership, Opportunity Zone and creative strategies to attract investors will keep Michigan City at the forefront for new investments.” — April 10, 2019 NWI Times article

Echo’s Brewery (Albuquerque, New Mexico) — The bar known as Burt’s Tiki Lounge is expanding and moving to an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The new facility will be known as Echo’s, complete with a brewery, live music, and recording studio:

A popular old bar in downtown Albuquerque is being converted into a new brewery. What was originally Burt’s Tiki Lounge will now be known as Echo’s, a brewery with live music that doubles as a recording venue.

Owner Jake Ralphs said he wants future generations to see downtown the way he did.

“I would like to see the place improve,” he said. “I would like this to be something my kid could experience and have some pride in.”

The downtown corridor is constantly under development and is considered an opportunity zone for local businesses.

“I remember it as a kid coming here seeing lots of live music,” he said. “I cannot wait for this part of town to come back to its glory. I really think we can bring the right crowd down here and have fun.”

Echo’s is set to open this summer. — January 23, 2020 KOB4 Eyewitness News article

EJF Capital and Chance Partners (Jacksonville, Florida) — Announced they are building a new housing community which will create a significant amount of construction jobs as well as property management positions:

EJF Capital LLC (“EJF”) and Chance Partners (“Chance”) today announced the development of a two-building, 486-unit multifamily housing community in the historic San Marco neighborhood of Jacksonville, FL. The project, known as San Marco Crossing (the “Project”), is being developed on nearly nine acres consisting of three parcels in an area certified as an “Opportunity Zone” under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“TCJA”). The TCJA offers investors attractive tax benefits to invest into Opportunity Zones to create economic growth in lower income areas. The approximately $86 million project expects to break ground in Q3 2019 and plans to open in Q4 2020. Ameris Bank, with participation from Stifel Bank, is providing $51 million of construction financing.

“EJF continues to identify and execute on attractive Opportunity Zone investments across the U.S. and bring our financial resources and real estate operating expertise to communities that need it most,” said EJF Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Neal Wilson. “We are excited to partner with Chance Partners on San Marco Crossing, which will bring high-quality multifamily units to this growing area and create a significant number of construction jobs as well as permanent property management positions. We believe small businesses in San Marco will also benefit from the added economic vitality that results from the spending power of about 700 expected new residents.” — June 28, 2019 Buisiness Wire

Enlightened (Washington, D.C.)  – Moving locations in Washington D.C. as a direct result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which allows the company to be closer to their customers:

Hope is building at the corner of MLK Ave and Good Hope Road in Southeast.

For the first time in more than 50 years, a large company will move across the Anacostia. It is a direct result of a portion of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017: Opportunity Zones.

Will it be a boom or a sign of change for the residents of Ward 8? In this project, the hopes of an entrepreneur and community ride together.

Antwanye Ford thinks there is a positive way to redevelop impoverished neighborhoods in D.C. In fact, he is willing to bet on it.

The CEO of tech firm Enlightened is prepared to move his K Street business to the corner of MLK and Good Hope.

“For me I am closer to my customers in Northwest,” Ford said. “I’m closer to my home so for me moving (to Ward 8).”

“It’s gonna be less convenient because it’s more important for me to be here.” – February 1, 2020, WUSA9 Article.

Erie Insurance (Erie, Pennsylvania) – The insurance company is investing $50 million in the Opportunity Zone investment fund to support a variety of projects in Erie:

“Erie Insurance CEO Tim Necastro announced the establishment of 50 million dollars to the Opportunity Zone Investment Fund.

The fund is designated to help financially support different projects within a portfolio. One of those projects is the Erie Downtown Development Corporation’s plan for North Park Row.

Erie Insurance is investing 2.6 million dollars into the project to create a Culinary Arts District, Foot hall, Market, and Apartments.

Necastro said money in the Opportunity Fund is considered an investment, not a donation.” – August 19th, 2019, Your Erie


Eric Blumenfeld (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) — The developer is building a mixed-use space that will include offices, apartments, and a fitness club in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Developer Eric Blumenfeld is aiming to break ground in July on a 30-story North Broad Street tower with offices, apartments and a fitness club that he hopes cap with digital screens featuring animated versions of the famous mural next door.

Blumenfeld said Wednesday that he was close to finalizing a deal with investors in the $160 million project who will be taking advantage of the Broad and Spring Garden Street site’s location in an “opportunity zone” under the 2017 tax bill.

Under that law, investors in projects within opportunity zones can claim savings on taxes from the sale of assets that have gained in value. Blumenfeld declined to share details about the opportunity zone backing of what he’s calling Mural West before the deal is signed.

The tower, on the northeast corner, would rise beside Blumenfeld’s Mural Lofts apartments, formerly the Thaddeus Stevens School, which is known for the Common Threads mural painted on its side.

It would be Philadelphia’s tallest building outside the city’s central core, as well as the latest — and largest — project in the city to be funded under the opportunity-zone program, which is meant to encourage development in low-income communities.

The project is slated to include about 205 apartments and 68,000 square feet of office space, according to a brochure prepared by brokerage Precision Realty Group to market the proposal’s ground-floor retail spaces.

Blumenfeld said he’s also nearing a deal with the operator of a planned fitness center in the building that would occupy nearly 48,000 square feet over six floors. The fitness complex may include features such as coworking offices and guest rooms for overnight visitor stays, Blumenfeld said.

Similar combinations of amenities can be found at Life Time Fitness Inc.‘s location in Ardmore’s Suburban Square shopping complex and the planned Fitler Club private membership club being built in Aramark Corp.‘s headquarters building at 2400 Market St.

Blumenfeld’s plans for Mural West also call for the tower to be crowned with digital screens playing animated vignettes based on the Common Threads mural.

The effect will be similar to the animation in the 2017 Vincent Van Gogh biographical film Loving Vincent, in which “they take all the figures in his artwork, and they bring it to life,” he said. “I think it’s going to be the most interesting building ever built in Philadelphia.”

Blumenfeld’s other projects in the area include the recently completed Metropolitan Opera House concert venue and the Divine Lorraine apartments. — April 12, 2019 Philadelphia Inquirer article


EJF Capital – Oakland (Oakland, California) — A hotel is being built in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The Moxy Hotel in Uptown Oakland will break ground within 60 days, joining the West Elm Hotel that started construction in January just two blocks away.

Both hotels are within a few blocks of Uptown Station, the renovated office property where San Francisco-based Square Inc. recently leased all 356,000 square feet. Other developers are building housing and retail in the area.

A $7.3 billion East Coast hedge fund and a private equity firm are leading a group investing $50 million into the Moxy. Hedge fund EJF Capital, along with partners Tidewater Capital and Graves Hospitality, will lead the development of the seven-story Marriott International Moxy hotel at 2225 Telegraph Ave. EJF Capital said in a statement that one reason it’s investing in the Moxy is because it’s in a federal “opportunity zone,” which brings potential tax benefits with it.

The 173-room hotel is expected to open in 2021, according to Tidewater Capital Managing Principal Craig Young.

“We were attracted to Uptown just given the eclectic nature of the submarket there, and the mix of restaurants and entertainment,” Young said. He also pointed to the local arts scene and proximity of the site to the monthly First Fridays event.

The hotel will be 72,615 square feet with the bottom floor designed to feature a bar, restaurant and lounge, and perhaps a stage, all part of the Moxy brand’s focus on millennial travelers.

Tidewater Capital is a San Francisco-based real estate investor and developer that will manage construction for the project, while Graves Hospitality, which will manage the hotel, is a Minnesota-based developer approved by the Marriott for the Moxy brand. The architects on the project are RSP Architects and Lowney Architecture.

Tidewater Capital is busy elsewhere in the Bay Area. It’s working with Warhorse LLC on 186 units at 1028 Market St. and a separate project of 141 homes at 430 Main St., both in San Francisco.

Lead investor EJF Capital is headquartered just outside of Washington, D.C. Neither EJF nor Tidewater would disclose how much of the $50 million each company is investing.

Other developers have hotel projects outside of Uptown in the Oakland pipeline, including a 121-room Hampton Inn opening this August. Former Oakland A’s owner Lew Wolff has approvals to build a 276-room hotel at 1431 Jefferson St.

Visit Oakland President and CEO Mark Everton sees the Moxy development as one of several vital projects to boost the hospitality market in both Uptown and Oakland.

“There really aren’t any hotels in the Uptown area,” Everton said. “This is a great step. Oakland has for the last three years had the fastest-growing average daily rate of any major metropolitan area in the country.”

From 2016 to 2018, Oakland’s average daily rate (ADR) rose from $137.95 to $155.79 for growth of 12.9 percent, according to an Oakland STR report. The national ADR rose from $120.01 to $129.83 during that same period, growing 8.2 percent.

To Everton, the new Moxy hotel “is not cookie-cutter. It’s unique, boutique branding that adds to the whole Oakland vibe.”

“It’s already a pretty amazing neighborhood,” Young said of Uptown. “It’s a dynamic place we feel lucky to be a part of.” — March 21, 2019 San Francisco Times article

EJF Development -Washington, DC (Washington, D.C.) — The company announced they will be building a 262-unit mixed-use, mixed-income, multifamily community located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

EJF Capital LLC (“EJF”), Donatelli Development (“Donatelli”) and Blue Skye Development today announced the development of a 262-unit mixed-use, mixed-income, multifamily community in the Hill East neighborhood of Southeast Washington, D.C. Hill East is a 67-acre master planned development in an area certified as an “Opportunity Zone” under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“TCJA”) which offers investors attractive tax benefits to create economic growth. The approximately $95 million project is under construction and is expected to be completed in August 2020. Eagle Bank is providing $59.5 million of construction financing.

Located adjacent to the Stadium-Armory Metro station at the corner of 19th Street and Massachusetts Avenue S.E., the project is only 1.6 miles east of the U.S. Capitol and offers easy access to major employment areas throughout Capitol Hill and downtown Washington D.C. The project will also offer 13,000 square feet of retail.

“We are thrilled to partner with Donatelli Development on this project. Hill East is a major Opportunity Zone development that will transform the area just east of Capitol Hill and west of the Anacostia River,” said EJF Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Neal Wilson. “This anchor project will make a major contribution to the neighborhood by adding hundreds of construction jobs and creating the momentum necessary for the successful long-term growth of the Hill East neighborhood.” — May 29, 2020 press release


Entira Family Clinics (St. Paul Minnesota) — The company is moving to an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

St. Paul’s first two Opportunity Zone projects are under construction near Phalen Boulevard and Clarence Street, much to the delight of some neighborhood advocates.

Within months, the 2.5-acre site will be home to a new Aldi grocery and the Entira Family Clinics, two new “anchor” tenants for the Phalen Village area, which sits in an Opportunity Zone. Both businesses are expected to open in late 2019. — April 12, 2019 St. Paul Pioneer Press article

Farmers Insurance of Salem (Wilmington, Delaware) — An insurance company is moving their offices from New Jersey to Wilmington, Delaware to a location in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A New Jersey insurance company is moving its offices to Wilmington and with it more than 50 jobs.

Delaware’s privately run economic development agency announced this week it had negotiated a $400,000-taxpayer grant package for Farmers of Salem. In a press release, it said the company plans to spend $5.6 million to purchase and renovate an existing office building in Wilmington’s “central business district.”

But the company’s grant application, released Friday, states that Farmers of Salem’s plans instead are to move to a building along the Wilmington Riverfront. Today, the 3-story brick building, located at 1 Avenue of the Arts, houses two companies, Mitchell Associates and Blue Rock Financial Group.

The once-industrial redeveloped structure sits along the banks of the Christina River next to the Riverfront Market. It has been for sale since at least 2018. Three months ago, its listed price was reduced by $300,000 to $4.5 million. It is unclear what Farmers of Salem’s final negotiated price might be, as neither the company, nor its broker returned a call. The building’s seller declined to comment. Also unclear is whether either of the building’s existing tenants will move out following Farmers’ purchase. Currently, 6,000 square feet on the third floor sits vacant.

Farmer of Salem’s move into Wilmington likely will boost the city’s commercial real estate market. While owners of office buildings in Delaware’s largest city still struggle to fill large amounts of empty offices, momentum might be shifting. Farmers of Salem is the latest in a string of out-of-state buyers of commercial properties in a market that has long been dominated by a single owner, the Buccini/Pollin Group.

The insurance company told Delaware officials that it is seeking “a more vibrant and robust community.” It said its decision to relocate to Wilmington came amid overall company growth and the taxpayer “incentives do help.”

Other organizations that have recently considered relocating to Wilmington include Widener University’s Delaware Law School. Its dean, Rodney Smolla, said the school ultimately decided against a move, yet plans to open a “satellite location” remain.

CSC, the state’s largest and most politically influential registered agent company, recently purchased a building next to the Wilmington train station.

Based on its $120,000 real estate transfer tax payment, The News Journal estimates the sale price for the 112 S. French St. property at $4.8 million, or about $110 per square foot.

The number is significantly less than the asking price of $184 per square foot for the nearby 1 Avenue of the Arts building, which Farmers intends to buy.

Highlighted on a sale brochure for 1 Avenue of the Arts is that two floors of the building currently is leased as well as a proclamation that the property sits within a Delaware Opportunity Zone.

Gov. John Carney recently named much of downtown Wilmington and the Riverfront as Opportunity Zones. Investors who direct money to such “economically distressed” areas can avoid or delay paying federal taxes. Not included on the state’s Opportunity Zone list are Wilmington’s low-income neighborhoods of Hedgeville and Hilltop. — February 1, 2020 Delaware News Journal article

Fairfield Inn and Suites (St. Louis, Missouri) — The hotel is building a location in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Throughout the region, developers with projects in eligible areas, known as Opportunity Zones, are using the new tax break provision to raise more money. At the same time, those developers say, the program is helping attract new investors to St. Louis.

Yet right next door, the 136-room Fairfield Inn and Suites, being developed by Equis Hotels, is using an Opportunity Zone fund. In Creve Coeur’s 39 North plant science district, Larry Chapman’s Seneca Commercial Real Estate is, too, as part of the $52 million future headquarters of Benson Hill Biosystems. Lawrence Group’s City Foundry project has also used the new provision to raise capital for the Midtown entertainment and office development. — January 11, 2020 St. Louis Post-Dispatch article

Fore Property (Kissimmee, Florida) — The company is building a 384-unit apartment building that is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Fore Property secured a $49.6-million loan to develop 19 South, a 384-unit apartment community located in a qualified opportunity zone in Kissimmee, FL. BBVA provided the loan for the development of the project, which is a joint venture between Fore Property and Canyon Partners Real Estate LLC.

The LEED-designed, wood-framed development will consist of four, four-story residential buildings, featuring a mix of studio, one, two and three-bedroom floor plans. The residences will offer such contemporary features as chef-inspired gourmet kitchens, quartz countertops, energy-efficient stainless-steel appliances, walk-in closets,  and hardwood-style flooring.

19 South offers convenient access to the Osceola Parkway, Florida Turnpike, and John Young Parkway, as well as downtown Kissimmee, Lake Nona Medical City, Walt Disney World Resort and Orlando International Airport. — April 3, 2020 Connect Media article

Frontier Railroad Services (Fallowfield Township, Pennsylvania) — The company is building an office building in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A rail-related company is now making tracks for Alta Vista Business Park.

Frontier Railroad Services LLC has purchased a 4.6-acre lot, according to a news release issued Thursday by Mon Valley Alliance, the nonprofit owner of the 256-acre park in Fallowfield Township. Frontier is a regional railroad construction and maintenance firm that specializes in new track construction and tie and rail changeout.

The company is currently based in New Stanton, but wants to construct its new headquarters in Alta Vista. Plans call for a building that would house corporate offices, a repair and maintenance facility and about 11,000 square feet of operating space. Work is targeted to begin this year and end in 2020.

Frontier plans to have a workforce of 20-plus, with room to expand. MVA said the company had three primary reasons for selecting Alta Vista: its proximity to Interstates 70, 76 and 376; having a shovel-ready site designated as a Keystone Opportunity Zone; and access to an industrial-based workforce.

Frontier is led by chief executive officer Nicholas Scigliano; president and chief operating officer Gregory Susko; vice president and chief financial officer Dennis Stoner Jr.; and chief estimator Scott Sepesky.

“Our company is growing and we have open positions to fill immediately,” Sepesky said. “Specifically, we have positions open for laborers, operators and mechanics experienced in railroad construction.”

John Easoz, chairman of the MVA board, said in a statement: “We are pleased to welcome a regional asset such as Frontier to Alta Vista. We look forward to working with the company as they continue to grow in this new headquarters, providing jobs and economic activity for our region.”

Alta Vista has been quite active over the past four months. On Oct. 18, Nine Energy Service, a Houston, Texas-based oil and gas company, broke ground on a new regional headquarters. Nine Energy has outgrown its offices in Chartiers Township.

Then Dec. 10, MVA announced that Apex International had purchased a 12.95-acre site, where it plans to build a new North America operations facility. The company’s Apex North America division is currently located in Donora Industrial Park. Apex manufactures anilox, glue set and metering products, and print maintenance solutions.

Alta Vista, according to MVA, has 50 acres of pad-ready sites available for development. — Feb. 22, 2019 Observer-Reporter article

Formativ (Denver, Colorado) — The company is building a World Trade Center Denver office building in  an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The new World Trade Center Denver office building, a catalytic project going up in the city’s growing River North Art District, took a major step forward this week as the developer teams up with experienced national firms that own a portfolio of iconic buildings and high-end hotels, and those new partnerships close on the final parcels of land to officially start construction.

Denver-based Formativ, which co-developed the Industry office building in RiNo, told Denver Business Journal in an exclusive interview that it has named Chicago-based Golub & Co. as capital and co-development partner for the 350,000-square-foot office project. The partnership brings a firm to the table that manages some of Chicago’s most notable buildings, including Tribune Tower and the John Hancock Building. It also manages Facebook’s 750,000-square-foot office in San Francisco.

Sean Campbell, chief executive officer of Formativ, said his firm’s progressive approach to development and local knowledge of Denver paired with a company that takes a more traditional approach to the business will create a milestone project in RiNo.

“It’s definitely a nice match and we’re looking forward to working long-term with [Golub],” Campbell said.

In addition to the office building, World Trade Center Denver includes a 240,000-square-foot, 240-plus-room hotel and conference center. Formativ officials said Monday that it signed a partnership deal with Memphis, Tennessee-based Kemmons Wilson Companies — the 71-year-old firm that created the Holiday Inn brand and now operates a number of luxury properties around the globe — to co-own and develop that hospitality tower. Kemmons Wilson’s sister company, Valor Hospitality, will operate the hotel. A flag for the hotel hasn’t been determined at this point. Valor’s portfolio includes Hotel Indigo in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York and Central Station, a Curio by Hilton property going up in Memphis’ old train station that’s being redeveloped, similar to Denver’s Union Station.

The most notable change to the project since it was announced in 2016 is that the project is now located in a qualified opportunity zone, allowing investors and the development team to reap unprecedented tax benefits. — June 26, 2019 Denver Business Journal article


Galena Opportunity Fund (Bremerton, Washington) — The organization is funding an apartment complex to be built in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: 

The Seattle developer behind an ambitious 22-story tower project in downtown Bremerton has filed permits with the city for a new mixed-use development at the same site on the corner of Washington Avenue and Sixth Street.

Mark Goldberg, the Seattle developer responsible for other projects in Bremerton – including the 400 condominiums up the street on Washington – is spearheading the new $33 million apartment complex on the site of the old Eagles building.

Plans call for a seven-story building with 110 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, two levels of parking with 78 spaces, and retail space on the ground floor. The two existing buildings on the block, which include the former home of the Bremerton Eagles and an eight-plex built in the 1940s, will be demolished.

In 2018, Goldberg’s proposal for a 22-story tower with 224 apartments at the same location was met resistance from residents, who worried how a skyscraper would impact traffic and the neighborhood’s character.

At the time, Mayor Greg Wheeler asked the city council to enact a moratorium on the city’s eight-year multi-family tax exemption – which allows developers of projects of at least 10 units to pay no property taxes on the value of the building for eight years. The council ultimately didn’t move approve the moratorium, and Goldberg is back with a scaled-down project.

Goldberg said he didn’t move forward with the tower design because rising costs made it “borderline feasible” and because of feedback he’d received on the project.

“I got a lot of feedback from a lot of people and they just said it’s really out of scale,” Goldberg said.

For the new project, Goldberg is partnering with Galena Opportunity Fund, an Idaho-based real estate investment fund that looks to develop properties in “underfunded” areas in the Pacific Northwest.

Galena targets areas for development under the federal Opportunity Zone program, which allows people who invest in projects in “economically depressed” areas to defer or eliminate federal taxes on capital gains. Downtown Bremerton and parts of Port Orchard were designated as opportunity zones after the program was created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. — October 27, 2019 Kitsap Sun article

Golf Technology (Buffalo, New York) — The company announced they will be building a golf entertainment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

It’s tee time on the riverfront in downtown Buffalo – on Noah’s Ark.

The group planning a new entertainment complex on Ganson Street, not far from Buffalo RiverWorks, unveiled details Friday of the $30 million golf-focused project, which the developers – including OnCore Golf Technology CEO Keith Blakely and RiverWorks co-founder Doug Swift – hope will set a new standard for such facilities worldwide.

Designed to fit on a small urban space, officials said the new OnCore Buffalo facility is envisioned as a year-round sports and hospitality venue, aimed at golfers and others, of all ages and demographics.

The OnCore Buffalo project is the latest in a string of developments along Buffalo’s waterfront, particularly along the once-polluted Buffalo River, where environmentalists and city officials have worked to both restore the natural habitat and make Ohio Street more attractive for investment.

Starting with RiverWorks on Ganson several years ago, followed by a pair of new apartment buildings on Ohio, and more recently the additional spinoff projects on neighboring streets, the area is rapidly becoming a destination for sports, recreation, entertainment and dining, alongside the growing residential presence.

“It’s a natural next step for the trajectory that Buffalo is on, and for where the Buffalo River is going,” Swift said. “These kinds of projects are going to keep coming. It’s the wave of the future.”

At a time of declining interest in golf nationally, the new venture is intended to lure new people to the sport, and is also geared to attract corporate meetings, private parties and other events. At $40 to rent a bay for one hour, for up to six people, it’s also meant to be affordable.

It will feature a long driving range with 72 stacked hitting bays on a four-story structure, topped by a six-story hotel with at least 120 rooms, a sports bar and restaurant, and meeting space. The artificial turf range, with 11 bright-red target greens, will be enclosed by a giant wall of tensile fabric and polyester mesh netting across a lightweight steel frame to keep the balls inside, and to shield golfers from the elements. The building will be heated, but the range will not be completely covered.

The entire ship-shaped complex – a tribute to Buffalo’s maritime history – will be supported on piers above a level of covered parking underneath, for 225 vehicles. Pedestrians in the parking area will be able to look up through the ceiling to see the balls coming onto the greens. Additional surface parking will also be available for another 125 spaces.

The project will encompass about 4 acres of a 7-acre brownfield parcel, leaving plenty of additional room for future development, including along the Buffalo River and a 550-foot concrete wharf.

The project is fully funded, and Blakely and Swift hope to start construction next year, with an opening in 2021 after 12 to 16 months of work. It will likely qualify for state brownfield tax credits, and is located in a qualified opportunity zone, but the team is not seeking other public funding. — September 21, 2019 Buffalo News article

Gotham Greens (Chicago, Illinois) — The indoor greenhouse agriculture company opened a greenhouse in the city in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The growing desire among consumers for fresh greens delivered fast is helping transform parts of Chicago’s industrial landscape. Gotham Greens, a pioneer in indoor greenhouse agriculture, yesterday opened its largest greenhouse in Chicago on a portion of the former Ryerson Steel Mill in the historic Pullman neighborhood. The 100K SF greenhouse at 10636 South Woodlawn Ave. is its sixth nationwide, and more than doubles the company’s Midwest production.

Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives repurposed and sold the land to Gotham Greens, part of an effort that has also brought in the 140K SF Whole Foods Midwest Distribution Center, the LEED-Platinum certified Method Products factory and Pullman Crossings, a 62-acre industrial park where Ryan Cos. is putting the finishing touches on a 400K SF industrial spec building. “What’s happening here in some ways mirrors the transition of the national economy, where we’re seeing many industrial areas transformed by green, sustainable and environmentally friendly companies,” CNI President David Doig said.


Doig expects the Pullman site will continue to grow overall as well, and aside from its available workforce, land and hub of transportation links, he credits its location within a federal opportunity zone. Although these designations, which will allow investors to eventually receive tax breaks, have received criticism, with some charging they attract investment to already-affluent areas, Doig said the zones have been instrumental in bringing much-needed funds to Pullman. The spec by Ryan Cos., for example, is a $35M project, and all the funding came from opportunity zone investors.   “Pullman is still suffering after years of disinvestment, so we have a lot of catching up to do.” — November 14, 2020 BisNow article

Greenbacker Renewable Opportunity Zone Fund LLC (Capitol Heights, Maryland) — The company created a solar electric utility company in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Greenbacker Renewable Opportunity Zone Fund LLC announced today that its first solar business, a 3.1-megawatt solar project, has begun commercial operations and is now producing electricity. This marks the first project completed by Greenbacker Renewable Opportunity Zone Fund and the beginning of the fund’s operations. The solar project is located in Capitol Heights, Maryland and is contracted with a wholly-owned subsidiary of WGL Holdings, a public utility company serving the greater Washington DC area. The first-of-its-kind facility in the county is in a qualified opportunity zone that has been vacant for 30 years after it was deemed unsuitable for residential development. The solar project will produce enough energy to power 333 homes and is expected to contribute approximately $1.4 million in total tax revenue to the county over its length of service.

Commenting on the project, CEO Charles Wheeler stated, “Greenbacker is thrilled to announce the completion of the Project.” He went on to add, “Renewable energy assets are commonly built on the marginal land that tends to fall in opportunity zones. These projects provide local tax revenue and jobs and are a natural extension of Greenbacker’s core investing business.”

Prior to the asset reaching commercial operations, Greenbacker executives joined US Senator Chris Van Hollen, Congressman Anthony Johnson, county officials, and coporate partners for a ribbon cutting event. During his address, Senator Van Hollen said, “The private sector has really come together here…This is a win-win-win for consumers, jobs, and for our environment.”

The commercial operation date for the Project was January 14, 2020. — January 22, 2020 GlobeNewsWire article


Grubb Properties (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) — The company is renovating an office building located within an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

With plans to take advantage of a new federal tax program, Charlotte-based Grubb Properties has acquired one of the largest office buildings on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street and is eyeing a major renovation for the aging office tower.

Grubb bought the 137 E. Franklin St. building and its corresponding parking deck on Rosemary Street for $23.5 million earlier this month, according to county records. The building, which dates back to the 1970s, last sold in 2014 for around $26 million, according to records.

It marks the second major investment the Charlotte-based developer has made in Chapel Hill recently. On the other side of town, the company is currently building a new office building at the Glen Lennox apartments, a housing community that the company has owned for several decades.

Clark Spencer, a senior vice president for investments at Grubb, said the company was attracted to the building because of its location within a federally-designated “opportunity zone” that stretches from East Franklin Street to Estes Drive.

Grubb is currently in the process of raising $200 million for investments in opportunity zones and has plans for an investment in downtown Winston-Salem already.

Opportunity zones are a new feature in the country’s tax code that allows developers to earn savings on capital gains by investing in economically disadvantaged areas. Most people aren’t likely to think of Franklin Street as a disadvantaged area — though the census tract is home to a lot of students, many of which are renters and don’t have full-time jobs.

“It is a bit of a head-scratcher why it is an opportunity zone,” Spencer admitted in a phone interview, though he noted that the building likely wouldn’t be getting a much-needed renovation without it.

The designation was created during the Republican tax overhaul in 2017 and it created nearly 9,000 zones across the country. Investors stand to get deferrals on capital-gains taxes and other taxes if they hold investments in opportunity zones for at least 10 years.

Dwight Bassett, the economic developer for Chapel Hill, said earlier this year that Chapel Hill had two eligible tracts for the program, the other being near Merritt Mill Road, as designated by the Treasury Department. Ultimately, the town decided to submit the East Franklin tract for consideration.

The Treasury Department’s designation for the East Franklin tract was likely due to the large number of student rentals in the area, Bassett noted.

“We had a lot of concern from residents (near Merritt Mill) because of the designation of this opportunity zone, but it really is designated for commercial investment” and not for residential investment, Bassett said in March.

Bassett added that so far there hasn’t been any other interest in investing in the zone.

Over the next two years, Grubb plans to pour tens of millions of dollars into renovating the building, completely re-doing most of the glass facade on the backside of the building and updating the office layouts within it to a more modern configuration.

The building’s facade on the Franklin Street side was re-done in recent years, but the occupancy rate for the 120,000-square-foot building declined to around 35%, a dismal number for the middle of downtown Chapel Hill.

The previous owners “set a lot of expectation and re-did the facade but didn’t re-do the upstairs or the corridor,” Bassett said in a phone interview on Friday. “Potential tenants couldn’t catch the vision of where it was going. … We think now that (Grubb) will re-invest in the building and it becomes basically a new product, it will be easier for the market to get into.”

Spencer said the large vacancy rate there is actually good for renovating the building since they won’t have to do construction around a lot of tenants. The CVS pharmacy located at the bottom of the store won’t close during the renovation, he said, and they are beginning discussions with some of the other tenants about what is best for them during construction.

“We are working on various avenues of leasing (the building) back up and talking to a number of organizations,” Spencer said. “We are looking at certainly some new corporate tenants. And we would love to get a co-working tenant in there. That could be really beneficial for the town and the university.”

Matt Gladdek, the executive director of the Downtown Chapel Hill Partnership, said more updated office and co-working space is sorely needed in downtown Chapel Hill, especially for young startups and companies that spin out of the university’s research arms.

“What this really represents is an opportunity for new partnerships in that building and for businesses that need access to the university for research and innovation,” Gladdek said in a phone interview.

It could also be a boon for many local businesses on Franklin Street that have to navigate the summer months when there are fewer students in town to shop and eat.

“Creating a secondary use outside of the university that is constant is going to be really important so that our businesses can deal with the boom-bust cycle.”

Spencer said the renovation will likely take two years to complete.

“We have got a lot of work ahead of us,” he said. “I think it is really going to change the aesthetic of the building to be more contemporary because it does have a little of a tired look to it.” — April 26, 2019 News & Observer article

H2O Connected (Coatesville, Pennsylvania) — The business will be relocating to an Opportunity Zone and expanding:

H2O Connected, the first Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) business to open its doors in Chester County, will be relocating in late 2020 into a highly anticipated Qualified Opportunity Zone Real Estate project at 190 West Lincoln Highway in Coatesville, developed by Proudfoot Capital.

This former Lukens Steel advertising and marketing office building, built in 1902, is being repurposed into The nth Innovation Center, which will offer entrepreneurs an environment to grow their companies from concept to commercialization.

Already slated to join H2O Connected is nth Solutions, a product development, business incubation, and manufacturing company located in Exton, PA; BioForce Analytics, a provider of sophisticated motion measurement devices for industry and education applications; and Priority Green, a leader in traffic signal preemption products for emergency vehicles. — March 13, 2020 Daily Local article

Habitat Company (Chicago, Illinois) — The real estate management company, along with other groups, are building a new apartment that is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

For the first time in many years, Chicago’s North Lawndale community is getting a major mixed-use development that will bring much-needed jobs, retail space, and eventually hundreds of new residential units to the historically underserved West Side neighborhood.


The public-private partnership between Habitat, Sinai, Cinespace, the CHA, and the city of Chicago isn’t the only unusual aspect of the development. The Ogden Commons will be Chicago’s largest mixed-use project to take advantage of federal Opportunity Zones. — March 9, 2020 Curbed article


Harris Bay (San Antonio, Texas) — The company is building a hotel in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

California developer Harris Bay plans to build a 112-room boutique hotel on a River Walk-adjacent property it bought in April, its co-founder said Monday.

The company purchased the 0.2-acre lot at 151 E. Travis St. – valued this year at more than $2 million – on April 29 from Florida-based Seaside Hospitality Corp. Last year, Seaside Hospitality backed out of plans to build a 100-room boutique hotel on the site.

Now, Harris Bay wants to take a crack at developing its own “lifestyle boutique hotel” there.

In addition to hotel rooms, the proposed eight-floor development will feature a rooftop bar, restaurant and retail, Harris Bay co-founder Jake Harris said in an email. Harris Bay is in negotiations with companies to manage and operate the hotel, Harris said.

Harris Bay considered a residential development on the property. But the site’s small acreage, height limitations along the River Walk and lack of parking, along with rising construction costs and land prices, made the hotel a more financially viable option, Harris said.

The developer also noted that boutique hotels “are underrepresented in one of the top tourism cities of the world.”

Harris Bay plans to break ground on the project, called the Artista, later this year, Harris said.

The California firm will likely get a sizable tax break, created by President Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax bill in 2017.

The site sits inside a federal “opportunity zone” that covers much of downtown, one of two dozen such zones in the San Antonio area.

The Republican tax bill and the U.S. Treasury Department established opportunity zones – areas with slow economic growth where investors can reap tax breaks on capital gains if they plug that capital into long-term investments.

The land’s location in an opportunity zone “was a significant factor” in Harris Bay’s decision to buy the site, Harris said.

Harris Bay formed an opportunity zone fund called IconicOZ Artista Fund and used it to buy the property. The firm took out a $2.2 million mortgage to purchase the land, property records show. — May 21, 2019 San Antonio Express-News article

Hazelwood Green Development (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)— This Opportunity Zone led to the creation of a 240,000 square foot workspace which has the potential to become a local tech hub, laying the groundwork for Pittsburgh’s jobs of the future.

“One of those success stories, she said, is the nearby Hazelwood Green development, which is located within one of the 68 designated opportunity zones in Allegheny County. Ms. Kelley and U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fleming spent Friday morning at the riverfront property, formerly the LTV Coke Works site, which developers and universities say could become a potential local tech hub.

Ms. Kelley said she’s happy to see the development -—including the Mill 19 building that will become a 240,000-square foot workspace — is within an opportunity zone, and will help lay the groundwork for Pittsburgh’s jobs of the future.

“Not only can Mill 19 provide new jobs and opportunities to Hazelwood, but it will also expose an entire community to advanced manufacturing, which was a community born in traditional manufacturing,” Ms. Kelley said.”– November 1, 2019, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

H Design Group (Springfield, Missouri) — The company is building a 1,940-unit apartment complex that will be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The five-story, 194-unit project would repurpose land once home to a dilapidated residential hotel frequented by adults and children living at the edge of homelessness. Groundbreaking is slated for next month; leases might be signed as soon as spring of 2021, said officials tied to the project.

“I think it’ll have a great impact,” said Rob Haik, principal architect for H Design Group in Springfield, which is working with Kansas City-based Hollis + Miller Architects to design the project for College Town International LLC, the California developer.

The deal is expected to rely on lender financing and public tax incentives.

Weinstein said his company has lined up multiple term sheets from lenders who are willing to finance the project, and that CTI will select a lender in four to six weeks. Thus far, he said, the complex is self-financed.

He said CTI became interested in the site because it lies in a “Q.O.Z.,” or qualified opportunity zone. As part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Trump administration designated about 8,800 opportunity zones in low-income census tracts across the United States, according to a New York Times report published in late August.

In Springfield, there are three opportunity zones: Downtown, where the CTI project site is located; a separate splotch of “central Springfield” between Sunshine and Sunset streets; and a big chunk of north Springfield that dwarfs the other two zones. — September 11, 2019 Springfield News-Leader article

Hillstone Advantage Partners (Opelika, Alabama) — The Opportunity Zone portion of the TCJA led to the creation of a $10 million business park:

“In Opelika, Hillstone Advantage Partners has begun construction on a $10 million, 13-and-a-half acre business park off Hi Pack Drive.

On its website, Hillstone says its goal is “the acquisition and development of income-producing commercial and industrial real estate” in opportunity zones to “generate consistent returns and a profitable exit…all while maximizing community impact.”

The first building in the business park should be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2020, and will be used for startups and businesses that can take advantage of the zone. Developer Jacob Hill said the project was already being considered before the creation of an opportunity zone there, but it acted as an incentive.” – September 15th, 2019, Alabama (

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. (New Carrollton, Maryland) — The company announced they are building a multi-housing community in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. (HFF) announces it has arranged construction financing and joint venture equity totaling $65.44 million for the development of The Stella, a 282-unit, transit-oriented multi-housing community located within a designated opportunity zone in New Carrollton, Maryland.

HFF worked on behalf of the developer, Urban Atlantic, to secure a $46.56 million construction loan through TD Bank and $18.88 million in joint venture equity from Bridge Investment Group.

The Stella is located at 3950 Garden City Drive at the New Carrollton Metro Station, which is the terminus of the Orange and Purple lines. Less than five miles outside of Washington, D.C., the opportunity zone project is the second phase of Urban Atlantic’s 34-acre, 2.3 million-square-foot New Carrollton Metro redevelopment and will serve as the first multi-housing asset within the master plan. The Stella, which sits on a ground lease, will feature a podium-style design with 282 studio through three-bedroom floor plans totaling 218,692 rentable square feet along with 3,500 square feet of ground-floor retail. Units will offer high-end amenities, including quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, plank flooring, walk-in closets, nine-foot ceilings and in-unit washers and dryers. Community amenities will include a swimming pool, common outdoor terraces, club room, game room, fitness center, co-working space, private entertaining room and terrace, coffee bar and dog wash station. The project is due for completion in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The HFF debt and equity placement team representing the developer included Walter Coker, Brian Crivella, Jamie Leachman and Evan Parker.

“The Stella represents one of the marquee developments in the region,” Leachman said. “The site is located within an opportunity zone and adjacent to the New Carrollton metro station. These factors, coupled with the involvement of a premier developer like Urban Atlantic, drew a tremendous amount of interest from institutional groups looking to capitalize on the new tax laws.” — June 26, 2019 Contify Investment News article

Home 2/Tru by Hilton (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) — A hotel chain opened a new location in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

As investors rushed to invest in Opportunity Zones before the end of the year, Driftwood Acquisitions & Development and Merrimac Ventures locked in their first deal in the federal tax program.

The Coral Gables-based investment firm Driftwood and Fort Lauderdale-based Merrimac closed a deal through an Opportunity Zone fund by raising $24 million to develop a 218-key dual-branded hotel. The Home 2/Tru by Hilton will be built at 315-333 Northwest 1st Avenue in Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village. The deal closed right before the end of the year, allowing investors to take advantage of the largest possible tax benefit in the Opportunity Zones program.

The deal also comes on the heels of the long awaited final regulations released by the U.S. Treasury and the IRS late last month, which experts say gives real estate investors the clarity to start putting money into Opportunity Zone real estate projects.

Jorge L. Gomez-Moller, Driftwood’s general counsel, said investment in the company’s Opportunity Zone fund has come from retail investors as well as wealthy family offices looking to take advantage of lucrative cash breaks. The project is expected to be completed within the first quarter of 2020.

Driftwood and Merrimac secured a $28.4 million construction loan from Little Rock, Arkansas-based Bank OZK, to build the hotel. The bank is one of the most active construction lenders in South Florida, New York City and Los Angeles.

The deal is just one of many initiatives that Driftwood has in store for 2020, as Gomez-Moller said the company is seeking to raise $200 million to $250 million in capital through two new real estate funds. The company is also looking to reposition a 10-story office building in Wilmington, Delaware into a 136-room IHG-branded hotel.

The Flagler Village project is one of the few Opportunity Zone projects in South Florida in which investors will begin seeing cash flow in the next few months. Many other Opportunity Zone projects are in pre-development stages, according to Gomez-Moller.

Tucked into President Trump’s 2017 tax legislation, the Opportunity Zones initiative’s goal is to encourage private investment in distressed communities by allowing investors and real estate developers to defer or forgo paying capital gains taxes if they invest in one of the more than 8,700 zones throughout the country.

The program was the most talked about initiative in real estate, but demand has lagged behind the lofty expectations, due to delays in the rollout of the rules. In South Florida, developers claim they have struggled to find deals that pencil out due to the rising costs of land in Opportunity Zones. — January 3, 2020 The Real Deal article


Hotel Equities (Colorado Springs, Colorado) — The hotel developer is bringing two hotels to the city in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

An Atlanta hotel developer wants to build a Courtyard by Marriott and a Residence Inn in the Colorado Springs Airport’s Peak Innovation Business Park, the first hotels on airport land, according to plans made public Tuesday.

Hotel Equities hopes to start construction in January on a Courtyard of 105 to 120 rooms that would open in 2021 as well as a similar-sized Residence Inn to open by 2023 on a 6-acre parcel just south of Milton E. Proby Parkway, which loops in front of the airport passenger terminal. The company would buy that site from the city for $1 million to $1.5 million, airport officials said.

Hotel Equities wants to buy the property by year’s end to tap federal tax benefits because the site is in a federal Opportunity Zone that covers the airport property. The Opportunity Zone program allows investors in such projects to delay paying federal income tax on investment profits until 2026. To get the maximum tax benefit from zone projects, the investments must be made this year.

Hotel Equities also is a partner in a 259-room hotel being built downtown southwest of South Tejon and Costilla streets. It will operate under Marriott’s Element and SpringHill Suites brands. That $75 million project, set to open in 2021, also will receive Opportunity Zone tax benefits. The company operates a Fairfield Inn & Suites near the Air Force Academy and more than 140 other hotels in 24 states and three Canadian provinces. — August 21, 2019 Colorado Springs Gazette article

InSite Development and Midas Hospitality (Lancaster, California) — The group is building a hotel in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A project to erect the first hotel along Lancaster Boulevard holds the promise of upgrading the entire downtown section of the city.

Developed as a joint venture between InSite Development in Woodland Hills and St. Louis hotel firm Midas Hospitality, the project will create a $25 million, 107-key extended-stay Residence Inn by Marriott International at 857 W. Lancaster Blvd. on the Antelope Valley’s busiest thoroughfare. Construction of the four-story, 80,000-square-foot building is scheduled to begin later this year, with the hotel’s opening planned for early 2021.

Despite the impact this project will have, Eglash said, it almost didn’t happen. It was only possible because the property falls inside an “Opportunity Zone.”  — August 19, 2019 San Fernando Valley Business Journal


Indus Management Group (Houston, Texas) — The management group is building an apartment complex that is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Houston-based Indus Management Group purchased Mark VI, a 144-unit apartment complex at 5606 Bissonnet. JLL’s Joey Rippel, Chris Young and Bailey Crowell marketed the property for the seller, AK Interests, and procured the buyer.

Located on four acres just west of Chimney Rock near Bellaire, the 1970s-era complex will be renovated and rebranded by the new owner. The units, of which 59 percent are unrenovated and 41 percent are partially renovated, average 887 square feet.

“We are excited to uplift another community in the area by introducing The Atrium at 5606, formerly known as Mark VI Apartments,” Manu Gupta, managing director of Indus Management Group said in an announcement. “This will be our fourth acquisition in the submarket.”

Mark VI is zoned to Bellaire High School. Amenities include a swimming pool, six landscaped courtyards, on-site laundry facilities and covered parking. The property is in a Qualified Opportunity Zone, meaning investors who make improvements can get tax benefits as part of a federal program designed to spur economic development. — October 14, 2019 Houston Chronicle article

Invertase Brewing Co. (Phillipsburg, New Jersey) — A brewery is being built in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A piece of paper taped to the door blocks the view inside. “No peeking!!” it says. There are smiley faces inside the O and under the two exclamation points.

Inside is where Stephen and Karen Zolnay are hard at work turning a family hobby of 15 years into a business.

When finished, Invertase Brewing Co. will be one of just a handful of breweries in northwest New Jersey, and the only one in Phillipsburg. Breweries are more plentiful just across the Delaware River in Easton, a community from which the Zolnays hope to draw support.

What’s more, they said, the site is at a crucial intersection for Route 22 motorists getting to and from the free bridge and falls within an federal opportunity zone, giving them some economic incentive as well. — July 21, 2019 Hunterdon County Democrat article


Iovance (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) — The cancer therapy firm is building an office and laboratory complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Cancer-therapy firm Iovance Biotherapeutics Inc. plans to open a sprawling office and laboratory complex in South Philadelphia’s Navy Yard complex, adding to the city’s growing clout as a biotechnology research-and-development hub.

Iovance, which specializes in the development and commercialization of cancer immunotherapies using cells known as tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, will occupy a three-story, 136,000-square-foot building that will span about a block of the Navy Yard’s core business and research park.

The Navy Yard was also chosen because of the tax advantages that come from being within a Keystone Opportunity Zone, which can qualify companies for city and state tax breaks, as well as other financial incentives. — May 30, 2019 Philadelphia Inquirer article

Jetton General Contracting (Jonesboro, Arkansas) — The contracting company has built a number of “micro-lofts” in the Opportunity Zones:

“Just about any type of business can qualify in an Opportunity Zone, as can property and equipment. The only businesses that don’t qualify on the front end are so-called “sin” businesses such as massage parlors, strip clubs, country clubs, golf courses and others.


Jetton General Contracting has built a number of downtown “micro-lofts” that are small, modern loft-style apartments suited for college students, she said. The downtown area has about 130 lofts and other apartments.” — February 27, 2020 Talk Business article

Jefferson-Werner LLC (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) — The developer is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

It looks like Bethlehem’s crumbling Boyd Theatre has screened its final movie.

Fans of the city’s last cinema house hoped the charming theater might be saved when developer Charles C. Jefferson bought the property in January 2016 for $1.35 million. But, alas, it looks like the water-logged building is beyond saving.

Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez confirmed the developer plans to tear down the theater and build apartments there.

Jefferson told Lehigh Valley Business on Tuesday that he plans to demolish the theater to make way for a $22 million, 120-unit apartment project with lower-level retail by leveraging a federal opportunity zone, a tax incentive written into the new tax law.

Jefferson did not respond to a phone message seeking information on his plans, and emails to him and his company came back as undeliverable.

The opportunity zone designation gives developers of commercial and residential projects breaks on capital gains taxes for investing in economically disadvantaged areas. It is mean to encourage urban investment outside of city centers.

The stretch of East Broad Street where the Boyd sits has long vexed city officials. The decaying properties created a sharp demarcation between the city’s restaurant row and Main Street shopping.

“We’ve been waiting a long time to see redevelopment at the Boyd,” city Director of Community and Economic Development Alicia Miller Karner said. “… It is a

critical block to us. It is the bridge between Main Street and a significant residential area.” The Boyd was shuttered in 2011 and as it decayed the adjacent storefronts were condemned in 2015. Shortly after, the city declared the property blighted. Donchez has long said retail and housing should be key elements of the redevelopment of the Boyd property.

On Wednesday, Donchez said while it’s unfortunate economics mean the Boyd must be torn down, Jefferson is proposing a good project for the city.

“I think that block has a lot of potential,” the mayor said. “I think it is underutilized.”

Jefferson has shared conceptual designs with the city and the mayor is quite pleased with the proposed mixed use. New housing units downtown will bring more vitality to the city center and the retail will hopefully better link Broad Street to Main Street, Donchez said.

“It makes that block stronger,” he said.

Jefferson told Lehigh Valley Business that the entire project could cover 147,800-square-feet with about eight total floors. Two floors would front onto East Broad Street with about eight to the rear, including lower level parking and retail topped with apartments.

“I think there is a tremendous demand for apartments in the downtown,” Donchez said. “That’s not just Bethlehem, if you look at Allentown and Easton, too.”

The developer estimates that construction could start this fall, but no plans have been filed with the city.

At one time, Moravian College was interested in buying and rehabbing the former movie theater into a performance venue, but it abandoned the plans when faced with a $30 million price tag and no major donor to help.

Water damage has long plagued the 1,100-seat Boyd and the buildings surrounding it. The theater closed following heavy rains in May 2011. When the city condemned the property in 2015, officials found an elaborate tarp system along with 50-gallon drums set up in second-floor office space.

The property consists of the theater, which has an orchestra pit and dressing rooms backstage, five storefronts, 10,000 square feet of office space and a onetime nightclub below street level.

Currently, Jefferson’s company Jefferson-Werner LLC is working with Lehigh University to renovate the former Lehigh Valley Cold Storage building, 321 Adams St. in South Bethlehem, into 30 market-rate apartments, a retail space and courtyard. The project dubbed Brinker Lofts also sits in one of Bethlehem’s opportunity zones. — February 14, 2019 The Express-Times article

JMA Ventures LLC (Phoenix, Arizona) — The firm is building an apartment community located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

San Francisco-based JMA Ventures LLC is on track to break ground next week for a $75 million apartment community in the warehouse district in downtown Phoenix.

The last time the developer bought land in downtown Phoenix — about four blocks away from its current location at Fourth and Buchanan streets — it was 20 years ago.

Newmark Knight Frank (Nasdaq: NMRK) arranged $51.9 million in construction financing for the 278-unit apartment community, with the rest coming from JMA Ventures and “opportunity zone” funding. — August 19, 2019 Phoenix Business Journal article


J Car Development (Albany, New York) — The company is redeveloping a building into a data center which is located on a Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

If Jason Benedict got nothing else in his introduction to Albany politics, he got a show.

The Chicago developer, who sat through the Albany City Commission’s meeting Tuesday to find out if his J Car Development team would get a $3 million loan from the city’s Job Enhancement Fund — one of the final pieces of the financial puzzle Benedict needed to move forward with his $13.5 million development plan for the old Gordon Hotel/Water Gas & Light Building at 207 Pine Ave. — had a front-row seat for the sometimes tragicomedy that is an Albany Commission meeting.

After being questioned about the structure of the building, getting a history lesson from Ward VI Commissioner Tommie Postell, who operated elevators at the old Gordon when he was a youngster, having to sit through a rehash of the process that led to the redevelopment plan, and then hearing a citizen, William Wright, insist that the loan approval be put off for 30 days and follow up with pontification on how “hotel jobs” are not good jobs because members of his family had worked at hotels, Benedict got his loan and said work will start on the 207 Pine building “in the next few days.”

The developer said his company would begin work on the data center that is part of the development with plans to have it operating within 90 days. His team, he told commissioners, will manage the data center.

“It’s a business that we’re doing elsewhere right now, but we plan to consolidate it here,” Benedict said. “We’ve had a pilot program going for the last four months, and it’s worked really well.”

Benedict said the second floor of the 207 Pine building will be used for the data center.

“There’s a fair amount of infrastructure work that has to be done before we move in,” he said. “We’re going to put advanced cooling technology in there and get a new server in place. Once we take care of those things, we’ll move pretty quickly.”

Ward V Commissioner Bob Langstaff, noting that a significant amount of the funding plan for the development comes from EB-5 funding, asked Benedict if he had a contingency plan if that funding source fell through.

“We feel like we’re in a high priority position for that funding,” Benedict said of the government fund that is paid by employers who bring foreign workers into the country. “It’s about creating local jobs, and not only will we be doing that, we’ll be training students at Albany State University for technology jobs that will keep them here in the community.”

The developer said, though, that if that particular funding source, estimated at $5 million of the project cost, doesn’t come through, he has a contingency plan in place.

“We, essentially, have four funds that we’re working with that are looking for projects like these,” he said. “We’re not concerned that funding will be an issue.”

Benedict said he sees no reason why development of the project cannot move according to the schedule presented in the project plan. That schedule calls for the data center to begin operations in July, closing on the property in August, permitting approvals in October or November, a groundbreaking and construction commencement in December or January, and a grand opening in January 2021.

“Things look good; we’re excited about this project,” he said. “It looks like we’re squarely in the sweet spot for opportunity zone investment. Our team is ready to begin the day-to-day work on the project; in fact, one of the lead team members will be moving to Albany real soon.” — April 10, 2019 Albany Herald article

JLL Capital Markets (Jersey City, New Jersey) — The company is investing in a brand new apartment complex, which will create new jobs:

“JLL Capital Markets has arranged a $20.5 million loan for an investment fund that’s buying a Jersey City apartment complex, NJBIZ reported. Borrower Normandy Opportunity Zone Fund, which is managed by Columbia Property Trust, plans to use the financing to purchase the 93-unit, six-story building known as The Ashton, which is in an opportunity zone. The building houses 62 parking spots, according to the outlet. Rialto Capital Management provided the two-year, floating rate loan. ” — February 26, 2020 The Real Deal article

JLL Capital (Jersey City, New Jersey) — The company announced it is building an apartment community located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

JLL Capital Markets announced today that it has arranged $41 million in acquisition financing for BELA, a newly developed, 104-unit, luxury apartment community located within a qualified opportunity zone in Jersey City’s rapidly expanding Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood.

JLL worked on behalf of the borrower, Golden Glades Capital Management, to arrange the two-year, floating-rate loan that was provided by Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation (NYSE: ACRE). — April 2, 2020 MultifamilyBiz article


JWV Real Estate (Jacksonville, Florida) — The company announced that they are building shipping container apartments in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Plans for Jacksonville-based JWB Real Estate Capital’s shipping container apartments are moving forward, with revised plans submitted Sep. 20.

The Ashley Street Container Lofts will consist of 18 apartment units totaling 2,280 square feet constructed from shipping containers, according to the plans prepared by Kimley Horn. Plans for the project on 0.13 acres at 412 East Ashley Street were first submitted in June.

The site is in the Cathedral District and is located in an opportunity zone, meaning it is eligible to serve as a tax shelter for capital gains. JWB purchased the property in February through an affiliate for $52,500. — September 23, 2019 Jacksonville Business Journal article


Lakemont Retirement Community (Newport City, Vermont) — A developer was able to build a new retirement community by taking advantage of the TCJA Opportunity Zone program:

NEWPORT CITY — Developer Heidi Eichenberger wants to build a $22 million housing development called LakemontRetirement Community on Lakemont Road featuring nearly 200 apartments and a full range of services.

She hopes to tap into a newly created “opportunity zone” in Newport City that would allow people who sell property to invest and defer capital gains taxes into the future and also reduce the tax burden over time.

If all goes well with investments and permitting, construction could begin on Lakemont Retirement Community in the spring and be completed in October, said Eichenberger this week.

It’s a unique development for Vermont that has support from Newport City Mayor Paul Monette, Jon Freeman, president of Northern Community Investment Corp., and others working in the accounting, construction and banking industries.

“I look at this as ideal,” Monette said Thursday when some of the supporters and people working with Eichenberger on the project gathered at her office at the Hearing Center of Vermont on the Derby Road.


And it is the first large project to be proposed for one of Vermont’s 25 “opportunity zones.” There are thousands nationwide but the law that created these zones is new. There are two other zones in the Northeast Kingdom in Lyndonvileand St. Johnsbury.

Eichenberger said she initially looked at developing the project in Derby but switched to Newport City when she learned about the opportunity zone here. She created Lakemont Investment LLC to take advantage of this special zone.

The zone allows investors who sell property to invest their capital gains into the project and defer capital gains taxes for years and also see some tax breaks on the investment, according to Stephen Trenholm, certified public accountant with Gallagher, Flynn & Company. — February 15, 2019 The Caledonian-Record article


Knight Aerospace (San Antonio, Texas) — The company is relocating to an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

San Antonio-based Knight Aerospace is moving down the road to Port San Antonio, the redeveloped Kelly Air Force Base on the city’s Southwest Side, and hiring more people.

The company, currently located at 1119 S. Acme Rd., manufactures medical modules for airplanes. The components serve as emergency rooms and intensive care units that can be quickly rolled into planes.

Knight also makes VIP units to transport high-profile passengers and seating systems, and provides upgrading and refurbishment services.

On Tech event arena, co-working space envisioned for Port San Antonio

The company was being courted by cities inside and outside Texas, said Jim Perschbach, Port San Antonio’s president and CEO. The port has a long-standing relationship with Knight, and the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation helped, he said.

The move is “another huge win for San Antonio, as we’re retaining and growing an important player in one of our key industry sectors,” said Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, the foundation’s CEO, in a statement.

Knight’s history in San Antonio and the proximity to military and medical organizations prompted the company to stay, said president and CEO Bianca Rhodes. The company was founded in San Antonio in 1992.

Later this year, Knight will move into an 80,000-square-foot space at 3604 S.W. 36th St. at the Port, where it will have areas for fabrication, design, research and development and offices.

With several large contracts in the pipeline and more demand for its products, Knight is also looking to expand its workforce. The company has 57 employees and expects to have 100 at the port by the end of 2020.

On San Antonio’s aerospace industry has lost jobs but may be rebounding

The move gives Knight access to the port’s industrial airport at Kelly Field, allowing the company to use the runway to have customers pick up products, Rhodes said. It also provides proximity to customers such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and StandardAero.

There are some tax and regulatory benefits to moving to the port. The real property owned by the port is not taxed, and Knight will be housed in a building owned by the Port, Perschbach said. Companies’ personal property, such as their equipment and inventory, is taxable and they also pay sales and other taxes.

Knight is not seeking any city or county incentives, Rhodes said.

On San Antonio lands Texas’ first ‘opportunity zone’ investment under Trump tax bill

The campus is also a federally-designated “opportunity zone,” which refers to economically disadvantaged areas where investors can put their funds in long-term investments in exchange for reduced or eliminated capital-gains tax burden.

In April, the U.S. Treasury Department named 24 census tracts in the San Antonio area as opportunity zones.

Knight is the first company at the port to specialize in their particular area, with the modules, Perschbach said. The products increase a plane’s value, and the port wants to “offer nose to tail solutions,” he added. — May 15, 2019 San Antonio Express-News article


Landmark Development (Duluth, Minnesota) — The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Downtown Duluths skyline will be getting a couple of splashes of modern architecture soon.

Developers are working to figure out a demolition and construction schedule for a glassy, 15-story apartment building along the citys main downtown thoroughfare at 333 E. Superior St.

The $75 million project, which city officials said will help address a shortage of quality market-rate housing by adding 204 modern apartments, will rise near a $675 million, 14-story facility that Duluth-based Essentia Health is building. Nearby St. Lukes Hospital also is planning nearly $300 million in longer-term construction.

They are significant changes to the downtown skyline of a once-stagnant industrial city.

These projects that we are seeing now are once in a generation, and theyre all happening at the same time, said Duluth Mayor Emily Larson. Its just tremendously exciting.

The apartment building, dubbed the Lakeview, will sit next to the Sheraton hotel and will feature units with floor-to-ceiling glass, wood floors and interior balconies so residents can enjoy Lake Superior views in all kinds of weather, said Brian Forcier, managing partner of Titanium Partners in Duluth, one of three developers on the project.

Plans for the bottom floor call for 19,000 square feet of retail space, including a grocery store an amenity that community leaders have been seeking for years. The second floor will have space for medical private-practice offices, Forcier said.

The project will replace the Voyageur Lakewalk Inn and a couple of other vacant buildings.

The developers, including Landmark Development of Madison, Wis., and Gerald Fogelson of Chicago, are taking advantage of a new federal Opportunity Zone program, which allows reinvestment of capital gains from other projects into properties in areas designated as economically distressed.

Larson said it is the single largest private investment in downtown Duluths history for a residential building and a significant outside investment. She expects more outside investors to take an interest in Duluth in the next few years.

The city also agreed to pitch in $6.2 million in tax-increment financing for the apartment building, using the increased property taxes the development will generate to pay for infrastructure over the course of 25 years.

The building does nothing to help fill a shortage of quality low-income housing in the city, though. City leaders faced criticism for giving tax incentives to benefit high-wage earners.

We have a housing need across multiple spectrums and multiple affordability levels, theres no question about it, Larson said, adding that leaders can work on affordable housing while theyre also working on market-rate housing.

Across the road, Essentia Healths new Vision Northland project will include a new St. Marys Medical Center plus a clinic building and outpatient surgery center.

Construction is expected to begin later this year and finish in 2022.

And at nearby St. Lukes, officials are planning three phases of upgrades, with the most skyline-changing construction planned for about seven years out, said Vice President of Support Services Mike Boeselager.

At that time phase three of the project an inpatient tower would be built atop other buildings, for a total of 11 stories. Before that, projects will include relocating the emergency department and tripling its capacity, as well as expanding outpatient services.

Both medical facilities are getting state-backed bond financing for the projects. — Jan. 21, 2019 Star-Tribune article

Linc Housing (Long Beach, California) — The company is building an apartment complex for people who have experienced homelessness, in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Linc Housing has announced the start of construction on Bloom at Magnolia, an all-new, 40-unit apartment community in Long Beach for people who have experienced homelessness.

Located in the South Wrigley neighborhood in central Long Beach, Bloom at Magnolia is aligned with key concepts in the City’s proposed General Plan Update by incorporating smart growth principles to develop a thriving and livable community that promotes healthy living, education, opportunity and neighborhood engagement. The 37,900-square-foot site was purchased from the City of Long Beach’s nonprofit affiliate, the Long Beach Community Investment Company (LBCIC), following a competitive bidding process.


Funding for the development comes from a variety of sources including $8.5 million from the Los Angeles County Development Authority (general funds, Mental Health Housing Program Funds, and Measure H Funds), $2 million in gap financing from the Long Beach Community Investment Company (LBCIC), a conventional loan from the California Community Reinvestment Corporation, a construction loan from Union Bank, tax credit equity from Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, Inc., and Affordable Housing Program funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank. The California Endowment provided predevelopment support. Bloom at Magnolia also benefits from the federal Opportunity Zone incentive program intended to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities. — April 29, 2020 Market Line News article

Larkspur Capital Partners (Dallas, Texas) — The company is building a apartment complex located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Builders who have done a series of successful East Dallas projects are headed to north Oak Cliff with a new development. Larkspur Capital Partners is building an apartment community at 1100 N. Zang Blvd., near Lake Cliff Park. The five-story rental project at the intersection of Zang and Beckley Avenue will have 71 units. The building was designed by Dallas architect Omniplan. “Construction will start in May and take 18 months,” Larkspur Capital’s Carl Anderson said. “It will feature amenities including a pool, coworking space, a gym, a dog wash, a resident bicycle repair shop, a dedicated Uber loading zone and electric vehicle charging.” “Additionally, there will be live-work units that front Zang Boulevard,” Anderson said. “These units are double volume height spaces that feature a work area below with mezzanine bedroom space above.” He said the units are a response to tenant demand for work-at-home spaces.
“These will be some of the first true live-work units under the city’s new form-based zoning ordinance,” Anderson said. “Moreover, the project is in a Qualified Opportunity Zone and will be one of the first development projects in Dallas to take advantage of this compelling new program.” Larkspur Capital has built several successful East Dallas townhouse projects. The developer is also renovating the former Faulkner Tower office building in Lakewood. In addition, Larkspur has other projects in the works, including a 60-unit multifamily project on Henderson Avenue in East Dallas and a 250-unit, seven-story mixed-use project along the Santa Fe Trail on the eastern edge of Dallas’ Deep Ellum district. — March 21, 2020 Dallas Morning News article


LignaTerra Global (Lincoln, Maine) — A company that makes a composite wood material is opening a new factory that will employ 100 people, located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A North Carolina company that makes a composite wood material used in construction plans to invest $31 million into opening a new factory in Lincoln that will employ about 100 people.

LignaTerra Global LLC will build its new 300,000-square-foot plant on a section of open land that was formerly part of the former Lincoln Paper and Tissue mill site, but that the town bought early last year. The company initially planned to open its plant at the former paper mill site in Millinocket but withdrew those plans late last year as a local economic development group struggled to resolve an old federal tax lien on the property.

The operation will be funded by venture capital firms that are taking advantage of a new federal tax program that’s meant to promote investment in economically depressed parts of the country, according to Nick Holgorsen, LignaTerra’s managing director and co-founding partner.

Under that program, a part of the 2017 tax bill passed by Congress, the town of Lincoln has been designated a so-called Opportunity Zone, and the town has used that status to create a special fund through which investors can support eligible projects and potentially receive a break on their capital gains taxes. — September 25, 2019 Bangor Daily News article

Lionsgate (New York City, New York) — The movie production company is building a new movie studio in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Real estate development firm National Resources of Connecticut and U.K.-based asset management firm Great Point Capital Management have secured financing for the first phase of the studio complex, estimated to cost $60 million.
Construction of the complex will consist of a $100 million investment across two phases. It’s expected to create up to 420 new jobs in Yonkers, according to National Resources.
Plans for the development call for the construction of 70,000 square feet of studio space and 38,600 square feet of additional space next to the former Otis Elevator Co. building in Yonkers’ iPark Hudson in Getty Square.
Lionsgate’s studio will be located near the former Yonkers Herald Statesman building and the recently completed Avalon Yonkers apartment complex on Alexander Street.
IPark Hudson is owned by National Resources. CIT Bank has provided a $40 million construction loan to fund the first phase of the project.
Robert Halmi, the founder of Hallmark Channel and manager of Great Point Capital, said the loan closed on March 31. Financing for the first phase of the project includes $10 million in federal Opportunity Zone financing and an additional $10 million in equity financing.
“We are hoping to break ground in four weeks,” Halmi said. “But if we have to delay another two weeks from there or another four weeks from there, we will add crew and work overtime to make sure the first phase still opens around the end of this year.” — April 13, 2020 The Journal News article

LongTail Building (Louisville, Kentucky) — The bar was converted into an office building located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

After extensive restoration, a neighborhood bar that served bourbon for nearly a hundred years sees new life as a space designed for early-stage companies and events. Walking distance to Churchill Downs, the LongTail Building is located at 2532 S 4th St, Louisville, KY 40208, in an opportunity zone blocks away from the University of Louisville and surrounded by new student housing. The LongTail Building is a multi-use entrepreneurial event space reimagining the building’s history as the Whirlaway Tavern. Triple Crown-winning horse Whirlaway was nicknamed Mr. Longtail. The term “long tail” also represents part of a distribution curve, one that drives technology adoption and creates markets at scale.
The LongTail Building hosts offices for early-stage funds, the 6ixth Event, and Narwhal Ventures. These funds invest in early-stage companies and working with startups and investors located around the country. The building holds LongTail Ventures, a business incubator focused on creating early-stage companies outside traditional venture models. The space is available for corporate events and community functions.
The space showcases the region’s rich history and culture with quintessential regional experience. Designed by an award-winning architect, the building boasts historic brick, block glass, hand-cut timbers, hand-painted signs, and details with spaces that feel like a Kentucky barn complete with hookups for food trucks to support a jamboree. Designers gave primary importance to the outdoor spaces with dozens of trees planted along with botanical gardens, all designed to create a flow between the outside and inside of the location. The LongTail Building boasts modern technology such as super-fast internet access from fiber run on a Ruckus network, ultra-short-throw projection screens with next-gen teleconferencing, and a Helium based IoT / LoRaWAN Network.
The LongTail Building restoration was a team effort in reimagining the use of historic indoor and outside spaces. Studio Mayo Architects (American Institute of Architects | 2018 KY Merit Award) did the project, along with Lichtefeld Construction, Sweet Carpentry of Kentuckiana (boutique carpenter), and Slugger City Signs (artist at Kentucky College of Art & Design) and Mighty Fine Signs (Ghost Sign specialist). Historic signs on the building’s exterior were restored and reinterpreted by hand, based on archival photos, all commemorating the history of the city and space. — March 24, 2020 company press release

Lora DiCarlo (Bend, Oregon) — The marital aid company got its start with help from an Opportunity Zone grant, and is located in a Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Lora DiCarlo developed its technology at Oregon State University’s robotics lab and received $1.1 million in funding through the Oregon Opportunity Zone Limited Partnership, a tax incentive enabled by the federal tax cuts approved last year.

The company has nine employees, split between Bend and its research lab in Corvallis. — January 8, 2019 The Oregonian article

Lucid Moters Inc. (Pinal County, Arizona) — The company is building a production plant in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Arizona’s Pinal County has purchased 500 acres of land that it plans to lease and eventually sell to Silicon Valley electric carmaker Lucid Motors Inc ., which plans to create a $700 million production facility on the site.

The plant in Casa Grande, Arizona, will focus be on the Lucid Air, an under-development all-electric luxury sedan that Lucid claims will have a 400-mile range and top speed of 200 mph when it hits the market next year. Lucid eventually plans to employ 2,300 people at the plant, which is expected to begin construction in the second quarter of this year.

In September, Lucid Motors secured a $1 billion investment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. Around the same time, the Business Journal confirmed that it had moved its headquarters and about 300 employees  into the former Theranos space in Newark’s Pacific Research Center campus, about four miles from incumbent rival Tesla Inc .’s Fremont factory.

Electric car promise

“The convergence of new technologies is reshaping the automobile, but the benefits have yet to be truly realized,” Lucid Chief Technology Officer Peter Rawlinson said when the Saudi investment was announced last year. “This is inhibiting the pace at which sustainable mobility and energy are adopted. At Lucid, we will demonstrate the full potential of the electric connected vehicle in order to push the industry forward.”

Rawlinson helped design Tesla’s Model S sedan, but left the company in 2012.

Lucid has said it plans to build two versions of its electric vehicle, going head-to-head in the market that Palo Alto-based Tesla has pioneered. The Lucid vehicles will start at a base price of around $60,000 and will top $100,000 with options.

Arizona plant moves forward

In Arizona, Pinal County stepped in to help the deal for Lucid’s new auto plant by consolidating the land under one ownership that eventually would be sold to the carmaker, Pinal County Manager Greg Stanley said. The county closed on the land at the end of 2018, spending $29.94 million through the issuance of bonds.

As part of the agreement, Lucid will pay $1.8 million per year in rent for the first four years of the agreement, and will buy the land in the fifth year, Stanley said. The county will break even on the deal.

Lucid is required to keep funds in an account that, if the plant does not come to fruition, will be used by the county to complete infrastructure improvements on the site to make it a shovel-ready industrial park.

Most of the land was owned by Scottsdale, Arizona, based Saint Holdings before being purchased by the county. Kirk McCarville of Land Advisors brokered a deal for 80 acres from a separate seller of adjacent land, which was purchased by the county as part of the 500-acre total purchase.

Saint Holdings is owner and developer of the Central Arizona Commerce Park, which contains the Lucid land.

“We have quite a bit of interest in the northern parcels,” said Jackob Andersen, president and CEO of Saint Holdings of the Central Arizona Commerce Park, which is also part of an opportunity zone. “We are open for business on the neighboring sites, we hope the others will get auxiliary uses.” — Feb. 13, 2019 Silicon Valley Business Journal article

Marathon Kickz (Aiken, South Carolina) — This shoe store opened because of the Opportunity Zones portion of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Victor Fuewell is the owner of Marathon Kickz, on the intersection of Hampton Avenue and York Street. He says after years of selling rare shoes online, he decided to open shop in his neighborhood.

“Once I saw that I could sell my shoes on e-Bay and it was very profitable, I started going to sneaker conventions,” Explained Fuewell. “So it gave me the idea to open up a store for the community.”

The goal of the opportunity zone is to blossom these neighborhoods. Fuewell says his store is playing a role in bringing people in and keeping kids out of trouble.

“They’re in here for hours looking at shoes,” said Fuewell. “They’re also able to trade some shoes they have at the house for another pair. It keeps them in the store a lot.”

Marathon Kickz has been open for business for about three weeks. The owner hopes his company can be the stepping stone for other investors to bring their businesses on this side of town.

“People are just afraid to give it a chance because of the crime over this way,” said Fuewell. “So investors are kind of afraid to open up a business because they afraid of the crime.”

Victor Fuewell says opening Marathon Kickz was step one. Step two is revitalizing the car wash next to it, adding another new business in the opportunity zone.” — February 17, 2020  WJBF article.


MAN Energy Solutions (Brookshire, Texas) — The energy solutions company has opened its North American headquarters in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

MAN Energy Solutions has opened its North American headquarters in The Uplands at Twinwood, a 400-acre business park being developed in Brookshire, about 35 miles west of downtown Houston.

The Germany-based manufacturer is the first company to move into the new business park, at 1758 Twinwood Parkway, south of Interstate 10 near Woods Road. The company employs 140 workers at the building, which consolidates former operations in Houston and Deer Park.

MAN Energy Solutions manufactures engines for marine propulsion and power generation and turbomachinery for oil and gas, petrochemical and industrial applications.

Houston-based KDW designed and built the 137,434-square-foot headquarters facility, which is owned by Houston-based Welcome Group.

“We’re certainly anticipating strong interest in Twinwood from other global companies looking to establish or expand their North American presence,” Welcome Group Chief Executive Welcome Wilson Jr. said in an announcement. “We are pleased to add this project to our 4 million-square-foot portfolio of single-tenant industrial and office facilities.”

The Uplands at Twinwood lies within a designated Opportunity Zone, a federal economic development tool where new investments that meet certain criteria may be eligible for tax breaks. — May 31, 2019 Houston Chronicle article

Maxus Reality Trust (Kingsport, Tennessee) — The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

According to the Mastered in Tennessee website, there are currently four Opportunity Zone projects in the Tri-Cities area. The projects, business type, and value are:

Town Park Lofts – Kingsport – $39.4 million. This reflects the developer’s sale of The Lofts to Maxus Realty Trust. The Lofts is a luxury apartment complex on the edge of downtown Kingsport. — November 22, 2019 DonFenley.Com article


MetroHealth (Cleveland, Ohio) — The company announced they will be bringing 250 apartment units near the hospital campus, in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The MetroHealth System announced a planned $60 million investment that will bring approximately 250 apartment units to West 25th Street near the hospital’s main campus.

The health care system, working with a private developer, plans to build up to 72 affordable housing units on what is now a parking lot at West 25th Street and Sackett Avenue, and two buildings with up to 190 market-rate apartments at a to-be-determined site on West 25th.

MetroHealth, in partnership with NRP Group, also plans to build up to 190 market-rate apartments on West 25th Street. The exaction location and configuration of the two buildings has not been finalized (RDL Architects). DEPICTION

Developers are looking at how to effectively leverage the area’s status as an Opportunity Zone to help finance the projects, Zucca said. Opportunity Zones are federally designated, economically distressed census tracts where, under certain conditions, investors receive tax benefits if they invest in real-estate projects or businesses there. — June 28, 2020 Cleveland Plain Dealer article

Midas Hospitality (Los Angeles, California) — The hospitality chain is building a hotel in Los Angeles in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Midas Hospitality has been tapped to develop a hotel in the Los Angeles area, marking a shift in strategy from the company’s focus on underserved markets.

Midas will co-develop a $25 million, 107-room Residence Inn in Lancaster, California, after the brand’s parent, Marriott, referred Midas to the local developer, InSite Development. The project is currently in the pre-development stage, but Midas will manage the hotel once complete, co-founder J.T. Norville said.

The Maryland Heights-based company developed a niche building and managing hotels in underserved markets like Kentucky, Ohio and the Carolinas, which helped to push Midas to one of St. Louis’ largest privately held companies with $124.8 million in revenue last year. And Norville had said in 2018 that “you’re not going to see us in Manhattan or Chicago.”

But Norville said the Lancaster project was appealing because it was a Residence Inn, one of the strongest brands in Midas’ portfolio; the area is home to a major aeronautics market with companies like Northrup Grumman and Boeing, as well as Edwards Air Force Base; and its location within an “opportunity zone,” which allow investors to reinvest capital gains in federally designated economically disadvantaged areas.

“It’s a good investment opportunity for our investors,” Norville said.

Midas is launching an opportunity zone fund and is aiming to raise $12 million for the Lancaster project. Its first OZ fund in Midtown raised $35 million in four months.

With any of its markets, Midas will seek out more opportunities.

“Whether third-party management or continued ownership, we will want to scale out in the greater Los Angeles area,” Norville said. — June 25, 2019 St. Louis Business Journal article

MidCity (Washington, D.C.) — The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A new 108-unit apartment building at 1400 Montana Ave. NE is among the District’s first projects under the federal government’s new opportunity zone program, enacted as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Under the program, anyone who invests in a designated “opportunity zone” — typically economically distressed neighborhoods — can receive tax incentives. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) designated 25 locations in the District as opportunity zones, including the Brentwood neighborhood in Northeast.

MidCity, which has developed more than 15,000 units across the United States and owns about 9,000 units in the District and in Maryland, is financing 1400 Montana with its first opportunity fund. Construction is anticipated to begin in spring 2020 and be complete by the summer of 2021.

The project will include 11 affordable units available to households earning 60 percent of area median income, which is $121,300 for a household of four in the D.C. metro area. Eligibility requirements are based on household size as well as income. The apartment building will have a roof terrace, a fitness center, a lounge for residents and workspaces, as well as parking for 34 cars.

The new project is adjacent to MidCity’s 20-acre Brookland Manor property, which is being redeveloped in several phases into RIA, a mixed-income, mixed-use project that will eventually have 1,800 residential units. That site is also designated as an opportunity zone, which will assist MidCity, along with charitable and public financing, in supporting community development and infrastructure improvements. — July 10, 2019 Washington Post article

Mihaus (Cincinnati, Ohio) — The company plans to build an apartment building in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Indianapolis-based developer Milhaus plans to build a $77 million, 344-unit apartment building near the Ohio River downtown, along with a 390-space garage, a project known as Artistry Cincinnati.

“Artistry will offer the best of all aspects of Cincinnati urban living – close proximity to the city’s best employment center and entertainment districts, all while being in a quiet location along the beautiful Ohio River Trail” said Jake Dietrich, MIlhaus’ development director. “Skyline, park and river views, along with great recreation and entertainment opportunities just steps away are all reasons why we know residents will be eager to live here. Milhaus is excited to finally provide the development solution this site has long been looking for – adding significant housing that will help Cincinnati continue to attract new employers and residents to this great city.”

The project is within a federal Opportunity Zone. — June 20, 2019 Business Courier of Cincinnati article         

Milwaukee City Housing Authority (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) — The city is building affordable housing units that are located in a Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Downtown Milwaukee’s newest proposed apartment high-rise would mix people paying what could be among the city’s highest rents with other residents whose income is perhaps half that of their neighbors.

Known tentatively as Convent Hill South, the 32-story building, developed by the city Housing Authority, would bring an unusual mission: compete with other upscale downtown high-rises while also providing a large number of affordable apartments.

The $150 million development also would generate cash for the Housing Authority to maintain other apartment buildings throughout Milwaukee where some of the city’s poorest residents live.

It’s a tall order, and amounts to a big change for the Housing Authority.

But other cities throughout the nation have taken this approach, and Convent Hill South could be the first in a series of similar developments in Milwaukee.

Housing Authority officials do not yet have details on planned rents and income limits at Convent Hill South.

The conceptual proposal has received preliminary approval from the authority’s board. A more detailed proposal will undergo Plan Commission and Common Council review this summer.

The authority will then get construction cost estimates while creating a financing package. That could include a loan from either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac – private companies chartered by Congress to finance affordable housing.

“We want to make sure it cash flows, and that it’s sustainable,” said Bobbi Marsells, authority assistant secretary.

Construction could start next spring, although a more realistic timetable would be spring of 2021. It would take about two years to complete.

Convent Hill South would have up to 350 apartments, as well as 43,000 square feet of office space. Its conceptual plans call for a swimming pool, fitness center and other features often found in upscale high-rises.

It would be built just south of the 10-story Convent Hill, a Housing Authority apartment building for low-income seniors at 455 E. Ogden Ave.

How the apartments would break down between market-rate rents and those offered at affordable rates to lower-income people cannot be determined until the Housing Authority obtains detailed construction cost estimates, Marsells said.

But other cities offer some clues.

The Chicago Housing Authority for years has worked with development firms to create buildings that mix market-rate and affordable apartments.

That includes new buildings at the former Cabrini-Green public housing complex on the city’s near north side – where the last tower was demolished in 2011.

One of the latest proposals calls for a 21-story tower and midrise buildings, totaling 482 units, at Clybourn Avenue and Larrabee Street, east of Goose Island.

Around 45% of the apartments, 217 units, would have market-rate rents, according to the authority.

Another 82 units, or 17%, would have affordable rents for people earning up to 80% of the area’s median income.

The remaining 183 units, 38% of the mix, would be for people on public housing waiting lists. Those renters can earn up to 60% of the area’s median income, said Molly Sullivan, an authority spokeswoman.

Another example is The Lindley, an 11-story apartment building completed last year in Chevy Chase, Maryland, near Washington, D.C.

Co-developed by the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County, it has 200 luxury units – including 40 affordable apartments each for people earning up to 50%, and 60%, of the area’s median income.

Those 80 affordable units make up 40% of The Lindley’s apartments.

Milwaukee’s Housing Authority has some developments that mix market-rate and affordable apartments.

The Townhomes at Carver Park, which in 2002 replaced a demolished portion of the authority’s Lapham Park complex, has 20 market rate units, 51 affordable units and 51 units for public housing residents.

A three-bedroom affordable unit at Carver Park, 1901 N. Sixth St., rents for $750 a month, and for $820 a month at market rate.

Also, the authority’s ongoing replacement of the former Westlawn project with Westlawn Gardens, south of West Silver Spring Drive, between North 60th and North 68th streets, will eventually create several buildings totaling 958 new housing units – including 191 market rate units.

But only a small number of those market-rate units have been built. They will likely be developed in phases, depending on market demand, Marsells said.

Convent Hill South will have all of its units, both market-rate and affordable, within the same building. And it will operate on a larger scale.

Its strong location, on downtown’s northern edge, is a big part of what’s driving that development plan.

The project site was created after the authority’s sprawling Convent Hill project was demolished, and replaced in 2008 with the more compact 10-story building.

Since then, the Housing Authority has turned down offers to sell the site, which includes a parking lot, to development firms.

“That’s a unique piece of land that brings great value to the city,” said Paul Williams, the authority’s Choice Neighborhood Initiative coordinator.

Because of its location, authority officials don’t expect Convent Hill South to have any trouble attracting market-rate renters – particularly younger people.

“I see a lot of demand coming from people working downtown,” Marsells said.

The location also could play a big role in drawing investors.

It’s within an Opportunity Zone, bordered roughly by the Milwaukee River, North Jackson Street and East Juneau Avenue.

That new federal program gives generous tax breaks for investments in neighborhoods with higher unemployment and lower incomes. — April 28, 2019 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article


Monde Group (North Little Rock, Arkansas) — The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Arkansas-based Monde Group broke ground Wednesday (Jan. 8) on the Esplanade District, a 41-acre mixed-use neighborhood development in North Little Rock along the Arkansas River. It is located adjacent to Rockwater Village and Riverside at Rockwater Apartments.

The first phase includes the construction of Esplanade luxury apartment homes, which will feature 92 one- and two-bedroom units, all with private balconies or patios. The property, which is expected to cost about $20 million to develop, is scheduled to open in early 2021.

“Esplanade will offer a unique living experience unlike any other in central Arkansas,” said Blake Jackson founder and managing partner of the Monde Group. “In addition to our premiere valet services and enhanced security features, our property will also feature a spa, fitness center, bicycle lockers, beach, swim-up bar, entertainment and lush gardens.”

Future costs of the acreage to be developed are unknown. Over the next 10-15 years, Jackson said the development will include restaurants, bars and specialty shops with condos, single-family homes and a boutique hotel.

“We really see Esplanade as the first step on a new path to modern living in central Arkansas,” Jackson said. “With close proximity to parks, golf courses, the millennium bike trail, Rockwater Marina, the Argenta Arts District, downtown Little Rock, North Little Rock, and the Clinton National Airport, Esplanade will boast the first significant phase of what will be a multi-phase community development and continue the momentum of Rockwater Village and North Little Rock’s building renaissance.” — January 8, 2020 Talk Business article

Motiva Enterprises (Beaumont, Texas) — The company is building offices in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A $150 million investment planned for downtown Port Arthur from petrochemical giant Motiva Enterprises could be the largest of its kind and spark a “rebirth” of the town ravaged by Tropical Storm Harvey in 2017, officials said.

At a Thursday evening ceremony to formally announce the company’s plans to purchase and renovate at least three buildings and move employees into the long-neglected city center, Motiva executive Travis Capps said there’s “a lot of stuff” under consideration but that getting the buildings up and running is the priority.

He doesn’t mind the swirling rumors that Motiva might bring more activity.

“I love all the rumors,” he said. ” … The rumors are great because they’ll encourage other developers to come down and do stuff, too.”

Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Pat Avery gushed to a crowd of about 450 residents, elected officials, public servants and Motiva executives and employees that, “For Port Arthur, Motiva is the artist.”

The event also included comments from the mayor and a song about downtown Port Arthur from resident Dwight Wagner. May 16 was also deemed, “Imagine Port Arthur Day.”

Port Arthur City Manager Derrick Freeman earlier this year called Motiva’s planned purchase of the Hotel Sabine from the city earlier this year as part of its in-lieu-of-taxes agreement a “done deal.”

But Thursday’s ceremony focused on two other buildings the company has purchased — the Adams and Federal buildings at 440 and 500 Austin Ave., respectively.

The company plans to use the first building for short-term corporate lodging with some retail on the bottom floors.

The latter two buildings will ultimately house 500 office workers and help the company get rid of 220 trailers at the plant that many of them currently work in.

“So now as we look forward to the next decades, and what we need to house our offices and our employees, these buildings were staring at us. I see the refinery right up the street,” Capps said. “We need about offices for 500 people, and that’s what these two buildings can do. It’s pretty straight-forward, from my perspective.”

He denied rumors that the company plans to purchase still more buildings downtown.

Even without the purchase of additional buildings, the planned investment of $150 million downtown is one of the largest in an opportunity zone in the United States, Freeman said. — May 9, 2019 Beaumont Enterprise article

Mathias Partners (Austin, Texas) — The company, along with other groups, is building apartment units in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A group of Austin-based investors and developers wants to build high-rises in East Nashville, as part of a development that could involve as many as 1,400 residential units.

Those details are revealed in newly filed plans with Metro for a project named “Skyline East.” The proposed development would easily rank among the most ambitious and wide-ranging projects attempted in East Nashville, which is historically known for its residential neighborhoods.

Austin-based Mathias Partners, which most recently helped bring The Tyndall condo project online in downtown Austin, is among the members of the development group, as disclosed in Metro documents. Riverchase Holdings LP, a legal entity that is registered to Mathias Partners, records show, paid $11.2 million for the land in 2017.

Skyline East is another example of how commercial development is starting to spread beyond traditional spots such as the Five Points district. The project would encompass 14.5 acres partly along Dickerson Pike, in the McFerrin Park neighborhood (not far from the latest concept from one of Nashville’s highest-profile chefs), and across Interstate 24 from the massive River North mixed-use development site.

The land sits within a federal Opportunity Zone, areas that offer big tax breaks for real estate investors.

The proposal before Metro would involve buildings between six and 15 stories tall, which is permissible under Metro regulations. The plans suggest Skyline East could involve up to 1,400 residential units and as much as 500,000 square feet of other commercial space or parking.

The property is currently home to 212 apartments and townhomes, some of which involve Section 8 vouchers for low-income renters. A Salvation Army store sits adjacent to the project site.

The team behind Skyline East has retained Nashville’s Smith Gee Studio to design the project.

“Riverchase Holdings LLC is excited to be part of the planning and revitalization of the Dickerson Pike corridor and East Nashville community,” said Scott Morton, an associate at that firm, in an emailed statement on behalf of the group. “The 15-acre site is located at the ‘gateway’ to Dickerson Pike and is well positioned to set the tone for quality redevelopment on the corridor.” — May 3, 2019 Austin Business Journal article

NAI Legacy (Minneapolis, Minnesota) — The company built an apartment complex that is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Call it planning ahead. But when the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 unveiled the Opportunity Zone program, officials with Minneapolis’ NAI Legacy saw potential. And the firm acted on that potential.

Duane Lund, chief executive officer of NAI Legacy, said that he and other executives at the Twin Cities commercial real estate firm looked hard at Opportunity Zone legislation way back in the summer of 2018. They studied what Opportunity Zones could mean for NAI Legacy’s business model.

And that foresight? It’s paid off. Since launching its Opportunity Zone program, NAI Legacy has completed four Opportunity Zone investments totaling about $50 million.

“We educated ourselves on the program from the business side,” Lund said. “We surrounded ourselves with law firms and accounting firms that were diving deep into it, too. We’ve since given many of the investors in our program comfort with the assets we’ve targeted.”

One of those assets? Birdtown Flats, a new luxury apartment building in the Minneapolis suburb of Robbinsdale. This apartment complex opened for initial occupancy in February of 2020, and is located near downtown Robbinsdale.

Birdtown Flats includes 152 units and features amenities that include a rooftop deck, fitness center, business center, common area, underground heated parking, dog walk and bike-storage area.


The results bear this out. Lund said that Birdtown Flats is already nearly 70 percent occupied. — April 3, 2020 RE Journals article

New Orleans Redevelopment Fund (New Orleans, Louisiana) — The fund is building a mixed-use apartment building for Tulane University medical that is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The New Orleans Redevelopment Fund has closed on $45 million in financing to convert the former Warwick Hotel into a mixed-use apartment building for Tulane University medical students.

NORF said in a news release Wednesday that the package consists of a construction financing facility provided by Hancock Whitney Bank and a bridge loan for Historic Tax Credits by Midland State Bank.


“We’re thrilled to partner with Tulane as it executes on its bold vision for downtown. Further, as a fellow New Orleanian, I am incredibly excited for the promise this development brings to the neighborhood and Duncan Plaza in a time where we see significant uncertainty. Despite challenging market conditions and the complexity of this project, we utilized our unique expertise in Qualified Opportunity Zones and Historic Tax Credits to get this project financed on schedule,” saiad NORF’s Development Director Cullan Maumus. — April 1, 2020 New Orleans City Business article


Nelson Construction & Development (Sioux City, Iowa) — The company is in the process of restoring the historic building that they acquired, which is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A Sioux City developer has purchased the historic Benson Building at the corner of Douglas and Seventh streets.
Nelson Construction & Development, the property’s new owner, is planning to “breathe new life into” the six-story brick and terra cotta structure built in 1920, according to a press release from the firm.
The sale price was $350,000, according to county sales records.
Steve Nelson, the head of Nelson Construction, said the firm is in the process of having the building, 705 Douglas St., registered as an Iowa historic building.
The plan is to return the building to its 1920s-1930s glory, Nelson said, preserving original elements of the building wherever possible. The firm has the original planning documents used during the building’s construction a century ago, which could be something of a roadmap for a historically accurate restoration.
“You’ll see a lot of restoration, not necessarily new things added,” Nelson said.
Nelson said the firm is in talks with a retailer as a tenant for the lower floor, which he said would “really supplement the downtown.”
Floors three through six, he said, will probably be apartments, while the second floor and the remainder of the first floor would be office space. The first floor, the only part of the building that currently has occupants, is about 80 percent filled at present, he said.
The building’s basement could become an underground parking garage, which would complement the property’s adjacent surface parking lot.
The possibility of a rooftop patio with a view of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is also under consideration, according to the press release.
Interior work on the building, Nelson said, could start within the next 60 days or so, with more construction beginning possibly in September or October. From the time construction starts, Nelson estimated it could be 12 to 14 months until apartments are leased.
The Benson Building is situated within the boundaries of a newly created federal “Opportunity Zone,” a part of the 2017 tax law which provides tax advantages for owners of properties in areas considered economically distressed. — March 4, 2020 Sioux City Journal article

Nitze-Stagen (Seattle, Washington) — The real estate firm is building a mixed-use building that will include student apartments and office space that is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

That’s why around here, investors and developers have been at pains to emphasize that their opportunity zone projects are very, very different. On the horizon in Washington’s opportunity zones: Student housing in Bellingham. A mixed-use development in downtown Bremerton. Office parks in Arlington.

Last week, developers broke ground on Seattle’s first opportunity zone development, an 80-unit Pioneer Square apartment building called Canton Lofts. The $1,795 studio apartments are aimed at people making between $60,000 and $90,000, the developers say.  — October 27,  2019 Lewiston Tribune article

Old Sistrunk Distillery (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) — Rapper Flo Rida is opening a vodka distillery in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

It’s only fitting for rapper Flo Rida to build his new vodka distillery in Florida.

The 40-year-old multiplatinum artist is going beyond the music charts as the co-owner and brand ambassador of Old Sistrunk Distillery, according to a Tuesday report from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The 13,000-square-foot venue is set to open either in late 2020 or early 2021 in one of Fort Lauderdale’s minority neighborhoods.

Old Sistrunk Distillery will pour Victor George Vodka, a brand co-owned by music execturned entrepreneur Victor G. Harvey. Flo Rida will serve as an equity partner and brand ambassador for the company, which is hyper-focused on distilling the popular Russian spirit.

“I have known Mr. Harvey for years and I’ve seen his grind, hard work and enthusiasm in building his brand,” Flo Rida said in a press statement. He added that he looks forward to “developing new products through the construction of a distillery in historic Sistrunk and empowering the community.”

In November, Harvey paid $75,000 for a 6,306-square-foot lot in Sistrunk, according to real estate news company The Real Deal. The property is considered an “Opportunity Zone,” which means any development could qualify for potential tax benefits such as deferred federal taxes on capital gains until 2026 because the federal government views investment in low-income areas as a positive.

“Opportunity zones are an economic development tool—that is, they are designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities,” the IRS has written on the matter.

Harvey appears to be in agreement with the economic decision. Sistrunk is Fort Lauderdale’s oldest African American community and the median income in the very area the distillery is being built is $36,372, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which is significantly less than Fort Lauderdale’s overall median income of $55,269.

“What we are building in the Sistrunk community is exactly what the area needs,” Harvey said in a press release. “A place to dine, drink, and socialize without having to leave the area.”

The three-story distillery will be located at 1012 Sistrunk Blvd. and will include a tasting room, restaurant, lounge, cigar and wine bar. — January 23, 2020 Yahoo Finance article


Oak Properties LLC (Tulsa, Oklahoma) — The company is building a mixed-use building that will host retail, restaurants and apartments in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Duane Phillips stood in the middle of a construction site near 15th Street, surrounded by pallets and hard hats and heavy machinery.

“I have a master’s in structural engineering but out here is where I love to be,” the developer says. “I love the dirt.”

He has been getting his hands dirty a lot lately.

Owner of Oak Properties LLC, he is in the midst of building a $9 million project called 1515 Cherry Street and The Lofts at 1515, a 28,000-square-foot development that will include retail, restaurants and apartments.

It represents his fourth development on 15th Street, increasing his investment in the area to around $40 million. It also is indicative of the growth on that signature stretch between South Peoria and South Utica avenues.

“I just love Cherry Street,” he says. “Most of the tenants are grounded. You can always get the rents that you need.

“Getting rents is one thing. But the retailers are able to support that rent. It works down here. They make money. We make money.”

Popping up last year near longtime Cherry Street anchor Hideaway was the burger restaurant Society.

‘There is momentum …’

Phillips has been working his way west on the thoroughfare, previously developing the 1551 Building (Roosevelt’s, Taziki’s Mediterranean, Orange Theory Fitness and InterWorks) and Cherry Street Ridge (Salata, Chipotle, Pinot’s Palette). He also was behind the conversion of the former Luby’s Cafeteria into Tulsa Fertility Center at 15th Street and Boston Avenue.

“They used to have great restaurants and bars, but it was a two-hour trip,” Phillips says of Cherry Street. “With the retail now, it’s something that can keep you here all day long. You can shop and eat and grab a beer if it’s in the evening. That’s what Cherry Street’s been missing.”

Bruce G. Weber, the jeweler that relocated from Utica Square to Phillips’ development, held its grand opening last weekend. The five-story Lofts at 1515, scheduled for completion around February, will comprise 15 apartments with balconies and designated parking.

Also part of the project are a basement speakeasy, rooftop bar, Store 5a, a high-end, preowned jewelry concept by the owners of Weber, and CycleBar, an indoor cycling studio.

“There is momentum and it’s happening on Cherry Street,” Phillips said. “There’s still some pockets here. If we can get a few more retailers out of the Utica area or Brookside, that will help.”

Brett Rehorn’s attachment to Cherry Street began about 1994, when he was a mechanical contractor for the Cherry Street Brewery in Lincoln Plaza (15th Street and Peoria Avenue). He was an original partner in the now-closed Bourbon Street Cafe, which opened in 1996, and he followed that up by opening Kilkenny’s Irish Pub in 2002 and Nola’s Creole & Cocktails last year.

“Now, if you were to count between Peoria and Utica on 15th Street, there are like 30 restaurants and bars and coffee shops,” he says. “In 1996, when I opened, there were maybe 10.”

When Rehorn started Nola’s, 11 people in the kitchen had worked for him at Bourbon Street.

“To me, it was a little niche that nobody was doing,” Rehorn says. “And I was familiar with the food at Bourbon Street. This location has always been a good location but it’s always been a hole-in-the-wall bar.

“The combination of Cherry Street booming and nobody else doing full-service Cajun and my having done it before, to me it was kind of a no-brainer.”

‘Take somebody from out of town’

Ben Ganzkow, senior associate for global real estate services company CBRE, called Bruce G. Weber’s relocation from Utica Square “pretty significant” on the commercial scale.

The store had been at the previous location since 2001 but had enjoyed a presence in upscale outdoor shopping center for decades.

“That’s what we’re starting to see with this new development wave is a shift from the traditional retail,” Ganzkow says. “What we’re seeing is a shift in development where you see higher density projects like Duane’s, where you are introducing residential over commercial, retail. On his (1551 Building) project, that’s office over ground-floor commercial retail. Parking is a factor in all this, too.”

Adding convenience for patrons and mitigating congestion in neighborhoods, Phillips, by the time his current Cherry Street project is finished, will have added 240 free parking spaces to the strip.

The potential for growth in the district remains strong. Cherry Street is one of 19 census tracts in Tulsa designated as an Opportunity Zone, a federal incentive in which developers can reduce tax payments on gains while investing in projects.

“Cherry Street does offer that balance of restaurants, shopping,” Ganzkow says. “It’s a very unique neighborhood. It’s where you would take somebody from out of town.

“It begs that question, ‘where do the locals go?’ Cherry Street offers all of those things.” — May 19, 2019 Tulsa World article

Opelika Innovation and Technology Park (Opelika, Alabama) — The mayor announced that he is creating a technology park that is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller announced the creation of a new technology park for the city Tuesday, which he and city leaders believe will attract new businesses to the city.

The Opelika Innovation and Technology Park has 105 acres of land along Highway 280 West between Veterans and Waverly parkways, in close proximity to Auburn University, Southern Union State Community College, Tiger Town and East Alabama Medical Center.

“I think it’s going to be positive because a number of investors are looking for a place — an opportunity zone — because of the wonderful tax ramifications that it offers investors,” Mayor Gary Fuller said, adding that he thinks the new park will be popular and that the city will hopefully announce its first tenant soon.

John Sweatman, project manager for the city’s department of economic development, said it’s now a matter of letting businesses know about what the park has to offer, and to target companies that would make good fits for the city.

The land for the park is classified as an opportunity zone, which benefits and provides incentives for businesses to move there. Not only is the cost for build-to-suit leasing cheaper, but businesses in opportunity zones also are prioritized for grant making and can benefit from investing in their own operations.

“Opelika has been incredibly proactive about harnessing the power of its Opportunity Zone. Its vision for building a place where innovation and technology can co-exist matches perfectly with the spirit of the Opportunity Zone incentive, which facilitates investment in both buildings and the companies that occupy them,” said Alexander Flachsbart, founder and CEO of Opportunity Alabama, in a news release announcing the new plan.

Gov. Kay Ivey has designated 158 Opportunity Zones across the state. — January 21, 2020 Oanow.Com article


Opportunity Zone Development Group (Columbus, Ohio) — The company is planning on finishing a project to build homes out of shipping containers and is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

It was meant be the largest residence in the nation built from shipping containers, but for months the “Cargominium” has sat unfinished and neglected on the East Side, more than two years after construction began.

Now, a Columbus developer is stepping in to rescue the project on Old Leonard Avenue, which contains 25 apartments intended to house tenants transitioning out of prison, homeless shelters or addiction.

“We will finish construction within 12 months. We’ll continue to meet the mission, and we’ll house folks who need a second chance,” said Graham Allison, a partner with Brian White in the Opportunity Zone Development Group.

The development group will also finish developing the CargoHome sister project, single-family homes built of shipping containers on Bassett Avenue, around the corner from the Cargominium. Construction stopped on that project after one of the homes was framed in.

The nonprofit organization Nothing Into Something Real Estate (NISRE) announced the Cargominium in late 2016 and delivered 54 shipping containers to the site in February 2017.

At the time, the project was thought to be the largest residential project in the nation built of shipping containers. It has since been surpassed by other projects, including a four-story housing development in Los Angeles built of containers that will include 84 apartments.

After the Cargominium containers were stacked, cut into apartments and wrapped with a stucco skin, work came to a halt last year.

NISRE founder and CEO Michele Reynolds said work stopped after problems arose with the project’s developer, AES Development, and general contractor, Chelsi Technologies.

“The Cargominium project stopped construction because we terminated our former general contractor and developer for failure to perform,” said Reynolds, who founded her faith-based nonprofit housing organization in 2006.

Messages left with Chelsi Technologies President Barry Cummings and AES Development principal Derrick Pryor were not returned.

Bankruptcy threatened the project when Reynolds started speaking with Allison and White late last year about funding, after the site was included in a federal “opportunity zone,” which allows tax benefits for investors. Reynolds and Allison said the funding would not have been possible without the opportunity zone.

“The opportunity zones salvaged our project,” Reynolds said. “If it had not been for this being in a zone at the right time, I don’t know where the Cargominium would be.” — April 22, 2019 Columbus Dispatch article

Opportunity Zone in Springfield, Vermont: Two residential properties were purchased because of tax savings through the Opportunity Zone program, bringing jobs and business to the town:

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. — The town of Springfield became a center of machine tool manufacturing in the 20th century. But as the industry began to wane, this industrial town on the Connecticut River, once an economic powerhouse, fell on hard times and has struggled to reinvent itself.

Local boosters say a new federal program that gives wealthy people incentives to invest in low-income communities could be the key to reviving Springfield’s economy.

The so-called “Opportunity Zone” program has brought new investors to this storied factory town.

The tax break incentive has proved to be “an extremely attractive tool” for economic development, according to Bob Flint, the executive director of the Springfield Regional Development Corp.

“It’s stimulated really interesting projects,” Flint said.

Two multi-unit residential properties in Springfield have already been purchased through the Opportunity Zone program. — September 8, 2019 Valley News Article.


Orb Development (Boca Raton, Florida) — The company announced they will be creating a mixed-use building that will house 131 apartments in addition to retail space, located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Locally-based Orb Development and joint venture partner Pebb Capital of Boca Raton has acquired a 0.25-acre Qualified Opportunity Zone site here and plans to build a mixed-use project there.

The property is located at 155 Chestnut St. in the Innovation District, previously known as the Jewelry District. The partnership plans to construct a modular 110,000-square-foot, Class A, mixed-use development that will feature 131 multifamily units and approximately 8,600 square feet of retail space at the quarter-acre site. — September 20, 2019 Palm Beach Business Review article

Oxford Capital Group LLC (Detroit, Michigan) — The company is building a hotel in an Opportunity Zone created by Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

 A $45 million boutique hotel is expected to rise in Corktown near Michigan Central Station.
The seven-story Godfrey Hotel at 1401 Michigan Ave. by Farmington Hills-based Hunter Pasteur Homes and Chicago-based Oxford Capital Group LLC is planned to start construction in the fourth quarter and be complete in time for the North American International Auto Show in the summer of 2022, pending various city approvals.
The project, which has been in the works for over a year, would join a crowded field of boutique hotels in varying stages of development in the greater downtown Detroit area. It would also mark the first major new development revealed in the Corktown neighborhood, about two years after it was first reported that Ford Motor Co. was redeveloping the train station on 15th Street and building an autonomous vehicle and electric vehicle campus in the neighborhood.
A building on the site, most recently City Cab, that has been vacant for a couple of decades would be torn down to make way for the new project, subject to approval from the Historic District Commission.
“We respect the process,” said Randy Wertheimer, president and CEO of Hunter Pasteur.
The property is owned by Nemo’s Restaurant, which is on the other side of Michigan Avenue.
The new hotel would have 225 rooms with an average daily rate of $260 to $280 per night, John Rutledge, founder, president and CEO of Oxford Capital, said in a Wednesday morning interview with Crain’s. Other features include a year-round rooftop lounge with the capacity to seat over 300 people, as well as 6,000 square feet of ballroom space that can hold up to 300 or 400 people for weddings and other events, said Wertheimer. A new restaurant is also expected as part of the project.
Rutledge said the hotel is expected to employ between 200-225 full- and part-time employees.
In addition to Oxford Capital and Hunter Pasteur, other lead investors include Nathan Forbes, managing partner of Southfield-based Forbes Co., which owns Somerset Collection in Troy, and James Grosfeld, the former CEO of Pulte Group, Wertheimer said.
Rutledge and Wertheimer declined to discuss financial specifics. But they said the project is fully financed and that Opportunity Zone status for the area made it easier to secure equity, which comes primarily from local sources, Wertheimer said. He declined to reveal other investors. — March 16, 2020 Crain’s Detroit Business article


Ozone Capital (Knoxville, Tennessee) — The Company announced they are building a housing community that will be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Ozone Capital Management, LLC and its partners will construct new boutique housing community as part of mixed-use project redeveloping the historic Kerns Bakery site

Investment made as part of the firm’s focus on investing in Opportunity Zones, as defined under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Ozone Capital Management, LLC (“OZCM”) successfully completed a transformative investment in Knoxville, Tenn. alongside operating partner Mallory & Evans Partners. The investment, made on behalf of and alongside entrepreneurs, institutional investors, family offices, finance executives and technology leaders, will go towards constructing a 160-unit, 310 bed multifamily community at the historic Kerns Bakery Site.

The community is designed to appeal to millennials and members of Generation Z – including young professionals, graduate students, medical students and upper classmen from nearby University of Tennessee. The fully-furnished one- and two-bedroom apartments will have the latest smart-home technology. The two-bedrooms will have roommate floorplans with a private bath for each bedroom. A roommate matching service is available. Amenities will include co-working spaces, a pool, fitness center, a clubhouse, elevators and views of the skyline and greenspace.

Matt Morris, Managing Partner of OZCM stated, “Investing in this project alongside our operating partner, Mallory & Evans Partners, falls right in our firm’s strategy of stimulating economic activity and creating jobs, while providing investors with exposure to defensive growth investments appropriate for late-cycle investing in secular growth regions of the country. Despite being a native Californian, I spent formative years living in the Southeast, and we are actively pursuing more successful investments in the region to help fulfill the core missions of the Opportunity Zone initiative.”

Ozone Capital Management, LLC. is building a leading alternative asset management firm with Opportunity Zone investing as a core initial focus. Based in Menlo Park, the firm seeks to create jobs and stimulate economic growth, while also protecting and growing investor capital. For additional information, please visit OZCM’s website at Please contact the firm at [email protected]. — May 30, 2019 press release

Pacific Oak Capital and Defer Gain (Phoenix, Arizona) — The company is building an affordable housing complex in downtown Phoenix that will be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Three apartment complexes are headed to an Opportunity Zone in downtown Phoenix, addressing the need for affordable housing. These projects are valued at $61 million.

Investment company Pacific Oak Capital and Defer Gain, an Arizona-based real estate development company specializing in Opportunity Zone investments, have announced a joint venture to develop, finance, and operate multi-family, commercial, and industrial income-producing properties in Arizona Opportunity Zones.

In this first phase, three multi-family housing complexes are being built in downtown Phoenix, the 241-unit St. Ambrose Apartments and the 84-unit Presidential Apartments, and another housing development called Imperial Apartments. 

“It’s exciting to see Opportunity Zone developments providing support to a critical component of our state’s economy — the workforce,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “We thank Pacific Oak and Defer Gain for advancing these three projects in downtown Phoenix neighborhoods.”

These properties will include amenities such as mail rooms including secured lockers for packages, grocery delivery and cold/ freezer storage, clubhouses, multi-purpose rooms, private conference rooms, exercise facilities, resort style swimming pools, cabanas with private BBQ’s, and access to public transportation. There will also be street level retail and mixed use opportunities for the community. 

“Adding quality housing is a top priority for our city. I am excited to see new housing, including much-needed workforce units, near our key job corridors in the downtown and airport area,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said. — August 16, 2019 Housing Wire article

Pacific Oak Capital Advisors (Phoenix, Arizona) — The company is building affordable apartment units in downtown Phoenix in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Thanks to downtown Phoenix’s apartment building boom, there are thousands of new places for people to live in the popular area. Unfortunately, many who work or go to college downtown can’t afford the pricey rents.

But three new apartment projects could help ease the rent crunch for hundreds of people who want to live near their job or school in central Phoenix.

An Arizona group is teaming with a national investor to develop three more affordable apartment projects in central Phoenix with almost 500 units. Rents for many of the apartments will be below the area’s average, which is more than $1,737 a month, according to Colliers International.

The new tax incentive for developing in lower-income areas designated as Opportunity Zones is spurring the development of the new apartments. — September 12, 2019 The Arizona Republic article

Parsonex Properties (Englewood, Colorado) — The company is investing in new townhomes in an Opportunity Zone:

“A housing development that is adding 44 new townhomes to Grand Junction is receiving a boost on its last phase from an opportunity zone investment.


Parsonex Properties is a financial services company with about $300 million in assets under its management. It is based in Englewood on the Front Range.

This is the first opportunity zone investment for the company, but it has invested in other housing projects outside of the zones. Parsonex invested $2 million of its opportunity fund in this project.

“When the opportunity zone legislation came out, we saw it as a good opportunity to enter into the fund space,” ParsonexProperties President Shane Phillips said.” — February 23, 2020 Grand Junction Sentinel article

Proximity Space Inc. (Montrose, Colorado) — The coworking company was provided funding to expand the company’s network, which is located in various Opportunity Zones created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Montrose’s coworking space has been a first — now a second — when it comes to netting opportunity zone funding.

Proximity Space Inc. first won such funding last August, after the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) named it the first company to successfully place an opportunity zone investment.

The latest win came last week, when Proximity Space was given new funding from the CORI Innovation Fund to help the coworking business’ network.

“It’s a pretty neat step for Proximity to not only get their investment but their first investment,” CEO Josh Freed said.

The CORI Innovation Fund initiative is a qualified opportunity zone fund that invests in high-growth technology companies supporting job creation and revenue generation in rural communities. The Center on Rural Innovation launched this initiative in September 2019.

These CORI funds will go toward the extension of Proximity’s network.

 The Proximity network has a national footprint and contains several coworking spaces located in rural areas in addition to recovering economies poised to support the growth of new businesses and entrepreneurs, Freed said.

Proximity’s Montrose location is on one of three different board areas, or census tracts, in Montrose County. Those three were part of 126 tracts in Colorado that in April 2018 won the U.S. Department of Treasury certification as Colorado opportunity zones. — January 19, 2020 Montrose Press article


Pollack Shores Real Estate Group (Charleston, South Carolina) — The company is building an apartment building in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Upper peninsula developer to use ‘Opportunity Zone’ tax breaks

The Merchant, a developing multi-level apartment building in the NoMo area of Charleston’s upper peninsula, will be ready for its first tenants this fall.

The 231-unit development at 102 Sottile St. is a project of Pollack Shores Real Estate Group, and the Atlanta-based multifamily developer and investment firm plans to take advantage of federal tax breaks through the new “Opportunity Zone” program.

Opportunity Zones were added to the federal tax code by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and are designed to strengthen distressed neighborhoods across the U.S. through economic development. They were created to instill job creation and long-term investment in impoverished communities by offering tax deferments and relief.

Much of the upper peninsula was recently included in an Opportunity Zone, including areas such as North Morrison Street where new apartments and businesses have flocked to in recent years.

“Through this new initiative, we are connecting capital with communities in need of investment by structuring quality deals that add value for both our investors and the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Steven Shores, president and CEO of Pollack Shores.

“As a long-term property owner, business operator and good neighbor in these districts, we will be a proactive partner committed to supporting local businesses and residents, while also adding energy and economic vitality through our projects,” he said.

The company, like others, has been in a wait-and-see mode with the new program but has now decided to forge ahead. — March 23, 2020 The Post and Courier article

Prudential Financial (Baltimore, Maryland) – The company invested into the $150 million mixed-use project near the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center that will host a variety of stores and businesses.

“In one of the city’s first Opportunity Zone deals, Prudential Financial invested in the $150 million Yard 56 mixed-use project across from Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in East Baltimore, not far from the booming neighborhoods of Brewers Hill and Canton.

Across Baltimore and at the state level, elected officials have praised Opportunity Zones as a needed boost for a city where investment funds aren’t always easy to come by, particularly in some of the neighborhoods where projects are popping up.” – August 7th, 2019, Baltimore Sun

“The insurance and investment management firm said Friday its impact investments group would put an undisclosed amount of money into the first phase of Yard 56, across Eastern Avenue from Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Bayview Medical center. In its $77 million first phase, Yard 56 will have 100,000 square feet of offices and more than 80,000 square feet of shopping, with tenants Streets Market grocery store, LA Fitness, Chipotle, the Brass Tap craft beer bar, Top Coat and Panda Express,” – January 11, 2019, Baltimore Sun.

Quarry Yard (Atlanta, Georgia) – The Opportunity Zone led to the creation of a 74-acre, mixed-use project:

This mixed-use project could blend thousands of residential units with office, retail and even hotel space. “An area developer filed plans with the state in August for a 74-acre, mixed-use project in an Opportunity Zone near the Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry. And in early September, an Atlanta-based film company announced it will build recording studios, sound stages and a technology center on 30 acres of its Opportunity Zone property on Continental Colony Pkwy SW.” – August 26th, 2019, Atlanta Business Chronicle

Realm Group, LLC (Los Angeles, California) — The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Realm Group, LLC a joint venture between Realm Real Estate, LLC of Newport Beach, California and The Bascom Group, LLC of Irvine, California, has closed on a 1.5-acre site located in Downtown Los Angeles at 675 South Bixel Street. Realm Group entitled the site for the development of a 36-story, 422-unit mixed-use high-rise multifamily building, to be built as one of the premier residential towers in Downtown Los Angeles. HFF’s capital team, led by Charles Halladay, Jamie Kline, Nicholas Lench and Samuel Godfrey facilitated the land financing. Starwood Property Trust provided the debt financing for the land purchase.

The international modern, concrete, steel and glass tower has a loft style design and will feature a rooftop sky lounge providing striking views of the city’s skyline along with an expansive 40,000 sq. ft. amenity deck on the 5(th) floor with an inviting pool terrace, market leading amenities including a spacious dog park, making it one of the largest amenity decks in Downtown Los Angeles.

The project is located within walking distance to a robust variety of employment, transportation, retail, restaurant/bar and grocery options. Grocery Outlet, Whole Foods, Target, Teragram Ballroom and Starbucks are a few of the notable nearby retailers. The well-located project boasts a Transit Score of 100 and a Walk Score of 95.

Darrin Olson, principal of Realm Group, commented, “Bixel Tower represents an important component to Downtown Los Angeles’ ongoing successful revitalization as the city is facing a severe housing shortage. The development will be a premier asset in Downtown Los Angeles with best in class amenities. The quality conveyed in Bixel Tower will appeal to a broad spectrum of renters.” Todd Cadwell, Development Manager of Realm Group, adds, “We are excited to successfully obtain the city entitlements, close on the site and begin the next phase of development.”

Bixel Tower represents Realm Group’s second high-rise development project in Downtown Los Angeles. Realm’s original high-rise development project is located in the Fashion District and is designated as an Opportunity Zone. The Fashion District Tower will consist of a 33-story, 452-unit mixed-use multifamily community. Realm Group entitled the project and subsequently closed on the land in July 2018 with plans to commence construction in 2020. — June 12, 2020 Realm Group LLC press release

Rastegar Property Company, LLC (Phoenix, Arizona) — The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Rastegar Property, a vertically-integrated real estate investment firm focused on value-add and development in all asset classes across the United States, today announced its acquisition of a prominently-located high-rise lot in downtown Phoenix, AZ in anticipation of the city’s rapidly growing demand for residential and commercial real estate space.

Located at 334 N. 4th Ave., the 26,500+ square foot high-rise lot is near many employers, higher education campuses, retail spaces including shops, restaurants and bars, and entertainment venues. The lot’s zoning allows for 550 feet of vertical development, and Rastegar Property plans to use the lot to develop a multifamily high-rise residential complex with office and retail components.

“The Phoenix metropolitan area is experiencing some of the most tremendous job growth in the country, and with that comes significant demand for residential and commercial properties,” said Ari Rastegar, CEO of Rastegar Property. “In addition to its attractive size and location, the property also falls within a designated opportunity zone, a program through which the state of Arizona is encouraging investment and development in the Phoenix metropolitan area. This program, combined with the city’s rapidly growing population, and nation-leading rent and job growth, makes Phoenix an ideal market for Rastegar to make strategic acquisitions that bolster our national portfolio.” — July 17, 2019 Rastegar Property press release

RevOZ Capital and Alpha Wave Investors, LLC (Redmond, Oregon) — The companies are building a hotel in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

RevOZ Capital has partnered with Alpha Wave Investors, LLC to close an Opportunity Zone investment–a holistic hotel with street front retail. Situated in the core of Redmond, OR, the historic property is being repositioned to a 49-room hotel featuring 13,000 square feet of street front retail, restaurant, lobby co-working and bar space. The transaction closed in March 2019.

The hotel will operate as a Soul Community Planet property, a concept established by Alpha Wave. The Soul Community Planet hotel merges environmentally friendly and socially responsible practices with healthy based accommodations–nutritious plant-based food choices are provided to fit the needs and wants of all customers. The Redmond property will offer venues for socializing, collaborating, coworking and a superior fitness experience.

The Soul Community Planet Redmond hotel is the only select service hotel centered on these values in a growing market that is failing to meet these needs. The new ownership will complete renovations within the next several months and is anticipated to reopen in 2019. The Redmond-Bend area is now known as one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. May 27, 2017 — “Bend Among Fastest Growing Cities.” A hot leisure destination, the year-round population of the Redmond-Bend Metropolitan Statistical Area is approximately 200,000, and attracts around three million visitors each year. — April 8, 2019 press release

Ridgewood Consulting (Brookhaven, Mississippi) — The firm is building 48 new homes that are located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

If all goes as planned, construction of four dozen three-bedroom homes will begin off South First Street next year.

Mayor Joe Cox announced at Tuesday’s meeting of the Brookhaven Board of Aldermen that developers recently received $10 million in funding for Mill Creek, a housing community that will be built just north of Dale Trail Northeast.

“At this point, they’re vetting their investors and they hope to begin construction in April of 2020,” Cox said.

Cox read an email from Len Reeves of Ridgewood Consulting: “With Mill Creek, Brookhaven will be home to the only new construction community that was funded under the State of Mississippi’s recent Opportunity Zone housing initiative.”

Opportunity Zones is a federal initiative created under the 2017 Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which provides incentives for qualified investors to invest capital gains in distressed communities across the United States. — October 17, 2019 The Daily Leader article

Rising Tide Management (Birmingham, Alabama) – The housing management company lowered the cost of rent for housing in the Opportunity Zones by an average of $100 because of the tax legislation:

“Rising Tide Management of Birmingham was already buying up distressed housing in and around the Magic City before the creation of opportunity zones. Managing Partner Rob Ashurst said the company owns about 500 properties, with about 50 in the zones.

Rising Tide, which manages the Southeast Opportunity Zone Fund, buys the houses, renovates and manages the houses. In some cases, the company buys the houses for about $8,000, spends about $50,000 on renovations, and then rents them to tenants. By doing so, it is “solving the affordable housing problem,” Ashurst said. They have a 2 to 3 percent vacancy rate. This is a different model than other OZ plans which sometimes involve distressed large buildings repurposed as mixed-use properties with retail and housing.

“We’ve already got five years of operating history,” Ashurst said. “So we were able to put together a plan for investors, and the banks were willing to finance. The investors can get a pretty good return.” Because of the Opportunity Zone credits, rent is about $100 cheaper for tenants in the homes located in the zones, Ashurst said.” – September 15th, 2019, Alabama (

Rockefeller Foundation (Atlanta, Georgia) – The city is seeing big economic growth because of the TCJA Opportunity Zone legislation:

“The federal Qualified Opportunity Zones program, created as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, draws investors to struggling areas by offering them a chance to defer tax on eligible capital gains if they make an appropriate investment in a fund associated with a designated zone and meet other requirements.

“Atlanta is home to 26 of Georgia’s Opportunity Zones, which have seen a lot of activity. Since November 2017, 52 commercial and industrial properties have sold in Atlanta Opportunity Zones, funneling a total of $78 million in new capital to those areas, according to the real estate data service, Reonomy…” – September 25th, 2019, Atlanta Business Chronicle


Residential Ventures (Birmingham, Alabama) — The company is renovating a space to be used for resterauts and apartments in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

An out-of-state developer has detailed more plans for a downtown property on First Avenue North.

Residential Ventures is renovating two floors and adding a third at 2216/2218 First Ave. N. in a project that is expected to reach close to $4 million.

Creature Architecture is designing the 21,000-square-foot project, and David Ashford of The Shopping Center Group is the retail broker.

According to commercial real estate data and analytics provider Reonomy, the building was constructed in 1910 and was last renovated in 1953. The property is located in an Opportunity Zone.

The boutique Denver developer bought the property along with 2327/2409 Morris Ave. for $2.39 million late last year from Lindsey Properties LLC. The development team includes Tim Larson, Cam Borges and Debbie Larson.

Borges, chief operations officer at Residential Ventures, told the Birmingham Business Journal they plan to use the lower floor for a restaurant concept and the upper two floors for two residential units.

The project will feature penthouse-like facades, and both residential units will include a mezzanine and balcony, as well as a living room and large master bedroom. The restaurant will include an outdoor patio and balcony that will open up to a lightwell in the middle of the building, illuminating both the restaurant and residential spaces. — June 10, 2019 Birmingham Business Journal article

Rock 31 (Billings, Montana) – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zones are estimated to bring 95 new jobs to the city:

Under President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, downtown Billings was able to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce of $2 million as the area qualifies as an Opportunity Zone.

Opportunity Zones are given grants in an attempt to spur economic development by giving tax incentives to investors in economically distressed communities nationwide.

The Opportunity Zone for this project is the Montana National Bank located on 201 N Broadway. The bank will be renovated to house Rock 31 Connect Build and Grow which will provide technical assistance, skills training, hiring resources and more to those embarking on new business ventures.

“This is really designed for people who are taking a big risk and jumping into developing their product, their service any type of early stage high growth company know that this is a space you can come learn from our mentors, learn from our Rock 31 team and connect with like minded individuals,” says Program Manager Kevin Scharfe.

Rock 31 is projected to foster nearly two dozen business startups which are expected to create 95 jobs and generate $6.6 million in private investment which would bring change to the community. — Dec. 3, 2019, KULR article.

River City Capital Partners (Austin, Texas) — The company is building apartments and commercial developments in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The opportunity zone specialists at River City Capital Partners LLC have closed on a new acquisition in Northeast Austin near major employers and budding neighborhoods.

The 69-acre opportunity zone tract is located on undeveloped land at the intersection of East Yager Lane and East Parmer Lane, just a stone’s throw away from Samsung Austin Semiconductor’s massive campus. The parcel is also near Shops at Tech Ridge, a 519,354-square-foot shopping center home to major retail tenants, while Reger Holdings LLC is planning a major mixed-use development of its own in close proximity. It’s also near the growing Parmer Austin business park that’s already home to companies such as General Motors and Facebook.

River City Capital Partners navigated the COVID-19 pandemic to close on the property in early April. The firm declined to disclose the purchase price, but the property was valued for tax purposes at $4,085,893 in 2020, according to Travis Central Appraisal District.

“It’s an opportunity zone tract that is still in close proximity to major employers,” said Peter Kehle, CEO of River City Capital Partners. “That’s kind of the main driver for us in what we were looking for, and that’s what we have there.”

Kehle declined to say who River City Capital Partners bought the site from, though TCAD’s website still lists the owner as a trustee for J. Tim Brown.

River City Capital Partners plans to develop three distinct elements on the site: multifamily market rate apartments, income-restricted units and a separate commercial development.

Because the site is located in a federally designated opportunity zone — part of an investment program created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — investors in the development can qualify for a variety of perks. That includes significant tax cuts and delays for those who funnel money into opportunity zone projects; up to 15 percent of capital gains invested can be exempted from taxes, if investors keep it in the zone for at least seven years.

Kehle and River City Capital Partners President Cory Older have become something of opportunity zone experts since realizing that a property they were developing in East Riverside was located on the edge of federal opportunity zone. A mixed-use project called Urban East is currently in the works there; it’s set to feature 111,000 square feet of office space, about 20,000 square feet of retail and 384 apartments units spread across two buildings.

Urban East was supposed to break ground in early 2020 but that has been delayed due to COVID-19, Kehle said.

Closing a deal during a pandemic

It wasn’t easy for River City Capital Partners to close on its latest opportunity zone development site.

The effort proved cumbersome as the COVID-19 pandemic raged, with extra steps and safety precautions shoehorned into the process at nearly every step.

“Fortunately for the real estate industry, title companies were from the very beginning considered an essential business,” Kehle said. “Now, getting to the title company, what would normally be a one-day process turned into a four or five-day process.”

Part of the problem was getting together at one time all of the key players: the buyer, the buyer’s attorney, the seller, the seller’s attorney and the title company. Communications were naturally slowed as all parties acclimated themselves to operating out of home offices.

The process only grew more surreal once it was time to close the deal; Kehle recalls that visitors were allowed inside the title company, Stewart Title of Austin, by appointment only. Even then, the doors were locked upon arrival. Someone came out and wiped down the exterior door handles before anyone entered.

“At the closing table it was made a point to say, ‘Here’s a fresh pen,'” Kehle recalled.

Kehle described the process as a hectic experience.

“You’ve got minimal staff, but you’ve still got all these deals that are moving forward, and less staff to do the work,” he said. “So they were really putting in some hours.”

Moving forward, the tract will have to subdivided and a traffic impact analysis will have to be conducted. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Kehle estimated it will be at least a year before any construction begins at the site.

The impact of COVID-19

Kehle predicted that real estate will become an increasingly popular investment vehicle as the COVID-19 drags on.

“Generally, people are looking at the money printing that is going to be going on out of the Fed. There will be schools of thought out there that it will eventually become inflationary,” Kehle said. “That same school of thought leads people to real estate investing.”

“Money was looking for a reason to get out of the market … and this was a reason,” Kehle said.

Because opportunity zone regulations require capital gains investments to unlock the full tax benefits, there is reason to believe money pulled out of the markets could find itself in opportunity zone projects.

“The road is leading to an increased interest in real estate investing,” Kehle said. “Yes, that could end up finding its way into these opportunity zone projects.”

Of course, River City Capital Partners isn’t the only real estate firm looking to take advantage of opportunity zone benefits. Kehle knows he will continue facing competition for those investments.

“There’s been a lot of money flowing into Opportunity Zone funds, and we try to know who those pools of money are,” he said. “But it seems on a regular basis we keep coming across pools of money that we didn’t know were even there. Their names aren’t in neon lights.” — April 20, 2020 Austin Business Journal article

RF Development (Menasha, Wisconsin) — The company is redeveloping a building and creating commercial and residential space in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Alderman Stan Sevenich said the proposed $10 million redevelopment of the former Brin Building property could be one of the best things to happen in Menasha in the past 100 years.

“I actually think that this is probably going to be the catalyst that will really turn Menasha into the gem of the Valley,” Sevenich told The Post-Crescent.

RF Development of Menasha, the same group that owns the former City Hall at 140 Main St., intends to construct a three-building commercial and residential complex on the Brin site at the southeast corner Main and Tayco streets.

Sevenich and the rest of the Common Council reviewed the proposal Dec. 16 and unanimously directed city staff to negotiate a development agreement for the project.

The agreement could come back to the council for approval as soon as January. Sevenich said RF Development could begin construction by late spring.

“This is going to be somewhat on the fast track,” Sevenich said.

The development has a tentative completion date of spring 2021.

According to plan, RF Development would purchase the Brin property from the city for $1 and then redevelop it as follows:

Building 1: A three-story mixed-use building at the corner would have 8,148 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor and 16 market-rate apartments on the upper floors.

Building 2: A four-story residential building along Tayco would have 30 market-rate apartments. The two apartment buildings would be connected by a skywalk.

Building 3: A 3,000-square-foot restaurant near the Fox River navigational canal.

Parking: The development would have 40 underground stalls and 55 surface stalls.

Mayor Don Merkes said the project would set the tone for future developments and would offer connections to the city’s trails and waterfront.

“I think it really sends a good message as you’re coming into town that this is the entry to our downtown and this is what you can expect to see when you’re downtown,” Merkes told The Post-Crescent.

Sam Schroeder, the city’s director of community development, described the proposal as “an iconic and influential project that will lead a path of urban renewal and growth in our downtown.”

He said in a memorandum to the council that the city would provide no incentive toward the construction of the project but might use tax incremental financing to construct a regional stormwater facility underneath the project’s parking lot.

The city also might use TIF money to pay for public amenities and street and utility work.

Schroeder’s memo didn’t disclose the public cost. Merkes estimated the stormwater facility would cost “$2 million or more.”

The Brin Building was damaged by fire on Aug. 10, 2018. The city subsequently bought the property as a redevelopment site for $1 from owners Robert and Donna Ziesemer. With the purchase, the city assumed responsibility to raze the building, provided the cost didn’t exceed $250,000.

Menasha officials had been marketing the site to potential developers to create a new anchor for the downtown. The site lies in an Opportunity Zone, which provides investors with certain federal tax advantages. — December 25, 2019 The Post-Crescent article

ROSS Companies (Newport News, Virginia) — The company is building an affordable apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

ROSS Companies, a leader in multifamily acquisition, property management and renovation in the Mid-Atlantic region, today announced it has assisted in the acquisition by Allagash Opportunity Zone CRE Fund I of Woodlands at Oyster Point, a 152-unit community in Newport News, VA with ROSS Management Services as the managing agent.
The acquisition of Woodlands at Oyster Point marks the start of a new alliance with Allagash Opportunity Zone Partners LLC, the manager of the Fund, as well as ROSS’ most active participation in an Opportunity Zone investment. Founded in 2018, Allagash manages private equity real estate funds which focus on adding value to multifamily properties in low- and moderate-income communities in order to maximize both returns for their Fund investors and benefits for current community members. ROSS Companies is a recognized leader in multifamily acquisitions and investment, development, property management, and renovation.
“Our Company is dedicated to creating a quality living experience for our residents and value for our partners. This alliance will enable us to enhance resident satisfaction, maximize financial performance, and create the groundwork for future opportunities between our organizations,” says David J. Miskovich, CEO of ROSS Management Services.
“The shared core values of Allagash and ROSS is producing an extremely productive alliance. As a result, we look forward to continuing to provide capital together with ROSS into LMI communities in a profitable and socially thoughtful manner,” adds Tony Barkan, CEO of Allagash. — April 9, 2020 company press release

RXR Realty (Brooklyn, New York) — Launched a fund to invest money in Opportunity Zones:

“The fundraising efforts could help fund the company’s existing developments in designated census areas, like its $170M project in New Rochelle or redevelopment efforts in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.” — October 24th, 2018, Opportunity Zones Database

Sanctuary Companies (Kennesaw, Georgia) — The company is building a mixed-use building that will include residential units in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The Cherokee Street corridor between McCollum Parkway and downtown Kennesaw is undergoing a major facelift due to the $280 million Eastpark Village mixed-use development.

The area was identified for redevelopment in 2008 and work began more than three years ago. This week, Chad Howie of Sanctuary Companies, the master developer, provided an update on the project to the City Council.

The development will sit on about 55 acres of land and will include 850 residential units with a mixture of apartments, townhomes and senior living. About 300,000 square feet will be put to commercial use, including retail, self-storage, office space and restaurants.

According to Howie, several real estate brokers, two private detectives and city staff worked to identify the sellers and the developer ultimately acquired 68 properties. He said the company worked with homeowners, tenants and business owners on relocation, and the properties were rezoned T4O and T4L in December 2017.

Earlier this year, the council approved the creation of an entertainment district in downtown Kennesaw, allowing patrons to purchase and walk around with alcoholic beverages. Once the first business to obtain a liquor license is operational, Eastpark Village will also have an entertainment district extending from McCollum Parkway to Poplar Drive, between Cherokee Street and Grant Drive.

“I am very excited about the progress being made,” said Darryl Simmons, Kennesaw’s zoning administrator. “This development serves as a positive example of partnerships between local government and the development community.”

There are also plans to widen Cherokee Street to five lanes, as well as incorporate multi-use trails and make the downtown area accessible to pedestrians.

Howie showed the council photos of the recently completed demolition of much of the area, including Ashton Commons Business Park and residential areas along Smith, Maple, Pine and Rock Springs drives. Big Shanty Smokehouse, a popular barbecue restaurant, is relocating two houses up to the corner of Smith Drive and Cherokee Street since the street widening will negatively affect their current parking situation.

The city applied to the Department of Community Affairs to designate the retail district as an opportunity zone, a tax credit program through the state. Any new businesses creating jobs that meet specified criteria in the zone are eligible for income tax credits per job for a prescribed period of time, according to Robert Fox, economic development director for Kennesaw. DCA denied the application, but the city intends to try and make a case for reconsideration. — July 31, 2019 Cherokee Tribune article

Santa Fe College (Gainesville, Florida) — The college is expanding their Center for Innovation and Economic Development which is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Santa Fe College announced two weeks ago that it had received a $4.8 million federal grant to aid in the rebuild and expansion of its Center for Innovation and Economic Development (CIED) at the Blount Center.

About $1.2 million in state funding will also go toward the project, which, according to a news release, will “support the development and growth of new business sectors by rebuilding and expanding the College Center for Innovation and Economic Development.”

“How this grant can help Santa Fe is how we can help our community,” said Kathryn Lehman, director of grants and projects. “Because that’s really the purpose of the college.”

The CIED’s entrepreneur incubator has helped 150 new companies get off the ground, including local companies Student Maid and Altavian, according to Lehman. She estimates the economic impact on the community to be in the millions.

College officials hope to have the facility completed and open by the spring of 2021, according to Liam McClay, assistant to the president for innovation and governmental affairs.

It will also be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone. According to the IRS, an Opportunity Zone is an “economically-distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.”

“By sending grant funds to a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, the investment in rebuilding and expanding Santa Fe College’s CIED facility will not only grow new business sectors including IT, technology and other knowledge-based industries, but also attract additional investment with special tax incentives,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

The federal portion of the grant comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. — June 5, 2019 Gainesville Sun article

Saxum Real Estate (Austin, Texas) — A mixed use development is being built in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

A more than 60,000 square foot mixed-use development is under construction at 1141 Shady Lane and expected to be completed sometime in mid- to late 2020.

The development is one of many going up in East Austin just off of Airport Boulevard.

Some people who live near Shady Lane say the neighborhoods in the area have drastically changed over the years.

This project sits in one of Austin’s opportunity zones, which are part of a federal tax incentive provision that encourages investors to re-invest capital gains into Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds. The Opportunity Zone tax provision is not administered by the City of Austin.

“I believe it actually benefits a whole spectrum of individuals,” said Anthony Rinaldi, the founder and managing principal of Saxum Real Estate. — Nov. 3, 2019 KVUE article


Seaward Landing (Marathon, Florida) — The company announced they are building rental units that will be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

 Index Investment Group announces its newest development, Seaward Landing coming to construction completion in June 2020. The community consists of 45 multifamily workforce housing rental units situated on the Atlantic Ocean. The property is located at 8700 Overseas Highway in the heart of the Florida Keys, Maracthon. The project has received a lot of community interest and is projected to obtain a certificate of occupancy in June and commence pre-leasing in May.

Index acquired the property in late 2016 and held the property until it commenced construction of the project in late 2018. Located in an Certified Opportunity Zone on a 3-acre site in the heart of Marathon, adjacent to the Marathon International Airport, on US Highway 1 is well situated for locals living and working in the Keys. The development features a leasing office, 45 multifamily units made up of one, two and three-bedroom units with amenities including a dog park and play area, all within walking distance of the Atlantic Ocean. — May 5, 2020 Index Investment Group press release

Second Chance Farm (Wilmington, Delaware) — A company focused on helping formerly incarcerated citizens get back into the workforce will be headed to Delaware and will be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

First, you need to understand the Opportunity Zone Program, which was enacted as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

It’s an economic development program where census tracts are designated as eligible for tax breaks for private investors through a program called Opportunity Funds. The goal is to help under-resourced communities become more economically stable by creating jobs for the people who live there — or, as the IRS puts it in its FAQ: “Opportunity Zones are designed to spur economic development by providing tax benefits to investors.”

Opportunity Zones are basically an incentive for people to invest in areas that need it — something that, historically, has led to gentrification and displacement of the under-resourced people who were theoretically meant to benefit. (See a map of Delaware’s zones here.)

That’s why Second Chances Farm, an LLC founded by entrepreneur and TEDxWilmington organizer Ajit George, is an interesting concept — one that combines farming, jobs for local returning citizens and ultimately entrepreneurship opportunities that require neither capital nor credit.

“We call them ‘green collar” jobs,” said George in an interview with “Green because it’s organic, it’s pesticide free, and it’s herbicide free. And it’s about growing food locally. This is not a hobby, this not a corner garden in the summer, it’s about growing food year round, on a production scale.”

So, how did the concept of Opportunity Zones, urban farming and ex-offenders come together? It was the result of two very different 2016 TEDxWilmington talks — one about reentry and recidivism, the other about farming of the future.

Employees — virtually all of whom will be formerly incarcerated — will run the farms with a starting pay of $15 an hour. As the company grows, the plan is for employees to eventually acquire farms of their own and become business owners (or “compassionate capitalists,” as Second Chances Farm calls them).

In contrast to downstate’s traditional outdoor crops, Second Chances Farm will be an indoor, LED-lit, vertical hydroponic farm that will operate year-round; the first farm’s location is yet to be determined

“There’s no soil, it’s all grown in continuously flowing water,” said George.

Vertical hydroponic farming has become increasingly popular over the last few years across the country — even Jeff Bezos has backed a hydroponic farming venture. Second Chances will likely be the first one in Delaware.

The for-profit venture is projected to have its first indoor farm up and running by the fall, pending a final clearance with the IRS. It’s already won a few awards and startup grants.

If placing a farm inside the city seems strange, consider the challenges the average ex-offender faces when trying to get to get a job — and how much easier it would be if $15-an-hour jobs were available right in the neighborhood.

In order to qualify to be placed in a job at Second Chance, inmates heading toward reentry will work with the behavior health and wellness program Connections during the final six months of their sentences.

“We are working with Connections, who currently have an exclusive contract with the Delaware Department of Corrections with regards to people re-entering society from Delaware’s Prisons,” said George. “Issues like anger management are beyond the scope of what we can do. They offer more social work, so it just made sense for us to work with them.”

Connections also has a transportation group that can help Second Chances Farm employees get to and from work, an issue for many looking for work after reentry, as drivers licenses are sometimes still suspended and getting car insurance can be a challenge.

The organic, hyperlocal vegetable crops will be sold to restaurants, organic farm stands and to cancer patients avoiding even the minimal amount of pesticides allowed in traditional organic mass farming.

“Delaware used to be known for three things — chicken, credit cards and cars,” said George. “What we’re really talking about is adding a new industry, which is organic hydroponic crops. And with that comes my notion, which is ‘compassionate capitalism,’ which is really providing opportunities for people.” — February 27, 2019 article

Seokoh Inc. (Scott Township, Pennsylvania) — A cosmetics company is building a facility in the Pennsylvania town that will create at least 280 jobs, in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A Scott Twp. cosmetics company is expected to soon break ground on a $27.9 million expansion that’s estimated to create at least 280 new jobs in the next three years, a township official said Friday.

Carl Ferraro,township administrator, said officials with Seokoh Inc. advised him they want to begin excavation work before winter.

“The excavation end of it is going to be massive,” he said. “I expect them to start any day now.”

The company, a subsidiary of the integrated cosmetic and pharmaceutical company Kolmar Korea, plans to construct two roughly 200,000-square-foot buildings on property adjacent to its existing factory located on Life Science Drive in the Scott Technology Park.

Gov. Tom Wolf touted the project Friday as an example of the competitive advantage Pennsylvania offers manufacturing companies.

“Our diverse workforce and central location make Pennsylvania a prime place to do business,” Wolf said in a press release. “We are pleased to see Seokoh further grow its operations.”

The company is a leading contract manufacturer and filler of premium cosmetics and personal care products. It employs about 290 people. In addition to the new facilities, Seokoh will renovate its existing plant and purchase new equipment.

State and local business officials helped entice the firm with several tax breaks, including an extension of Keystone Opportunity Zone benefits that provide temporary relief from certain state and local taxes through 2028. The Lakeland School District and Lackawanna County commissioners approved that extension last year. — September 21, 2019 The Times-Tribune article

School of Science and Technology — Alamo campus (San Antonio, Texas) — The charter school is expanding with a new location in Opportunity Zones created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Down the road will soon be a new School of Science and Technology — Alamo campus, according to Casey Development Ltd. The company and its construction arm Baxter Contracting LLC have broken ground on a 67,000-square-foot facility at the corner of North Weidner Road and Crosswinds Way, which will replace the current campus at 12200 Crownpoint Drive. Upon move-in, the campus will accommodate students from kindergarten through eighth grade and will eventually expand to high school. At full capacity, the campus will hold up to 700 students. The current campus holds 400.

Nancy Thompson, director of community outreach and communications for the School of Science and Technology, expects the new campus to be ready by Thanksgiving break of this year or no later than winter break. San Antonio is home to four of its campuses. Over the next five years, the school plans to add four more local campuses and 10 more statewide.

The project represents Casey Development’s first venture into Opportunity Zone development. The company expects to continue developing within the Northeast San Antonio OpportunitTy Zone, with multifamily, retail and self-storage projects. — June 12, 2019 San Antonio Business Journal article

Sinatra & Co. (Amherst, Massachusetts) — The company is building apartments and new retail space in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Nick Sinatra said he plans to retain much of the Boulevard Mall as he and his partners redevelop the 64-acre site they agreed to buy on Wednesday for $24 million.

The founder of Sinatra & Co. Real Estate said the mall will continue to operate as normal as they focus initially on construction of apartments and new retail and restaurant space on land along the street, beginning with the corner of Niagara Falls Boulevard and Maple Road.

Sinatra said he’s been talking to Town of Amherst officials for a year or so about reusing the region’s oldest enclosed shopping center. The site’s inclusion in a federal Opportunity Zone program that promises tax credits to investors solidified his interest.

“We’re going to turn the mall inside out,” he said Thursday. “You want to create a walkable village for people.”

Here are highlights of Sinatra’s interview with The Buffalo News less than 24 hours after he won the bidding for the Boulevard Mall property, and reaction from industry observers:

Ownership group: Sinatra said his partners on this project include investors he has worked with for years on developments throughout this region and outside Western New York, including the Pritzker family in Chicago. They will buy the property through an Opportunity Zone fund that pulls together contributions from investors seeking the tax benefits of the federal program, he said. — April 5, 2019 Buffalo News article

Small Business Development Center at York College (Southeast Queens, New York)— has given $30M in loans to opportunity zone businesses in Southeast Queens.

“Although most of the discussed EOZ development has been on real estate, there are some investors interested in opportunity zone businesses.

Harry Wells, Regional Director of the Small Business Development Center at York College/CUNY and Demond Wilkerson, Asset Management Consultant for SBDC highlighted the importance of leveraging the local institutions to build business capacity while planning for sustainability.

“Our SBDC center has done $30M in loans to businesses in Southeast Queens,” Wells said.” — June 28th, 2019, NY State Senator James Sanders Jr. Page, ‘Economic Opportunity Zones Highlighted at Sanders’ Community Clergy Breakfast’

Smithfield Foods (Perryville, Kentucky) — The food company is opening a distribution center in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Smithfield Foods, a $15 billion global food company, is opening its latest distribution center in Principio Business Park, bringing 240 jobs once it opens its doors.

Gov. Larry Hogan made the announcement Monday afternoon that Smithfield Foods, based out of Virginia, would build a 420,000-square-foot, state-of-the art facility in the Cecil County business park to better access the Northeast market through Interstate 95.

“It’s a tremendous win for the state and for Cecil County that a global company like Smithfield Foods, which has worldwide brand recognition, has chosen to continue its growth in Maryland,” Hogan said in a statement. “This new facility and the 240 new jobs it brings underscores our administration’s promise to make Maryland more business friendly and create job opportunities for our citizens.”

Smithfield Foods, founded in Smithfield, Va., in 1936, is the largest pork producer in the world, owning hundreds of farms in the United States and contracting with thousands more. The company is a market leader in several categories of packaged meats, with dozens of brands spotted in grocery stores like Smithfield, Nathan’s Famous and Healthy Ones, among others.

In 2013, Smithfield Foods was bought out by WH Group, a Chinese meat and food processing company, for $4.7 billion. The company has 54,000 employees and offices and facilities around America and in Europe.

When Smithfield’s latest distribution center opens in Cecil County, it will be the first in Maryland. It also will be 130 miles south of the closest plant in New Jersey and 270 miles north of the three plants in Virginia.

“This new distribution center is an essential part of our efforts to streamline our national logistics network to optimize our operations, while advancing our ambitious sustainability goals,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and CEO for Smithfield Foods, in a statement. “We are proud to become part of the business community in Maryland, a location that provides strategic advantages for our business and improves our ability to provide high-quality product to our customers and consumers.”

The Maryland Department of Commerce has agreed to provide Smithfield Foods with $720,000 in loans from the Advantage Maryland program — also known by its earlier name, the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority and Fund (MEDAAF). The agreement spells out that the food company must spend $74 million on construction and hire 240 employees by Dec. 31, 2020.

Cecil County is expected to put up a $80,000 match for the state’s offer, which will need the approval of the Cecil County Council.

“The parameters of when the employees are hired may change, depending on construction and if they get behind on building the facility,” MDC spokeswoman Karen Glenn Hood said. “They also have to maintain those jobs through the life of the loan.”

Construction should not hold up the terms of the loans, since building on the site has been ongoing since mid-2018, according to Chris Moyer, the county’s economic development director.

“It’s another great company that’s learning that Cecil County is a great place to do business,” he said Monday. “We’re expecting that Smithfield will have a hiring event this summer.”

Smithfield Foods will also see the benefits of Hogan’s More Jobs for Marylanders Act, which allows companies that create a set number of jobs to be eligible for state income tax credits. Cecil County was elevated to Tier 1 status last year in part because the General Assembly passed an amendment that changed the requirement from the county’s income per capita to median household income.

Due to the Tier 1 status, Smithfield Foods will see an income tax credit worth 5.75 percent of wages for each qualified position, for each five new jobs created.

Smithfield Foods can also claim extra benefits, as Principio Business Park is also an enterprise zone. Businesses in an enterprise zone can claim a 10-year credit on local property taxes on a portion of property improvements. That credit is 80 percent of the tax assessment during the first five years, and later decreases 10 percent annually until it hits the floor of 30 percent in the 10th year.

Businesses in enterprise zones can also claim one-year or three-year credits for wages paid to new employees in new positions, like Smithfield Foods plans to introduce once it opens in Cecil County. The general credit is a one-time $1,000 credit per new worker, although it increases to $6,000 per worker distributed over three years if they are deemed economically disadvantaged.

There could also be future tax breaks down the line, as the Principio Business Park is in an opportunity zone, which created investment funds for certain census tracts. If an investment stays in a qualified fund for a certain period of time, investors would see a reduction in tax liability. The entire post-acquisition gain is excluded from taxable income if held in a fund for 10 years or more.  — April 1, 2019 press release

SmithFly (Piqua, Ohio) — The sporting company is moving locations and will now be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The Piqua Planning Commission on Tuesday approved special uses for businesses that are headed to Piqua, including Wright-Patt Credit Union, a new crossfit gym, and the fly-fishing equipment manufacturing business SmithFly.
The Planning Commission first approved a special use request allowing drive-thru kiosks at 1284 E. Ash St., where a Wright-Patt Credit Union is expected to fill the space currently occupied by the China Garden Buffet.

One of the applicants for this special use request said they will be purchasing and closing on the property in June and Wright-Patt is expected to be the new tenant for the site. The improvements on the site would happen around September.
“It certainly will be a nice addition,” Community and Economic Development Director Chris Schmiesing said.
The Planning Commission also approved an indoor commercial recreation use located at the address 125 Bridge St., where a warehouse that is currently located at the site will be turned into a crossfit gym. According to the application, the gym will also house a sports training facility, physical therapy, massage therapy, and a smoothie bar.

City Planner Krysten French, in her staff report, described the crossfit gym as providing a “better buffer” in the area between the mix of industrial and residential land uses that is currently there.
Schmiesing said it is becoming “more and more difficult” to re-purpose sites like these warehouses, so the crossfit gym will “put it to good use.”

The Planning Commission then approved a custom manufacturing and retail space in the Central Business District located at the address 124 N. Main St., where SmithFly is looking to relocate. SmithFly designs and builds fly-fishing rafts and equipment, as well as inflatables. SmithFly is currently located 210 E. Water St. in Troy, is looking at purchasing and moving to a 10,000 square foot site located at the North Main Street location in Piqua, which is also located in Piqua’s Opportunity Zone.April 15, 2020 Piqua Daily Call article

Southern Properties LLC (Memphis, Tennessee) — The company will be building 247 apartment units and 72 single-family homes in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Bob Turner’s plan to build a mixed-use community for seniors in Millington vanished with the Great Recession.

But now, with the federal government investing $30 million into a huge park nearby, Turner is planning a development that would include 247 apartments and 72 single-family homes on the same piece of land.

The federal investment comes as part of the $60 million in disaster resiliency funds Shelby County was awarded in 2016. It is meant to prevent a repeat of the floods in 2010 and 2011 that caused $79 million in property damages in Millington, according to the Shelby County Resilience Council.

Though the park project — which will include greenway trails, walking paths, and athletic fields — isn’t set be completed until September 2022, Turner said it’s already having a major impact.

“When the resilient project came in … you could just feel the change in the town,” Turner said. “There’s exciting stuff going on in Millington. … There are several new developments planned.”

Turner has sold the single-family lots to builders, who plan to sell the homes for about $200,000.

He is still seeking investors for the garden-style apartments. But, the federal government has also helped him out with this. Turner’s project is in an Opportunity Zone, meaning it can provide tax benefits to investors. — September 24, 2019 Memphis Business Journal article


Somera Road Inc. – Cleveland (Cleveland, Ohio) — The company is renovating an office building and is converting it into a “modern, creative office space” located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A downtown office building on Bolivar Road will soon be renovated by a New York-based investment firm that recently purchased the property.

Somera Road Inc., which invests in commercial real estate, has acquired a 140,000-square-foot building at 1020 Bolivar Road, formerly the home of the city- and county-run workforce development office of Ohio Means Jobs. The sale and renovation plans were announced Monday by Cushman & Wakefield/Cresco Real Estate, which represented Somera Road in its search for property in Cleveland.

The firm plans to take advantage of the federal Opportunity Zone program, which provides incentives to invest in Census tracts designated as economically distressed. Somera Road plans to convert the building’s three office floors into “modern, creative office space.” The property also includes a 400-space covered parking garage and is located in downtown’s Gateway District.

A sale price was not disclosed.

“Somera Road has been investing in the Cleveland area for a long time,” Matt Schagrin, vice president of asset management at Somera Road, said in a statement. “We’re particularly excited about this building because traditionally, creative office space has lagged in Cleveland versus other markets.”

Work has begun on a new lobby and a rooftop patio that will overlook Progressive Field. The project will preserve exposed brick and beams “to create a modern, industrial aesthetic,” according to a news release.

The local office of the statewide Ohio Means Jobs program left the Gateway District property for an office in the former Whitlatch Building at 1910 Carnegie Ave. in 2017, according to a Plain Dealer story. — April 8, 2019 Plain Dealer article


Somera Road Inc. – Houston (Houston, Texas) — The company is renovating a building to include office space, retail, and restaurants in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A real estate investor from New York City bought a property in the buzzy Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood on Tuesday — with plans to overhaul the industrial building on-site.

Somera Road Inc. now owns the 4.7-acre property at 1414 Fourth Ave. S., immediately south of downtown. The developer is rebranding the building as “WeHo Crossing,” with plans to create 60,000 square feet of office space and another 12,500 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The project is set to debut in early 2020.

“There is a dearth of high-quality, creative, immediately available, unique space — similar to what Austin went through three or four years ago,” said Ian Ross, managing partner of Somera Road. “We can create that here, rather than some generic steel-and-glass building.”

Somera Road’s development cranks up Wedgewood-Houston’s transformation another notch, coming right on the heels of Apple Music and London-based boutique hotelier SoHo House signing leases for the nearby May Hosiery mixed-use development. (Those developers just revealed plans for another such project in the neighborhood, featuring the iconic guitar-shaped scoreboard from the old Greer Stadium).

Somera Road’s purchase also calls fresh attention to the fact that this fast-changing neighborhood lies within an Opportunity Zone. Those zones, created in the federal government’s 2017 tax law overhaul, grant investors lucrative tax breaks in order to entice them to back developments or companies located in those traditionally low-income areas. Somera Road’s project is the latest in a spurt of local Opportunity Zone dealmaking that has also included the potential relocation of an aerospace manufacturer to North Nashville, apartments in that same part of town and a development in East Nashville.

Ross said he had been evaluating the prospective purchase before the government finalized its list of Opportunity Zones. “It makes a good deal better. It doesn’t really help make a bad deal good,” Ross said of the tax benefits. “We’re not making deals make sense because it’s in an Opportunity Zone. But it is really additive to our investors, if the deal works.”

Somera Road paid $9.25 million for the land, according to newly filed public records. The company took out a $14.1 million loan, a figure that appears to include funds for construction.

Somera Road bought the land from the entity 4th Avenue South Ventures G.P.

This is Somera Road’s first investment in Wedgewood-Houston, after making its local debut by purchasing two buildings in the Gulch from Nashville’s Gibson Guitar Corp. Ohio-based entertainment concept Pins Mechanical Co. is moving into one of those buildings. — April 23, 2019 Nashville Business Journal article

Staley Point Capital (Los Angeles, California) — The company is creating a self-storage facility in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

For its first project, Staley Point Capital wants to demolish a 21,000-square-foot South Los Angeles light manufacturing complex it acquired last month and replace it with a sprawling “state of the art” self-storage facility, according to records filed with the Los Angeles City Planning Department.

Century City-based Staley Point is a new venture formed by Kevin Staley — who co-founded the Magellan Group — and his son, Eric, who recently left Blackstone Group, Eric Staley said.

In December, the investment firm paid $7.35 million for the site located at West 25th Street and Broadway. It plans to replace the existing structures with a 109,000-square-foot storage facility featuring 24-hour digital surveillance and controlled access.

This site is located in a federal Opportunity Zone. Over 8,700 such zones have been created across the country. Developers who undertake projects in them can realize significant tax benefits by investing their capital gains in the designated  census tracts. — January 16, 2020 The Real Deal article

Starwood Capital and Holland Partner (Los Angeles, California) — The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

An affiliate of real estate-focused private investment firm Starwood Capital Group has announced it has formed a joint venture with Holland Partner Group to acquire and develop a Class A multifamily project in Los Angeles, the company said.

Starwood and Holland expect to complete the Opportunity Zone development in the Spring of 2020.

The property will consist of 375 units in a seven-story, podium-style community with 37 studios, 177 one-bedroom units, 139 two-bedroom units, 20 three-bedroom units and 2 four-bedroom units.

Starwood Capital announced the formation of its Opportunity Zone business on Jan. 30, 2019, to ensure the success of its ongoing investments in Opportunity Zones, which were created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to offer investors certain tax advantages for developing and operating assets in designated Opportunity Zones.

Starwood Capital Group maintains 13 offices in five countries around the world, and currently has approximately 4,000 employees. Since its inception in 1991, Starwood Capital Group has raised USD 45 billion of equity capital, and currently has in excess of USD 60 billion of assets under management.

Holland Partner Group, based in Vancouver, Washington, is a fully integrated real estate investment company with investments in multi-family development, redevelopment and mixed-use assets. — May 17, 2020 press release

Starwood Capital Group and AB Capstone (Bronx, New York) — The firm is developing a mixed-use facility within a Bronx Opportunity Zone:

“… the 10-story development will be anchored by a pre-K through eighth grade school, run by Zeta Charter Schools. The building will include office space for a non-profit and ground-floor retail….

The facility will have modern finishes, state-of-the-art classrooms, a double-height gym, floor-to-ceiling windows, open plan offices and more than 11,000 square feet of outdoor space…

“The Bronx is New York City’s fastest growing borough and we see continued opportunity to help bring new investment in the services, schools, office space and retail that have long contributed to the Bronx being such a vibrant community,” says Anthony Balestrieri, SVP and leader of Starwood Capital Group’s Opportunity Zone investment strategy.” — May 10th, 2019, Globe St.

Starwood Capital Group Texas (Austin, Texas) — The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Starwood Capital Group, a global private investment firm focused on real estate and energy investments, has announced that a controlled affiliate has reached an agreement to acquire and develop a 342-unit garden-style multifamily project in East Austin, Texas, the company said.

Starwood expects to complete the Opportunity Zone development by Spring 2020.

East Austin is one of Austin’s fastest growing submarkets and, with significant recent development driven by an influx of young professionals, has transformed into one of the region’s most desirable neighborhoods. Centrally located at 500 US Highway 183 S., within close proximity to Austin’s central business district (CBD), entertainment district and international airport, the development is one of the few sites in East Austin that can accommodate garden-style apartments, which mimic single-family living and are in high demand from prospective tenants.

The project’s amenities will include a club house, fitness center and pool with cabanas, and units will feature quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances. — June 28, 2019 Starwood Capital Group press release

Standard Companies (Savannah, Georgia) — The company is building an apartment complex that will be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A new multi-family housing development will soon transform the corner of Liberty and East Broad Streets, inside one of Savannah’s designated Federal Opportunity Zones.

Savannah’s three zones, which were created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act aim to spur investment in distressed communities throughout the country, were designated in 2018.

“We pride ourselves and focus on creating communities in both the physical and the social sense by finding ways to improve urban areas and revitalize them and bring them into their next phase as responsible stewards, which is exactly what we are hoping to do in Savannah,” said Steven Kahn, director for California-based Standard Companies, which will develop approximately 215 residential units at 601 Liberty St.

Standard’s plans call for a five-story building with a mixture of multi-family units, that will be market-rate driven and plans for commercial space on the property are still being flushed out, according to Tommy Attridge, director, southeast production for Standard.

An exact ground breaking date has not been announced and Standard declined to disclose a total investment cost.

“We’re still finalizing our design, but we’re eager to get started,” Attridge said.

The site, which is just under two acres, was previously owned by the City of Savannah. After putting out a public request for proposals in 2018, the city approved the sale of the site to Standard for $5.9 million in Aug. 2018. The Metropolitan Planning Commission approved the new construction plan in April 2019 and the sale of the property was finalized Dec. 2019.

The property also includes an existing building, which was built in 1927 as offices for the Atlantic Coastal Line Railroad. It previously housed the Catholic Diocese of Savannah before the city purchased the property for $3.5 million in 2015 with plans to renovate the structure to relocate several downtown departments. — January 31, 2020 Savannah Now article

Stoneleigh Companies LLC (St. Paul, Minnesota) — The company is building a apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Stoneleigh Companies LLC announces the acquisition of 10.71 acres of land planned for the construction of the 242-unit Waterford Bay Apartments located in the Saint Paul Opportunity Zone segment. Waterford Bay is one of the first Opportunity Zone projects in St. Paul.

Waterford Bay will offer luxury apartments in a prime location on the Mississippi River. The development aims to leverage the natural aesthetics of the Mississippi River Valley and nearby downtown Saint Paul into an attractive housing community through connectivity and integration of public/private spaces. The development is planning public access to the river with the addition of a kayak/small boat launch and expanding the regional bike/walking path trail system through the site. A portion of the land will be dedicated to the city for park space along the riverfront, accessible to the public by the extension of the bike/walking path. — July 23, 2019 Cantify Investment News article

Studio LP (Austin, Texas) — Developers are building office space in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A year after it was first discussed publicly, a 62,000-square-foot creative office in East Austin is close to breaking ground — and the developers claim it will be the city’s first ground-up development to use a qualified opportunity fund, a widely watched but little understood federal program designed to spur investment in low-income areas.

Construction on the office building at 1141 Shady Lane in the ThinkEast master-planned development is set to start in July.

A modern, three-story building designed by architecture firm Bercy Chen Studio LP will be the focal point of the development from Austin-based PlaceMKR and New Jersey-based Saxum Real Estate.

A 1920s-era house reminiscent of the bungalows on Rainey Street sits next to the office building and will be preserved — and then renovated and turned into a restaurant. There will also be a 9,000-square-foot outdoor courtyard around the property, according to brokerage firm Newmark Knight Frank, who represented the buyers in the transaction.

Newmark Knight Frank Senior Managing Director Jesse Weber and Director Joshua LaFico will exclusively lease the new development.

“This is an extremely beneficial project for the progress of East Austin,” Weber said.

Opportunity zones were designed to spur investment in low-income census tracts. They also offer significant tax cuts and deferrals for those who invest in projects in the zones — up to 15 percent of capital gains invested can be exempted from taxes, if investors keep their money in the zone for at least seven years. Read more about the rules here.

It’s not just the real estate investors that will receive tax benefits from investing in 1141 Shady Lane. Tenants of the new building, especially startups raising capital, could be eligible for benefits as long as most of their assets and gross income is derived from that location in the opportunity zone — and if their backers’ investment comes from capital gains. — June 20, 2019 Austin Business Journal article

Stillman College (Tuscaloosa, Alabama) – The college was able to build a 125 room hotel that will serve as a teaching center for the school’s hospitality program because of the Opportunity Zones.

“In July, Stillman College signed a memorandum of understanding with partners in a project to build a 125-room hotel on the college campus to serve as a teaching center for the school’s hospitality management program. Included in the project is mixed-use residential and commercial space, including market-rate housing for faculty, graduate students and others. The hotel would be operated by HDG Hotels of Ocala, Fla., in partnership with Stillman…

The plan is for the hotel to be sold back to Stillman College for its long-term use at the end of a holding period, with the cash flowing back to the college…

Robert Jenkins, senior managing director for Renaissance HBCU Opportunity Fund, said the Stillman project is consistent with other projects being assembled in OZs, which usually involve some mixed-use development involving retail and housing. Stillman would not be happening without opportunity zones, he said.

“You’re attracting equity to a lower income neighborhood in a tertiary city,” Jenkins said. “As much as I like Tuscaloosa, it’s not Washington, it’s not L.A., it’s not Atlanta.” In addition, graduates of the program will not only have the ability to hold jobs in the hospitality field, but will have executive and entrepreneurial skills developed by the program, he said.” – September 15th, 2019, Alabama (

Stonewall Capital (Baltimore, Maryland) — The company is building an industrial park in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The ambitious, $700 million development of hundreds of acres in Elkton is nearing a start despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, the project’s developer said on Monday.
“Obviously the project has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Ray Jackson, principal of Monkton-based Stonewall Capital, the lead equity partner in the project. “But we’ve been doing everything through teleconferencing and we do have some on-site work going on now. My partners and I are very bullish.”
Southfields of Elkton will hold a 250-acre, 3-million-square-foot industrial park near Route 40, built by developer Trammell Crow, that will break ground in the late fall and is expected to open in mid-2021. The project will also have more than 850 residential units, with single-family homes priced between $250,000 and $375,000.
The 650-acre mixed-use Southfields of Elkton project was proposed in July and is expected to bring 1,000 new jobs and a huge boost to the tax base of the small town of Elkton and Cecil County.
The Town of Elkton approved the project’s planned unit development on March 9, and permitting is ongoing. It will be located near the Maryland-Delaware line and is the latest evolution in the rural county that is expanding with industrial, residential and entertainment projects.
Also included is 250,000 square feet of commercial and retail space, much of it near the Elk River. A 50-acre sports complex with several playing fields and green space is also planned.
Jackson said the project remains on track despite the ongoing pandemic. He said site work is expected to begin in the fall and development will start shortly after that.
“We’re not stopping,” he said. “My team includes multiple professional organizations and they have taken extra precautions to safeguard their employees. This has actually shown me how people can work together as a team toward a common goal, and I have been inspired by the efforts of all involved.”
Chris Moyer, director of Cecil County’s Office of Economic Development, said the project is located in a state opportunity zone, which will offer tax breaks for job creation. Trammel Crow is investing about $250 million into the industrial park, expected to be an e-commerce logistics center. — March 30, 2020, Baltimore Business Journal Article.

Banyan Residential (Scottsdale, Arizona) — The company is revitalizing a vacant lot with apartments, retail, and office space which will be located on a Opportunity Zone, created by the 2017 GOP tax cut:
Banyan Residential announced the start of construction on the long-anticipated Scottsdale Entrada development this morning. Located at the northeast corner of 64th Street and McDowell Road, Scottsdale Entrada will revitalize a long vacant 33-acre lot with a vibrant mixed-use campus, including 736 apartment units, 250,000 square feet of office space, 5,000 square feet of retail and ample public open space. The project is located in an Opportunity Zone, part of a revitalization program formed under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and will be developed with program-compliant funding.
“Because of its central location and proximity to Phoenix, this project is critical to the economic prosperity and urban renaissance of the area and surrounding neighborhoods,” said Mayor Lane. “As the name conveys, this is a major entry point to Scottsdale. We are very excited for construction to start.” — March 27, 2020 Vertical News article

Sortis Holdings Inc. (Tukwila, Washington) — The company announced it is building a mixed income senior living development located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Sortis Holdings Inc. (SOHI), a Portland, Oregon-based private equity firm, closed on equity funding for Tukwila Village Phase II, a mixed income senior living development in Tukwila, Washington. Sortis invested capital from its $100 million Sortis Opportunity Zone Fund alongside project sponsor Bryan Park, a Puyallup-based developer who has developed, owns and operates more than 5,000 senior living apartments in Washington. The completed project will be operated by Sustainable Housing for Ageless Generations, or SHAG, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

“By 2050, the population of individuals who are 65 and older in the U.S. is projected to double, yet rising rents and lack of supply have reduced the availability of affordable, high-quality housing in desirable locations for this population,” said Paul Brenneke, Sortis founder. “We believe delivering a high-quality project with attractive investment returns while simultaneously providing an affordable housing option to low-income seniors is a win-win.” — August 29, 2019 Bushiness Wire article

The Annex Group (Ruston, Louisiana) — The company announced they are building an affordable student housing complex near Louisiana Tech University in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The Annex Group, LLC, a leading student and affordable housing developer, announces today the closing of an $18 million purpose built, multifamily housing development located at 509 W. Line Ave., in Ruston.

The new development will break ground this month and is set to be delivered in August 2020.

The 118-unit (324 bed) purpose built, multifamily housing complex – dubbed The Annex of Ruston – will serve as one of the first off-campus properties financed using an opportunity zone investment structure. The development will include sought-after amenities such as a swimming pool, exercise room, study lounges, secured parking and more.

“We are thankful for the opportunity to provide adequate and affordable housing for the students of Louisiana Tech University and other members of the community,” said Kyle Bach, CEO of The Annex Group. “This new development will be our first in the state of Louisiana and we’re excited to bring this community to the city of Ruston.”

The fully furnished apartments will rent individually by the bed for students, with one-bedroom units starting at $725 per bed. Two-bedroom units will be available to rent starting at $690 per bed, three-bedroom units available starting at $560 per bed, and four-bedroom units available starting at $509 per bed.

The project was financed with the help of KeyBank. The Annex Group worked in collaboration with the city of Ruston, KTGY Architecture and HGA Engineering to develop the proposed structure.

“The city is excited to work with The Annex Group who will construct Ruston’s newest purpose built, multifamily housing development that will continue to fill a need for Louisiana Tech students,” said Mayor Ronny Walker. “The Annex approached the city about building this development but had three requirements: It must be close to Louisiana Tech to allow for ease of access, it had to be along the Greenway to provide safe transportation options and access to the surrounding neighborhood, and it had to be in an underdeveloped area to serve as a catalyst for further economic development. The Annex Group has a vision similar to ours, and we believe they will be a great community partner for years to come.”

“We took our style cues for Annex Ruston from the local design vernacular: white board and batten siding with red brick accents, double-hung windows and black shingled roofs with standing-seam metal accents reinforce the southern feeling,” said Craig Pryde, AIA, LEED AP, Principal of KTGY’s Chicago office. “The enclave of student apartments is planned around a central club house and pool area. We worked with the natural slope of the property, arranging the buildings around breezeways, convenient parking and pedestrian walkways. The effect is ease of access for residents with a sense of privacy and community in a gated complex.”

This development will be steps away from Louisiana Tech’s newly integrated Engineering and Science building, expected to be completed in the fall. Nearby also will be the newly planned Rock Island Greenway Trail, which will run directly adjacent to the new development and through the campus of Louisiana Tech University and into downtown Ruston. — March 18, 2019 The News Star article

Taplin Development Corp. (Hallandale Beach, Florida) — The company is building 320 apartment units, a 120 key hotel, and retail stores in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A high-rise apartment and hotel project is planned for an Opportunity Zone in Hallandale Beach.

Taplin Development Corp., led by Jack Taplin, received approval from the city to build 320 apartments and a 120-key hotel with a retail component across from Gulfstream Park, according to a release. The project will be called the Falls at Gulfstream and the property will consist of a 23-story building at 900 South Federal Highway.

The Class A property will have a rooftop bar overlooking the finish line at Gulfstream Park. The property is also adjacent to the Village at Gulfstream Park, an upscale shopping center.

The federal Opportunity Zone program allows developers and investors to receive a tax incentive if they invest in one of the more than 8,700 zones throughout the country. The program was designed to encourage investment in low-income and distressed areas, but has come under scrutiny as a tax break for wealthy developers.

“We are currently seeking Opportunity Zone joint venture equity to meet the end of the year zone deadline,” Taplin said in a statement. — November 13, 2019 The Real Deal article

The Platform (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) — The company is building a co-working space and food hall which is located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Developers offered look Monday at the progress on a $16 million project to turn a cold storage building into a co-working space and food hall in the Milwaukee Junction neighborhood.

The first floor-to-ceiling window has been installed in the nine-story building at 2937-67 E. Grand Blvd. It will be among dozens of windows that will pour light into the long-abandoned building known for its rainbow-colored mural.

“It is a relatively small project but because it is out of the norm, it attracts a great deal of interest,” said Peter Cummings, executive The Platform, the Detroit-based development group undertaking the project.

The tour Monday kicked off the Urban Land Institute of Michigan’s first Spring Real Estate Summit at Cobo Center. The two-day event for real estate professionals is a follow-up to a national Urban Land Institute spring meeting held in Detroit last year.

Developments included in the tour were The Corner, a mixed-used development in Corktown, Pullman Parc in Lafayette Park and Bedrock’s City Modern development in Brush Park. A reception was set for Wednesday night at the recently opened Shinola Hotel.

“It gives the attendees a firsthand view of what’s happening in the local market, current trends,” said Jill Ferrari, vice chair of Urban Land Institute of Michigan, of the tours. “They can apply what they’ve seen.”

For example, the Chroma project falls under Opportunity Zone rules that allow investors to reduce or avoid capital gains taxes by investing in designated areas. Ferrari will participate in a session Tuesday on the topic of successful opportunity zone investments. — April 30, 2019 Detroit News article


The Meeting Place Church (Columbia, South Carolina) — The church bought an abandon movie theater in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A newly remodeled movie theater on Columbia Mall Boulevard is bringing new life to the area as part of a nonprofit’s revitalization efforts that take advantage of a recently created federal tax incentive program.

Prior to renovation, the movie theater, now known as Capital 8, sat abandoned for 11 years, according to Bishop Eric Freeman, pastor and founder of The Meeting Place Church of Greater Columbia.

The theater is part of a 23-acre property in northeast Columbia that The Meeting Place Church purchased for about $3.5 million in 2017, according to Richland County property records. The property has 200,000 square feet of indoor space that was underutilized when the church took over.

The Columbia Mall Boulevard property was designated as a South Carolina Opportunity Zone by Gov. Henry McMaster last year. Opportunity Zones are a community development program created by Congress in 2017 to encourage long-term private investments in economically distressed communities by offering deferred capital gains taxes to investors. South Carolina has 135 Opportunity Zones across the state, including nine in Richland County.

“Opportunity Zones are about an area that’s been identified,” Freeman said. “It has tremendous potential for those who have the vision to come and invest in cultivating that potential.”

Freeman said one of the priorities of The Meeting Place Church is economic development and empowerment of underserved areas, and this is the second development The Meeting Place Church has worked on. The first was on Percival Road.

“We go into places that look dead, as a congregation, and kind of do the unorthodox thing of saying, ‘Hey, I know this space looks dead, I know this area feels dead, but we come with good news,’ ” Freeman said. “We will put our resources behind that good news to show a real-life illustration in the community of what once was dead can come back to life again.”

When The Meeting Place Church acquired the Columbia Mall Boulevard property, Freeman said the initial priorities were to build a community center, a church sanctuary and a conference center. After those goals were finished, he started approaching small businesses to partner with the church.

The development of the movie theater is a collaboration between movie theater group Spotlight Cinemas and The Meeting Place Church.

Freeman met Rick Phillips, owner of Spotlight Cinemas, when the pastor was trying to buy new seats for the movie theater. Freeman asked Phillips if he wanted to partner on the redevelopment.

Phillips, having opened seven movie theaters locations since 1996, was reluctant to open another. He said he already had too much on his plate, including the Spotlight Cinemas St. Andrews location, but offered to help coach Freeman through the renovation.

“It’s a great location,” Phillips said of his thoughts when he first saw the theater. “It’s got great bones. You know, it was probably a great theater in its time, and it’s too bad that somebody doesn’t reopen it, because I think, in this community, you really benefit from having a theater.”

After more than a year and a half of consulting, Phillips decided to formally partner with The Meeting Place Church. Work began in August 2018, and Capital 8 opened in December.

Phillips said Freeman’s energy convinced him to come onboard fully.

“His vision and just his passion for what he was trying to do just kind of became infectious,” Phillips said.

The theater was initially scheduled to open the before Thanksgiving, but a four-week delay in receiving new seats pushed back the opening date.

Because of the delay, Phillips said the theater was unable to have the big grand opening that it wanted, but news of its rebirth has slowly spread.

“Our business is increasing on a weekly basis, and it’s just a matter of getting people to know that there’s an alternative (theater) in their area to go to,” he said.

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said in a statement that he is thankful to Freeman and Phillips “for seeing and acting on a vision for a family friendly movie theater in our city, particularly in this neighborhood. This project is one of the first of what we hope are many successful, impactful Opportunity Zone developments in Columbia. — February 5, 2019 Columbia Regional Business Report article

TCG Group (Wichita, Kansas) — A hotel group is putting up a Hom2 Suites by Hilton that will be located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

GC Group has selected a hotel flag for the Delano catalyst site — a 95-room Home2 Suites by Hilton — but president Nick Esterline says it’s even more significant that this is his company’s second major Opportunity Zone project.

“Although there’s a lot of hype about these deals, they’re really difficult to get done,” he says. “They’re big projects.”

Opportunity Zones are areas the federal government identifies as needing development and then defers taxes for investors who do work there.

With TGC’s planned $21 million building at Douglas and Emporia downtown and this $12.5 million hotel, Esterline says he guesses that “we’ve certainly closed the most in Opportunity Zoneprojects in Wichita” and possibly the state.

“For us, selfishly, it’s pretty special to say we did ’em,” he says. “Not to say there won’t be others that are larger.”

Esterline says Opportunity Zone deals as large as these also are “a big deal for Wichita.”– September 11, 2019 Wichita Eagle article

Tony Rankins, SOTU Guest (Cincinnati, Ohio) —

According to Politico:

“One of the president’s guests for the speech, the senior administration official noted, would be Tony Rankins — a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and became addicted to drugs, before getting clean and eventually getting a job in one of the Opportunity Zones created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in Cincinnati.

Rankins’ hometown paper, the Cincinnati Enquirer, has more on him and his job with R Investments, described as a Denver company that does development work in Cincinnati and trained Rankins in carpentry and other skills.” — February 3, 2020, Politico.


TSG Group and Linéaire Group (Miami, Florida) — The companies are developing an apartment tower that will include retail space located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Two developers beat competitors to a coveted property in Miami’s growing Arts and Entertainment District by chasing the deal when others might have been more hesitant.

TSG Group and Linéaire Group, both based in Miami, paid $5.9 million for the 30,000-square-foot, six-lot vacant property at 1765 N. Miami Ave. on March 14.

They plan to develop an 18-to 24-story apartment tower with ground-floor retail. Construction is set to start in early 2020 and finish in early 2022.

The property northeast of Miami Avenue and 17th Street is in an opportunity zone, one of many areas across the U.S. poised to get an influx of investment under a change in federal law.

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created the opportunity zone concept, allowing investors to defer taxes on their capital gains from commercial ventures and put the gains into opportunity zone developments.

The so-called OZ designation pushed TSG and Linéaire to move forward with the purchase. When they put the assemblage under contract six months ago, the federal government had not yet released guidelines on investments in these zones.

Many investors were waiting for the rules before moving forward, which in turn worked favorably for TSG and Linéaire.

“We saw an opportunity because a lot of people were waiting on the sidelines to see how the regulation was going to come out,” said Diego Bonet, Linéaire managing partner. “All the big players were waiting on the sidelines, so we wanted to make sure we were one of the early movers and jump on this before all of the guidance had come out.”

In the end, the two developers were happy with the preliminary OZ guidelines. The final rules are expected soon.

TSG and Linéaire don’t stand to get any of the tax breaks under the change in tax law. They bought the land betting on partnering with an OZ fund on the multifamily project.

“Before we closed on the transaction, I have spoken to some opportunity zone funds. So we have been gauging their interest since we first looked at the site, and they have been showing interest,” Bonet said, adding there are at least three interested investors. — April 3, 2019 Palm Beach Daily Business Review article

TradeMark Properties (Raleigh, North Carolina) — The company is building a soccer stadium in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Raleigh developer John Kane, who spearheaded the resurrection of North Hills and the Warehouse District, teamed with local soccer leader Steve Malik and TradeMark Properties owner Billie Redmond Monday evening to unveil his next target: what the group is calling “Downtown South” in a project even bigger in scope than originally anticipated.

Kane, Redmond and Malik will be at a news conference Tuesday morning at The Dillon, debuting plans for a 20,000-seat soccer stadium that would serve as the hub for a sprawling district that would include hotels and residential and retail units.

The site is in an Opportunity Zone, a big incentive for investors. The Opportunity Zones were created with the tax changes in 2017 and give investors significant tax breaks for investing in areas that have been traditionally underserved. — June 25, 2019 Triangle Business Journal article

Tom and Brooke Gordon (Denver, Colorado) — A “husband and wife development team” are planning on building 700 homes located in a opportunity Zone:

The construction crews might not avoid Elyria-Swansea much longer.

On Monday night, the Denver City Council approved a rezoning that would allow one of the neighborhood’s first major development proposals. A husband-and-wife development team wants to build about 700 homes and other features on a former call-center site at 2535 East 40th Ave.

Council members Debbie Ortega, Paul López, Paul Kashmann and Rafael Espinoza voted against the proposal. Councilman Wayne New was absent.

The 14-acre project has become a test case for the historically neglected neighborhood, with a community group and a local nonprofit pushing for more concessions from the developers amid fears of higher property taxes.

In an interview, developer Tom Gordon said he and his wife, Brooke, wanted to build a “diverse mixed-use community with some focus on the arts.” The project would be a mix of existing and new buildings.

The three-floor project also would include:

* Seventy affordable units for people making less than 60 percent of the area median income, about $54,000 for a family of four. The median household income in the neighborhood is about $37,000, according to city records.

* A 500-seat performance space for the Wonderbound dance company, a current tenant.

* 2,000 square feet of rent-free space for local businesses.

* 25,000 square feet for restaurants and commercial space.

* Two-plus acres of publicly accessible open space, including a playground and a public garden.

* Eight live-work art spaces at about $1 per square foot.

About 120 of the homes would be condos, and the rest would be apartments. The affordable units and open space are cemented in agreements with the city. Other aspects are addressed in a community agreement signed by the Gordons but not the residents.

“We’ve taken the high road the whole way on this thing,” said Bruce O’Donnell, a representative for the developers.

The council delayed its consideration of the project a month ago, following a five-hour meeting, to allow for negotiations between the developers and the Globeville, Elyria-Swansea Coalition Organizing for Health and Housing Justice.

“There has never been a large-scale market-rate development in Elyria and Swansea,” said organizer Nola Miguel. “I think I was shocked by how fast this is all happening amidst a huge mess of construction.”

Elyria-Swansea is one of the only parts of northeast Denver where houses still sell for less than $300,000. Its residents live in the shadow of Interstate 70 and industrial pollution.

GES Coalition and other neighborhood groups ultimately rejected the proposal because the developers didn’t meet their “make or break” issue, Miguel said.

They wanted the developers to contribute $200 per unit — about $140,000 in all — to a “property tax fund” that could ease the effects of rising property values on low-income residents. Denver’s low-income neighborhoods have seen their property value assessments jump in recent years. The city recently extended some tax refunds to low-income families.

“They didn’t necessarily know what they were getting into as far as, ‘What’s equity and how do we do that?’ ” Miguel said.

Gordon said his company’s plan went above and beyond to provide community amenities, but he was frustrated by the tax-fund proposal.

“Those things are things that we can do to engage the community, but what we can’t do is a be a guinea pig or a target for an organization that is trying to create policy for the city,” he said.

The development isn’t getting direct city subsidies, but may create a special taxing district to pay for some development costs. The property is in a federal opportunity zone. — May 6, 2019 Denver Post article

Twin Financial Partners (St. Louis, Missouri) — The company is moving into an office building in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

St. Louis-based finance firm Twain Financial Partners has announced it has closed on financing for its new office building in the St. Louis area, the company said.

Twain specializes in public-private partnership investments and will be utilizing the historic, new markets, and solar tax credit programs in the development of its new office space.

Twain’s new building is located in a qualified Opportunity Zone, which further incentivizes the company’s investment into the Downtown West area.

The Opportunity Zone program, established by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on December 22, 2017, encourages long-term investment in economically distressed communities nationwide.

Twain Financial Partners is an investment management and specialty finance firm with more than USD 4 billion in assets under management within the public-private partnership sector. Twain specializes in state and federal historic tax credit investments, state low-income housing tax credit investments, and C-PACE financing. — January 8, 2019 press release

TWG Development (Seymour, Indiana) — The company is building an affordable apartment complex that will be located on a Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: 

A developer is taking steps to build a 54-unit apartment complex in Seymour in an effort to provide more affordable housing and attract more workers to fill available jobs at businesses.

The proposed three-story building will consist of two- and three-bedroom units and target families making an annual salary of $30,000 to $40,000, said Sam Rogers with TWG Development in Indianapolis.

Rogers provided details about the $9.7 million project, including its location, to city officials during a city council meeting Monday night.

The apartments are to be built in a vacant grassy lot along Miller Lane behind the Poynter Ford auto dealership. The property is located in Seymour’s Opportunity Zone, which is a federally designated area targeting low-income areas for development. — July 24, 2019, The Tribune Article.

Unico Properties (Tacoma, Washington) — The company is creating an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A controversial federal tax break is fueling the transformation of a historic downtown Tacoma office into apartments where residents will be able to enjoy a unique amenity: A basement bank vault, preserved from the days when the 18-story building was home to the Scandinavian American Bank.

When it was built in 1925, the twin-towered Washington Building was the second-tallest in the Pacific Northwest, after the 42-story Smith Tower. But by the time Seattle-based Unico Properties purchased the building in 2017, it was sparsely occupied and behind on needed repairs.

The company immediately announced plans to convert the building, four blocks north of the Museum of Glass, into 150 residential units.

Over the past two years, though, ballooning construction costs put a crimp in Unico’s plans for the adaptive-reuse project. Seattle-area construction expenses rose by nearly 14% in that period, according to the Mortenson Construction Cost Index.

Enter opportunity zone (OZ) financing.

Much of Tacoma has been declared eligible for opportunity zone tax breaks, a federal program signed into law at the end of 2017 allowing investors to shelter capital gains for up to 10 years by investing in projects in some low-income census tracts.

The program has come under fire nationally for benefiting wealthy investors while not aiding the poor communities it was meant to help, though local opportunity zone investors say they work hard to ensure their projects serve the state’s working class. Seattle’s first opportunity zone project, Pioneer Square’s Canton Lofts apartments, was supported by local officials including former City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. — January 3, 2020 Seattle Times article


URS Capital Partners (Charlotte, North Carolina) — The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

URS has been active in the last year or so. The company sold three apartment communities in Georgia and one in Cincinnati for a combined $67.8 million. The first building in its 256-unit Latitude South Portland rental complex in Portland, Maine is slated to open in September. URS bought the 7.19-acre site, located in an Opportunity Zone, for $8 million and began construction on the $45 million project last spring. — May 1, 2020 Long Island Business News article


US-Offsite (Anderson, California) — The modular construction manufacturer is building a new plant and will create 100 jobs in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A modular construction manufacturer has picked Anderson to build its first plant, and the company vows to hire approximately 100 people when it opens early next year.

US-Offsite is a volumetric building company that will make prefabricated cubes for multi-family and commercial projects, such as apartments, hotels and student housing. The cubes will be built in Anderson and then shipped to project sites from Seattle to San Diego, company co-founder Dan Ferreira said.

“We are taking an entire multi-family structure up to five stories, we slice the structure into cubes, we fully build the cubes in the plant down to finishes, paint, fixtures and then we ship the cubes to the site where they are assembled like Legos,” said Ferreira, who envisions his company helping California’s housing shortage.

Building this way can cut in half the time for vertical construction, and there also is a cost savings, he said. Moreover, the developer or contractor doesn’t have to worry about supply chain issues, which Ferreira said is more critical amid the coronavirus crisis.

The Industry Road site also is in an opportunity zone, a program that is part of the 2018 federal tax overhaul. The zones are meant to create tax benefits in designated areas to spur economic development and create jobs. — May 3, 2020, Record Searchlight article

Urban Catalyst and Urban Community (San Jose, California) — The companies are building a mixed-use space in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The site of the former Lido night club in downtown San Jose is headed for a major facelift that would preserve the property’s key historic elements and add offices, retail, a restaurant and a new fountain, according to preliminary documents on file with city officials.

Fountain Alley Building is the working title for the project that would rise on South First Street in downtown San Jose and bring a mix of office, retail and dining spaces to the site, which is next to another historic building, the Bank of Italy office tower.

The six-story development is expected to total at least 50,000 square feet, according to planning documents and project builders.

“The new building will be predominantly retail and restaurant on the ground level and office on levels two through six,” according to public documents submitted by the developers and Studio Current, which has designed the project.

The project has emerged as a joint effort by two San Jose-based real estate and investment companies: Urban Catalyst, headed by developer Erik Hayden, and Urban Community, led by developer Gary Dillabough.

“The corner of the building at South First and Fountain Alley will have a water fountain to identify it as the Fountain Alley Building,” stated the documents on file with the city.

The 36 S. First St. structure is officially known as the Knox Goodrich Building and was constructed by Sarah Knox-Goodrich in 1889, according to a marker outside the building that described it as a “charming commercial structure.”

She was “a strong advocate of women’s rights and organized San Jose’s first Woman Suffrage Association in 1869,” the marker states. Her first husband, William Knox, was co-founder of San Jose’s first bank. Her second husband, Levi Goodrich, was the architect of old county courthouses in San Jose, Monterey and San Diego.

The developers intend to upgrade and preserve the historic Knox Goodrich building so it can become the primary lobby entrance for the new office building, according to the planning documents.

“Special care will be given to maintain the entire 1889 building and the historic facade while renovating the entry lobby,” the developers said in the city files.

Dillabough has begun wide-ranging renovations and revivals of multiple historic or older buildings in downtown San Jose, notably the Bank of Italy office tower.

The renovation of the old Lido Club property is made possible, in part, because it’s located in an opportunity zone. In numerous communities in the United States, opportunity zones have been enabled by President Donald Trump’s tax-cut initiative.

Urban Catalyst, Hayden’s firm, was formed to create an opportunity fund that would provide development expertise and cash for selected properties in Bay Area districts that have been designated as opportunity zones. Large sections of downtown San Jose, as well as parts of Oakland and San Francisco, are in opportunity zones.

Potentially the first project in the San Jose opportunity zone would be the redevelopment of the Lido Club site. — April 4, 2019 San Jose Mercury article

Velocity Companies (Greenbelt, Maryland) — The company is building a business center that will host a grocery store, smokehouse, apartments, and more, located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Construction is about to get underway on a $250 million Prince George’s County development that is expected to bring more than 500,000 square feet of mixed-use to Capitol Heights.

Hampton Park, the redevelopment of the 25-acre Hampton Mall, will include a $35 million, 115,000-square-foot office building slated to house the Prince George’s County departments of Health and Human Services, Veteran Affairs and Family Services. That building will also house a 17,000-square-foot senior day center.

The project has received numerous federal, state and county designations that should its ease path to viability. It has been designated part of Maryland’s Sustainable Communities, as a Primary Investment District and, most recently, as an opportunity zone. — September 27, 2019 Washington Business Journal article


Vesta Hospitality (Vancouver, Washington) — The company is building a hotel in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The AC Hotel by Marriott design includes an internal parking garage on the second and third floors, event space on the first floor and office space with a corporate conference room on the seventh floor. The balcony on the seventh floor connects to the conference room, but there will be additional balconies on the building’s east side.

The $50 million project will be partially financed by investors taking advantage of the newly designated opportunity zone in downtown Vancouver. Opportunity zones are an investment tool created by the 2017 federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that allow investors to defer capital gains taxes on qualified Opportunity Funds, which are invested in approved local zones.

The investment push is scheduled to kick off tonight at an event where Vesta Hospitality and representatives from Fairway America, the project’s investment fund manager, will meet with interested investors and outline the details of the project and the opportunity zone regulations.

The investment fund is expected to raise about $16.4 million of the total, according to Fairway America partner Darris Cassidy, with the remainder of the funding coming from construction loans, although all of the budget numbers are still preliminary.

Seven opportunity zones have been designated in Clark County, but Cassidy said the downtown zone offers access to projects like the AC Hotel that wouldn’t be possible in other areas.

“It’s a unique opportunity — no pun intended — to build it on the waterfront,” he said.

Takach said the use of the zone is a lucky coincidence — the port selected Vesta’s bid to build the hotel project in August 2017, four months before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law and eight months before the downtown Vancouver Opportunity Zone was approved.

But during the early stages of the planning process, the developers learned that the ground under the site included a significant amount of fill material, and the entire area’s proximity to the Columbia River made it susceptible to soil liquefaction during an earthquake.

“As it is today, it can’t support the weight of the hotel,” he said.

The site will require an estimated $3 million of ground stabilization work before construction can begin in earnest, Takach said, and there are contingency funds in place in case more ground issues crop up once the stabilization work gets underway.

It took about 10 months to design the ground stabilization plan, Takach said, and the rising costs of the operation began to threaten the entire project’s financial viability. But then the opportunity zone happened to pop up during the delay period, offering a new financing option.

“I got lucky with this opportunity zone,” he said. “It actually made the project viable — I was really struggling with the numbers.”

With the design work wrapping up, Takach said Vesta will soon begin the process of securing permits from the city. The goal is to break ground later this year and be “fully under construction” by the end of the year, he said, although preliminary work such as ground stabilization will be underway in the coming months.

The hotel is targeted to open in the spring or summer of 2021, depending on how the project progresses. — Feb. 21, 2019 The Columbian article

Vicksburg Forest Products LLC  (Vicksburg, Mississippi) — Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, local Opportunity Zones are bringing in jobs:

“…I was a part of the first one (opportunity zone development) in the United States,” Flaggs said. “They asked me to speak about Vicksburg; its progress and why the opportunity zone worked for us and how it can be a model for the country.”

Vicksburg has three opportunity zones, “And we’re going to make every effort to utilize them,” Flaggs said. The Forestland Group, which bought Anderson-Tully in 2006, announced earlier in 2018 that it was closing the mill — a move affecting the 158 workers at the plant.

Jackson-based Vicksburg Forest Products LLC, the parent company of Vicksburg Forest Products, was able to take advantage of opportunity zone funding and bought the Anderson-Tully mill operation in June 2018, saving 125 jobs…

He said another opportunity zone includes the Mississippi Hardware building, which is being converted into the Mississippi Center for Innovation & Technology, an innovation and tech transfer center to serve the Vicksburg area and the entire central Mississippi region.” – October 3rd, 2019, The Vicksburg Post


VITA Development Group (Kodak, Tennessee) — The company is building a multifamily property in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Walker & Dunlop, Inc. announced today that it arranged a $21,086,700 construction loan for Kodak Crossing in Kodak, Tennessee. The new multifamily property is being developed by longtime client VITA Development Group, Inc., and will be located within the bounds of Sevier County, one of Tennessee’s designated opportunity zone census tracts. The transaction represents one of the first opportunity properties financed with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, opportunity zones are a new, nationwide community investment tool that encourages long-term investments in designated low-income areas. Under this program, investors and developers who place unrealized capital gains into dedicated opportunity funds are eligible to receive incentives in the form of lower or deferred capital gains taxes.

Led by Managing Directors Keith Melton and David Strange, Walker & Dunlop arranged the loan through HUD’s 221(d)(4) new construction program, which includes both construction and permanent financing in a single loan and mitigates interest rate risk for the developer. The program is also an ideal financing structure to take advantage of opportunity zone benefits, which requires that the developer holds the asset for a minimum of ten years. HUD has also begun prioritizing and offering lower fees for opportunity zone projects. The team worked closely with VITA Development to ensure the terms of the financing were consistent with opportunity zone guidance, securing a two-year construction term followed by a 40-year, fully amortizing, fixed-rate loan. — June 6, 2019 Contify Banking News article

Virtua Partners (Phoenix, Arizona) – Launched an Opportunity Zone Fund, raising $200million for the fund:

Virtua Partners (Virtua), a global private-equity real-estate investment firm, today announced the launch of the first-ever Opportunity Zone Fund. This groundbreaking fund is the first vehicle designed to invest in the newly created Opportunity Zones — one of the lesser known provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the Tax Reform Act). Virtua Opportunity Zone Fund I, LLC aims to raise $200 million and is designed to utilize the tax-savings opportunities created by the tax-reform law. – June 20, 2018 Virtua Partners press release

Voi Inc. (Springfield, Vermont) — The artificial intelligence company was able to open a location because of a grant that was made possible by the TCJA Opportunity Zones:

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. — The Black River Innovation Campus (BRIC) will be getting a new manufacturing neighbor dedicated to artificial intelligence behavioral technology inside the former Park Street School.

With the help of a grant from the Center on Rural Innovation, Voi Incorporated will be located adjacent to the Black River Innovation Campus.


“According to Calvelli, the Center on Rural Innovation Fund seeks to fund economic growth in rural communities while making connections with technology based companies to provide jobs for economically depressed areas.

“The Center on Rural Innovation Fund invests in growth businesses located in qualified Opportunity Zones in the United States to enhance economic growth and job creation in small communities. The fund seeks to find attractive technology-enabled operating businesses in rural geographies, which are under-served by traditional venture capital institutions,” Calvelli said. “The Center on Rural Innovation Fund identifies, funds, and supports the best tech entrepreneurs American small towns have to offer.” — February 28, 2020 Argus-Champion.


Washington Property Company (Silver Spring, Maryland) — The company has announced they are building an apartment complex located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Washington Property Company has broken ground for Solaire 8200 Dixon, a 403-unit, 26-story apartment tower in the Ripley District of  downtown Silver Spring, MD. Clark Construction Company is on track to deliver the first apartments in mid-2022.WPC has partnered with the Cresset-Diversified QOZ Fund to provide equity for the project. This fund is a joint venture between Cresset Partners and Diversified Real Estate Capital, both of Chicago, which earlier this year closed a $470 million fund to invest in real estate projects located in Qualified Opportunity Zones. Solaire 8200 Dixon is one of the seven projects included in the fund. — April 29, 2020 Yield Pro article

Walker & Dunlop Inc. (Birmingham, Alabama) — The commercial real estate finance company announced they would be building a new apartment complex located in an opportunity zone:

Walker & Dunlop has structured $51.9 million in financing for ECLIPSE at CityCentre, a five-story, 278-unit, multifamily project here. Located in Huntsville’s Downtown area, the property is within the bounds of a designated opportunity zone census tract. — March 17, 2020 GlobeSt.Com article


Waypoint Residential (Jeffersonville, Indiana) — The company is building an apartment complex in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Waypoint Residential, a US-based real estate investment management firm, has unveiled plans to develop a multifamily property, dubbed Walcott Jeffersonville, in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

To be located in the Old Jeffersonville Historic District opportunity zone, the 214-unit, Class A development will feature a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom units.The residential development will be located in Historic Downtown Jeffersonville directly across the street from the Big 4 Station Park. It will benefit from the on-going revitalisation of Jeffersonville’s downtown and waterfront, which includes new restaurants, bars, boutiques and the Riverfront floating amphitheatre.Furthermore, the Big Four Bridge offers easy access to the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts and the hot NuLu and Butchertown neighbourhoods across the river in Louisville, Kentucky.Waypoint Residential CEO Scott Lawlor said: “The Walcott Jeffersonville is our second investment in the greater Louisville MSA, and our first in Jeffersonville.”The City of Jeffersonville’s revitalization strategy, in the broader context of a diverse and growing economy in the MSA, presented a compelling investment opportunity. It is a deal we had under contract before the opportunity zone designation, which is an added benefit.”The project will also include luxury amenities, such as a resort-style pool and a fitness centre, an Internet café, an indoor-outdoor rooftop terrace overlooking the park and river, an automated parcel system and a pet spa.Waypoint Residential chief development officer Eric Hade said: “The Walcott Jeffersonville is ideally located in the heart of the revitalization of Historic Jeffersonville with doorstep access to the dynamic, emerging live-work-play environment on the Indiana side of the Ohio River, while providing convenient access to the employment, recreational and entertainment options across the river in Louisville.”The Walcott will provide a ‘best of both worlds’ luxury housing solution in what we feel is one of the most exciting areas along the Ohio Riverfront.”Construction of the project is targeted for completion in mid-2020.With six offices across the US, Waypoint Residential acquires and develops conventional multifamily, student housing and senior housing properties throughout the nation. — January 24, 2019 press release

White Lotus Group (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) — The company announced that they will be building 100 affordable apartments located in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

The former Fletcher School property near Northridge Mall in Milwaukee could be sold to developer White Lotus Group for 100 new affordable apartments and community spaces for local social service groups including the YMCA.  White Lotus Group, based in Omaha, Nebraska, expects the project will cost $28 million, according to a city of Milwaukee report on the proposed property sale. The one-story school at 9500 W. Allyn St. has been vacant since 2009. The city would sell it for $500,000. 

White Lotus has a “special affinity” for rehabbing vacant former schools into housing, and is exploring multiple opportunities to do that in Milwaukee, said Scott Henry, executive vice president of development in the company’s Chicago office. 

  “The real estate tends to be good, the buildings tend to be built well and solidly and they are beloved properties in the community that people want to see saved,” he said.  White Lotus would build three vertical floors on top of the existing Fletcher school for a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The first floor would have about 70,000 square feet of community space dedicated for local social-service organizations. Those organizations could provide financial literacy training, or help people find jobs, for example, Henry said.

 Potential partners for that space are the YMCA, Social Development Commission and CrossWay Church, according to the city report.  The apartments would be for people making 50% to 80% of the area’s median income level, Henry said. It would become a modern housing option for people in the local workforce, he said.  White Lotus must secure low-income housing tax credits to finance the development. It would apply in December to the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority to compete for them. If White Lotus succeeds in winning the credits, it would buy Fletcher School in August 2020.  

 Evers reveals businesses allowed to operate under Safer at Home order  Businesses allowed to operate under the Safer at Home order include banks and health care operations COMING EVENT Power Breakfast June 19   White Lotus plans to use other public financing mechanisms to pay for the project. Those include the federal Opportunity Zone program, Henry said. The federal Opportunity Zone program offers tax breaks to investors who put money received from capital gains into developments in low-income areas.  White Lotus usually works with larger corporations seeking to invest multimillion-dollar sums through the Opportunity Zone program. While that financing would be available for Fletcher School, Henry said there’s also room for local investors who may want to participate. — November 11, 2019 Milwaukee Business Journal article

Winco Fireworks (Kansas City, Missouri) — The fireworks company moved its warehouse to a new location in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:


Michael Collar’s company was in the right place at the right time.

Winco Fireworks International LLC had made a nice capital gain on a real estate sale in another division. A year and a half earlier, Winco had moved its warehouse to Grandview in an area that would become an Opportunity Zone.

Collar, president of Winco, said it suddenly made sense for the company to relocate its headquarters to the area, investing its capital gain in its growth while bringing jobs to the area.

“When we move to a community, we really like to invest in that community,” he said.

Winco’s experience isn’t emblematic of all Opportunity Zone deals, but it does show how companies — and investors — can leverage the zones’ power for financial and community benefit. — July 19, 2019 Kansas City Business Journal article


WinnDevelopment (Jersey City, New Jersey) — The company announced they are building affordable housing units in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

One building was the old Liberty Hotel, built on Baltic Avenue in 1924 and listed in a 1950s “Green Book” of places welcoming to black travelers, one of 27 in Atlantic City.

Another was the old Illinois Avenue School, built in 1906.

The third was once the celebrated Northside YMCA on Arctic Avenue, built in 1927, a community gathering place that knit together the city’s historically thriving black neighborhood.

All three buildings later became affordable housing, and more recently, severely rundown properties described Wednesday by Mayor Frank Gilliam as “dismal, deplorable, subpar.”

“Living in squalor is not something any municipality should have to deal with,” Gilliam said.

But local and state officials announced Wednesday that WinnDevelopment would be acquiring all three properties as part of an opportunity zone investment, substantially rehabilitating the properties, and keeping them affordable housing for the required 30 years and, vice president Brett Meringoff said, beyond.May 30, 2019 Philadelphia Inquirer article

Woodlawn Theatre (Birmingham, Alabama) — A local resident plans to turn the theater into something that can be used to give to the community, made possible because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone program:

Will Mason plans to turn the former Woodlawn Theatre into a music teaching and performance hub, but the project might be more transformative than just revenue and revitalization.  A federal program that gives capital gains tax breaks for investments made in economically distressed areas is funding the project at 5503 1st Avenue North in Woodlawn, a neighborhood just east of downtown Birmingham.

The space will be both a business and provide a community service—affordable music lessons. His lesson business, Mason Music, offers lessons for as low as $10 per month through the nonprofit Mason Music Foundation.  “It’s about creative community, revitalizing places and giving hope. It’s giving children a pathway they can love for the rest of their life. You can’t quantify any of that. When you talk about community revitalization, that’s the stuff that makes the difference,” said Alex Flaschbart, CEO of Opportunity Alabama. Opportunity Alabama (OPAL) is a nonprofit that connects OZ funds with projects, collects some data about OZ projects in Alabama, and wants to track how the projects impact the community.  Flaschbart said he expects the theatre to create about 25 jobs, including two full-time managers.  Backers hope the Woodlawn Theatre’s impact could be more profound than jobs and investment by bringing an accessible music experience and gathering place to the community.  Mason says he wants to incorporate community events during the week and hold larger concerts and events on the weekend. Also, he’s considering a weekly movie night and open microphone type events where people could see a show and have a drink for $10 to $15.” — February 29, 2020 AL.Com article

Woodfield Investments (Charleston, South Carolina) — The investment company is building a 388-unit apartment community in downtown Charleston in an Opportunity Zone created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

A joint venture of Woodfield Investments and Argosy Real Estate Partners has received a $100.6 million senior loan from PCCP for the development of Morrison Yard, a 380-unit community in a qualified opportunity zone in downtown Charleston, S.C. At the same time, Argosy Real Estate Partners provided $27.8 million in equity financing for the same project. Phillips Realty Capital structured the joint venture equity investment on behalf of Woodfield Investment. 

Located at 838 Morrison Drive on a former State Ports Authority site, the development is on the Charleston Peninsula, in an emerging area known as North of Morrison. This former industrial zone is being revitalized through several mixed-use projects. Recently, a 231-unit project that broke ground in mid-2018, was completed in the area.

Construction has already begun on Morrison Yard, which will include 25,960 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, a 10-story building and a six-story structure. Plans also call for a shared two-level parking garage. The upcoming property is slated to include 72 studios, 164 one-, 132 two- and 12 three-bedroom units, averaging 960 square feet. Additionally, the project will also feature green space across eight courtyards, a two-level lobby, a clubhouse, a 3,300-square-foot fitness center, a business center, a media room, event space, a rooftop pool and multiple grilling areas.

According to PCCP, the Charleston region has a population of 787,643 residents and a tight unemployment rate of 2.5 percent. Several employers in the tourism, military, aerospace and technology sectors will be easily accessible from Morrison Yard, when completed in 2022. — January 20, 2020 Multi-Housing News article