The Beeck Center Translates Real Estate Expertise into Opportunity Zone Success

As more OZ funds make their initial investments, Collins and the Beeck Center will continue in their work to facilitate equitable development throughout the country’s 8700+ opportunity zones. They’ve already seen success.

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Operating at the Intersection of Social Innovation and Social Justice

Dorsey can speak personally to the potential residing in disinvested communities. As a 1992 Echoing Green fellow she launched The Family Van, a community-based mobile health station in Boston. Coming full circle to now lead Echoing Green, Dorsey could not be more resolute in her support for social entrepreneurs with a diversity of experience and perspectives.

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Investors and communities win when they work together

There are currently 193 different opportunity zones in Los Angeles, and Garcetti believes they hold possibilities for everyone. As a US manufacturing hub, LA’s OZs offer investors a myriad of operating businesses for investment, as well as real estate. Likewise, with 24% of the city still living in poverty, the need for new capital from investors is substantial. The key to a successful outcome for both parties, Garcetti says, is to ensure development “is done with a conscience – involving local residents in the process, without displacing them, and providing jobs to local people.” 

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Investing in Middle America: David Robinson on the Record

David Robinson has been many things over the course of his remarkably interesting and successful career: NBA All-Star, venture capitalist, US Navy service member, and preeminent philanthropist. It’s these experiences that have solidified Robinson’s view of the potential in Middle America.

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Launch Pad Shows Opportunity Zones’ Potential

Aiming to maximize the impact of the Opportunity Zones incentive, Driscoll is getting heavily involved with developing communities as a means to rejuvenate the entire country. With fellow Silicon Valley veteran Chris Schultz, she founded Launch Pad to create coworking spaces that bring innovators together.

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How Opportunity Zones Can Break the Cycle of Wealth Export

In his work to achieve these objectives and encourage local investment, Baird quickly recognized the transformative potential of opportunity zones. In particular, the program has accelerated a much needed conversation around investment impact. “The biggest boost of opportunity zones is that it’s awakened a conversation where people are thinking very differently about their money and their resources and their community,” Baird says.

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Main Street Meets Opportunity Zones In Brigham City

For years the Union Block building haunted Main Street in Brigham City, Utah. It was “sucking air out of the town,” Donna Walker says. “It sat there for about three years or so, vacant.”

But the Walkers aren’t bulldozing the 127-year-old building. Instead, they’re restoring it. “You just can’t doze it and put something else up and expect to have the same sense of community,” says David.

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We Have to Become the Change We Hope to See

“There is a dire need and huge void to be filled for economic development, affordable housing, and a lot to be served in these areas of society,” Harris explains. By advocating for community investment, he brings institutional issues to light insisting that the “racial wealth gap needs to be addressed in conjunction with investment into these communities, not separate.” 

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Newark: A Model for Equity and Collaboration

Glover says that if done right, the potential for opportunity zones in Newark is huge, especially if the legislation is combined with other equitable development strategies. “The New York City metropolitan area has the largest and most diverse work pool in the country,” she explains, “and there’s $4.7 billion in development already underway.” These features will help attract some of the capital unleashed by Opportunity Zone tax incentives.

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Revitalizing Inner City Newark through Collaboration

Baraka believes that further success will come from Opportunity Zones. He points out that “there are whole communities that have been disinvested in since WWII,” when a steady migration out of America’s inner cities and into the suburbs began. This lack of capital continually poses a formidable challenge for distressed communities seeking to implement innovative economic development policies.

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Case Study: From ‘Dead Zone’ To Teachers Village

When Beit paid a visit to a Newark charter school in 2008 he was blown away by “the energy of the teachers and the energy of the students.” But some of those educators were working six days a week, with hours-long commutes. With studies finding a relationship between commute times, well-being and job satisfaction, and urban schools suffering from higher rates of teacher turnover, it’s not hard to imagine how housing costs and commute times take a toll on Newark’s school system.

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OZs Represent Big Sweeping Changes that Both Parties Support

Forbes is particularly interested in opportunity zones because they represent “big, sweeping change that both parties support.” Bertoni believes the power of this incentive resides in its ability to stimulate market-based solutions to help the nation and because “everyone has a stake in this policy.”

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Mayor Tubbs Wants To Invest In People, Directly

Now Tubbs — the youngest mayor ever elected to a major American city when he took office at 26 — is leading a renaissance in Stockton, focused on three core initiatives: a guaranteed basic income, scholarships and opportunity zones. Tubbs hopes these initiatives will show Stockton’s youth that they cannot only be successful in their hometown, but thrive. 

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We Believe In Opportunity Zones. Here’s Why You Should Too.

Maintaining an unwavering commitment to the spirit of OZs for the equitable revitalization of distressed communities will be critical to their long term success.

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OZs by the Numbers, from Financial Stability to Life Expectancy

Opportunity Funds are launching, intrigued investors are beginning to liquidate capital gains, lawyers are getting involved, and communities are proactively working to court investors. Interest in Opportunity Zones — a federal tax incentive designed to stimulate economic investment in economically distressed communities across America — has never been greater.

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Opportunity Zones' Biggest Myths

Opponents of the legislation, argue that Opportunity Zones will benefit investors more than communities and pour fuel on to the flames of gentrification. To resolve some of this discrepancy between local excitement and national concern, let’s address some of the most common misconceptions about Opportunity Zones.

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Guest Post: Putting the Opportunity back in Alabama

For decades, Alabama has been chronically underserved by traditional community development financing tools — but with the advent of Opportunity Zones, catalytic capital is within reach.

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Announcing “The Forbes OZ 20: Top Opportunity Zone Catalysts”

American wealth is increasingly concentrated in a small number of metro areas. Economic polarization is a problem decades in the making. Opportunity Zones represent one of the nation’s best chances to address these disparities by spurring growth in the communities that need it most. The Sorenson Impact Center and Forbes are excited to announce “The Catalysts: Top Opportunity Zones Visionaries” to highlight the best efforts of investors and community organizations alike.

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