Market watchers are predicting $200 to $300 billion in investment in the nation’s 8,700-plus OZones. And federal rules have made it clear that green economy projects -- such as local power generation, microgrids, EV charging stations and energy storage -- are eligible for OZone investment.
Opportunity Zone neighborhoods like Long Island City, Downtown Brooklyn, and Gowanus are communities where private investment has already poured in, and seems poised to continue doing so even without the extra tax incentive - and as a result, they are expected to attract the majority of any Opportunity Zone investment that does happen. Our city does have neighborhoods that would benefit from the additional investment right now, but these aren’t them.
Opportunity zones have the potential to unlock an entirely new class of investors and bring high-tech, high-return AI companies to lower income communities in order to create jobs in and move capital to areas of poverty. For investors in startups focusing on advanced technology such as AI that might take decades to develop, exit or go public, opportunity zone investment provides an amazing, low-risk opportunity.
Real estate investors who want to maximize the return on investment from participating in the opportunity zone program will reap extra tax breaks if they finalize the transaction before the end of the year, but one expert is still urging they do their due diligence before rushing into the program.
Since the opportunity zone program was introduced, the flurry of investment activity that its architects foretold hasn’t materialized. In its place, an ecosystem of events, media, marketing and paid consultation has arisen and flourished -- an industry based on talking about opportunity zones rather than investing in them.
The United States Trade Representative office said Tuesday that new tariffs on certain consumer items would be delayed until Dec. 15, while other products were being removed from the new China tariff list altogether. It cited health and security factors. The duties had been set to go into effect on Sept. 1, so the announcement eased concerns about the holiday shopping season.
The US economy did pretty well during the Cold War. Per capita GDP rose by 150% in real terms from the end of World War Two through the collapse of the Soviet Union, with the stock market notching a similar inflation-adjusted performance. And when the long twilight struggle was over, America was on the verge of a historic productivity surge and technological advance.
Opportunity zone legislation is just too attractive for investors to sit and wait for the government to issue more guidelines around the practice, Urban Catalyst founder Erik Hayden said. Since the legislation, which provides tax incentives to investors who invest in selected distressed or low-income areas, passed at the end of 2017, investors have come off the sidelines.
When workers and retirees move to a new locale, local economies often reap a wealth of benefits. New residents not only pad a region’s tax base, they also contribute to the area’s vibrancy by shopping in local stores, purchasing area services or starting businesses of their own. As a result, states may compete to attract new residents and businesses.
These communities were chosen by governors from the wider universe of qualifying low income census tracts. Governors selected tracts that on the whole demonstrated far more distress across nearly every available social and economic measure than the eligible tracts they bypassed. The result is a map of both need and opportunity across which one of the most exciting economic and community development experiments in at least a generation will play out.