In contrast to New York where legislators are making their state less attractive for Opportunity Zone investment and investors, Alabama’s legislators are doing just the opposite. This week, the Alabama House of Representatives passed the Alabama Rural, Agribusiness, and Opportunity Zone Jobs Act, a bipartisan bill that allocates funds received from the American Rescue Act into the hands of businesses in need.
The state will distribute $25 million to qualified businesses with 50 percent provided to businesses in counties with less than 50,000 people, 25 percent for businesses located within Qualified Opportunity Zones, and more than 25 percent for minority-owned businesses.
Also in Alabama, non-profit organization Opportunity Alabama partnered with Blueprint Local, a New York City-based impact-oriented Opportunity Zone investment platform to launch the OPAL Fund. The $13 million fund will target and engage minority and women owned businesses in development and management.
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Fifty percent of the funds are being provided for businesses in counties with less than 50,000 in population, 25 percent will be allocated for businesses within Qualified Opportunity Zones, and at least 25 percent will go to minority-owned businesses. State Rep. Barbara Drummond (D-Mobile), said, “We are doing something that will help the little guy, the small businessman who is really the soul of our economy.”
The bipartisan bill passed the Alabama House of Representatives 99 to 0.
Construction Underway for Multi-family Development in North Tempe, Arizona Opportunity Zone
Private real estate investment firm Banyan Residential and mixed-use development partner Milhaus began construction on Banyan North Tempe, a 310-unit multifamily development in a North Tempe, Arizona Opportunity Zone. The 11.12-acre site will feature 8,000 square-feet of amenity space including a fitness center, live-work units, outdoor pool, fire pits, barbecue stations, and a dog park overlooking downtown Tempe.
“Positioned at Miller and Curry roads, Banyan North Tempe is an Opportunity Zone project located in a very active development corridor,” said Jim Kurtzman, Senior Vice President of McShane Construction Company, who is completing the development. “Tenants will not only have a beautiful, amenity-filled development to call home, they will also have easy access to downtown Tempe, Phoenix and Sky Harbor International Airport.”
NFL Player LeSean McCoy Building a Real Estate Empire Using Opportunity Zones
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back LeSean McCoy, has been using his offseason downtime to operate real estate investment firm, Vice Capital, along with his brother, LeRon McCoy. The McCoy brothers are using the Opportunity Zone tax incentive to develop some of their projects, saying that after researching the legislation, they believed it was a “win-win.”
Vice Capital currently has 60 properties in development, including buildings in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where the pair grew up, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where LeSean played for six years with the Philadelphia Eagles. Vice focuses on renovating buildings to create new housing units and commercial space.
“And on the other side, as a humanitarian, you’re able to affect certain communities that need that change,” added LeRon. “Those are usually inner-city areas.”
Opportunity Alabama Launches $13 Million Opportunity Zone Fund
Opportunity Alabama, a nonprofit organization, recently announced the launch of the OPAL Fund, an Opportunity Zone investment fund to drive investment in local communities. The OPAL fund is co-sponsored by OPAL Advisory, an investment subsidiary of Opportunity Alabama, and Blueprint Local, a large impact-oriented Opportunity Zone investment platform based in New York City.
The $13 million fund will target market rates of return, and engage minority and women owned businesses in development and management. “With The OPAL Fund, we will work to ensure investors and our deals are representative of the diverse tapestry of Alabama, and that opportunities for wealth-building are equitably available,” said Alex Flachsbart, founder and CEO of Opportunity Alabama.