Opportunity Zone Firms Combining Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, and OZs

Will the Opportunity Zone tax incentive be extended? Congressmen Tim Burchett (R-TN) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX) hope so, and early this year co-sponsored and introduced the Opportunity Zone Extension Act of 2021. To promote the bill and announce the rest of his economic development initiative, Rep. Burchett hosted a roundtable event and press conference earlier this week. The event was held inside the recently renovated Historic Kerns Bakery, located in an Opportunity Zone. During the event, Rep. Burchett credited Opportunity Zones for generating $52 billion in new investment for economically distressed communities. 
 
Recently, several companies have announced initiatives and funds geared towards combining technology and the Opportunity Zone tax incentive. Core Scientific, a leading infrastructure and software solutions provider for artificial intelligence and blockchain, recently announced it will provide innovative blockchain and AI solutions to the $314 million Agriculture Technology Campus in a South Carolina Opportunity Zone. Next, cryptocurrency mining company Bit Capital Group this week launched a cloud computing and mining Qualified Opportunity Fund. This follows bitcoin mining company HashWatt’s discussion of its a Qualified Opportunity Fund on a podcast last month.

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Canyon Partners Plans 153-Unit Multifamily Build in Sacramento, California Opportunity Zone

Canyon Partners Real Estate and Anthem Properties announced plans to build a 153-unit mid-rise multifamily community in a Sacramento, California Opportunity Zone. Despite the pandemic, the Sacramento multifamily market has demonstrated remarkable resilience and growth. Canyon invested $18.8 million into the project, and the joint venture secured a $39.6 million construction loan from HSBC Bank. “This investment marks Canyon Partners’ seventh qualified opportunity zone investment, demonstrating our confidence in the attractive nature of these projects for our investors,” said a spokesperson for Canyon. The project is located in close proximity to the California State Capitol, Sacramento City Hall, Downtown Commons and public transportation. It will feature a fitness center, courtyard, rooftop deck, and 10,000 square-feet of retail space. 

U.S. Representative Tim Burchett (R-TN 2nd District) Holds Roundtable Discussion in Opportunity Zone 

On Wednesday, March 31, U.S. Representative, Tim Burchett (R-TN) hosted a roundtable discussion and press conference to announce his new economic policy initiative. Included in his announcement was the Opportunity Zone Extension Act, introduced earlier this year with U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX). The press conference was held at the Historic Kerns Bakery site, now one of the first co-living properties in the city. This project is the first phase of an Opportunity Zone mixed-use development slated to include restaurants, retail, office, and hotel. 

“By encouraging long-term investment, Opportunity Zones can stimulate economic development and job creation in under-served areas,” said Rep. Burchett. “Tennessee has 176 Opportunity Zones; 32% are in rural areas and 68% in urban communities. Before COVID-19, they were responsible for generating $52 billion in new investment and creating half a million jobs in economically distressed communities.” 

Opportunity Zone Firms Combining Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, and OZs 

Bit Capital Group just announced an Opportunity Zone Fund to invest in their cloud computing and cryptocurrency mining business, Magic Mining. The business will acquire large inventories of computers – equipped with high-powered computer processing systems that generate income by processing transactions on block chain ledgers to yield digital currencies for the funds’ limited partners.

This announcement follows another OZ Fund announcement by a cryptocurrency mining company, called HashWatt, at last month’s OpportunityDb Pitch Day. 

How To Combine Blockchain, Opportunity Zones, and Agriculture? The largest agricultural investment in the history of South Carolina and the largest agricultural investment in a Federal Qualified Opportunity Zone, the Agriculture Technology Campus, will do just that. Core Scientific, a leading infrastructure and software solutions provider for artificial intelligence and blockchain, announced it will provide innovative blockchain and AI solutions to the $314 million Agriculture Technology Campus in a South Carolina Opportunity Zone. The GEM Opportunity Zone Fund, a private investment firm focused on impact investing, will build and own all of the facilities on the campus, which includes greenhouses, a distribution center, and co-packing facilities.
 
Zeb Portanova, CEO at GEM Opportunity Zone Fund shared, “We’re teaming with Core Scientific to create a bonafide technological epicenter for agriculture not just locally, but globally. Once fully realized, the Agriculture Technology Campus will be able to provide pesticide-free, locally grown produce for 50 to 60 million Americans in the Southeast from the vine to the shelf in just a couple of days.”

Hotel Indigo Breaks Ground in Panama City, Florida Opportunity Zone

After years of planning, Hotel Indigo finally broke ground on its 124-room hotel, marina, and restaurant in a Panama City, Florida Opportunity Zone. A Florida-based real estate developer and asset manager, the St. Joe Company, invested $36 million into the project and hopes the investment will circulate money back into the local economy. Also joining the groundbreaking event was Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) who spoke about Opportunity Zones. “This is the domino effect that you typically see in opportunity zones or the lands continuous with that opportunity zone will also see new life breathed into it and so what ultimately happens is one investment leads to another,” said Senator Scott. Construction on the hotel is expected to take two years.

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