Philanthropic Investment in Opportunity Zones Is Lacking, with John Lettieri

Philanthropic capital will be crucial to achieving large-scale success in Opportunity Zones nationwide. So why has the philanthropic community’s response been tepid thus far? John Lettieri is co-founder, president, and CEO of the Economic Innovation Group (EIG), a Washington DC-based policy group that helped create the Opportunity Zone tax policy. Click the play button below … Read more

OZ Lessons from Opportunity Alabama, with Alex Flachsbart

How can Opportunity Zones ignite a place-based economic development revolution in one of the nation’s poorest states? Alex Flachsbart is president and CEO of Opportunity Alabama, the nation’s first nonprofit organization to create a marketplace for Opportunity Zone investment in a particular state. Click the play button below to listen to my conversation with Alex. … Read more

The First Venture Capital Opportunity Zone Fund

It’s been nearly six months since the IRS issued its second tranche of regulatory guidance on Qualified Opportunity Funds. How are business Opportunity Zone funds proceeding? Brian Phillips is managing partner of The Pearl Fund, the first Opportunity Zone fund to focus exclusively on business, using a venture capital model. Click the play button below … Read more

How America’s Poorest ZIP Code is Attracting Opportunity Zone Capital

Erie, Pennsylvania is home to the nation’s poorest ZIP code, and the nation’s first organization dedicated to promoting a municipality’s Opportunity Zones. Erie Downtown Development Corporation is led by CEO John Persinger and VP for finance and development Matt Wachter. Click the play button below to listen to my conversation with John and Matt. Episode … Read more

Options for Existing Opportunity Zone Property Owners (Podcast Listener Questions)

You’ve got Opportunity Zone questions. We’ve got Opportunity Zone answers. This is the inaugural edition of Opportunity Zones Podcast Listener Questions. Today’s listener questions deal with options for existing Opportunity Zone property owners, incentives for Opportunity Zone businesses, and more. If you’d like to submit your own question or comment, leave a voicemail on the … Read more

Developing OZ Owner Occupied Housing on a Massive Scale, with NeighborBuilt

Is the development of owner occupied housing on a massive scale achievable in blighted Opportunity Zone neighborhoods? First, you have to shock the system. Daniel Edwards and Ebony Edwards believe they are about to do just that. They are the founders of Kansas City-based Opportunity Zone development firm NeighborBuilt. Click the play button below to … Read more

The Multi-Asset QOZB that Combines Entertainment and Real Estate

How can real estate and a unique entertainment product combine into a Qualified Opportunity Zone Business to deliver long-lasting social impact and job creation? Todd Perlmutter is CEO of Hotbed Entertainment Group. He previously spent 19 years at Blue Man Group as senior music director. Seth Dunlap is HEG’s real estate and portfolio manager. Click … Read more

Chris Rawley: Agriculture Investing in Opportunity Zones

How can agribusiness capitalize on the Opportunity Zones program? Chris Rawley is founder and CEO of Fort Worth, TX-based Harvest Returns, an investment firm that facilitates capital raises for small- to medium-sized farmers. They launched the Sustainable Agriculture Opportunity Zone Fund earlier this summer. Click the play button below to listen to my conversation with … Read more