The Potential Impact of Opportunity Zones in New Jersey

Steve Adubato goes on-location to ""Investor Symposium on Federal Economic Opportunity Zone Program"" to explore the federal program and discuss the potential impact of opportunity zones on New Jersey and the nation. Steve is joined by the symposium's four expert panelists:

Margaret Anadu, Managing Director & Head, Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group
Steve Glickman, Co-Founder & CEO, Economic Innovation Group
Christopher Coes, VP for Real Estate Policy & External Affairs, Smart Growth America
Evan Weiss, Senior Analyst, HJA Strategies.

2/2/19 #234






"I recently moderated a forum hosted by Choose New Jersey on a new federal initiative. It's called Opportunity Zones. Now this is a program looking to spur economic investment in communities throughout the country. Many of those communities are in fact right here in New Jersey. On the panel we had four experts, on economic development, real estate, and of course, Opportunity Zones. Here now are those interviews. Chris, let me ask you. We just did this forum, we're in Newark, New Jersey. Choose New Jersey in fact put this event together with Governor Murphy and United States Senator Cory Booker talking about Opportunity Zones. Briefly, if you were to describe to someone who never heard of Opportunity Zones, how would you briefly, succinctly, but effectively describe them? It's a private sector tool to do community economic development by identifying specific locations to incentivize private investors to create new jobs, create new mixed-use development, and to amplify quality of life. How? By simply giving investors something that they hadn't had before to invest in distressed communities. And that is a tax incentive. If an investor has money in Google or a land property, if they actually sold those investments... because we understand the return of investment of that, if they actually said, "You know what? I can sell this, but I can't invest in the community because of taxes, and the numbers don't work." Well this program provides that incentive, by giving them both a tax deduction as well as a potential opportunity to make even more money off of that initial investment. To those who say, "Come on! Is New Jersey that great a place to do business?" You say? Absolutely. And here's why. The way this program is designed, it's gonna require investors to find projects that actually... Opportunity Zones? Opportunity Zone projects and locations that actually can produce a profit. At the end of the day, the investors are not just putting this money in as charity. This is not a charitable contribution. They're not just trying to do the right thing? Exactly. This is, "Hey, how can I make a buck by actually doing it in a way that actually is targeted to communities that need the resources the most?" And let me tell you, based on a survey of interviews that we've done with our membership across the country, we're finding that communities that have transit access, that have a strong employment base, and have..."