Opportunity Zones in the Bay Area: What’s behind all the hype?
by Valarie Klopping, on May 14, 2019 12:24:33 PM
Speaking at a CREW event at the Silicon Valley Capital Club, partner Joshua Burroughs got in depth on Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZ) and Urban Catalyst’s unique position as a qualified opportunity fund (QOF) focusing on downtown San Jose.
It all starts with how funds qualify and protect investor money. Basically, once money comes into a QOF, the fund has 31 months to buy property or invest in a QOZ. Funds then have 30 additional months to substantially improve the land on a one-to-one basis based on the value of existing improvements. Josh noted this helps the fund meet its investment objectives and goals given that the investment environment in San Jose is growing and opportunistic. Not only that, the city of San Jose has streamlined the process with infrastructure paperwork meant to keep ground-up development moving smoothly, helping them meet the QOZ timing hurdles.
On track to raise $250 million, Urban Catalyst is focused on projects in downtown San Jose that can potentially bring a billion dollars to the city. According to Josh, their business plan involves creating a development pipeline—a mix of offices, shopping, restaurants, arts and entertainment, and community—that can transform downtown. He said that when you can walk to work and have your whole life in walking distance, it can change everything.
Already attracting national interest, Josh added that Urban Catalyst is positioned to take advantage of the growth opportunities that are in place in downtown San Jose—a good team with local expertise, good projects, good properties, a good opportunity zone, and a motivated city. But Josh says the real dream is bringing on local investors that are committed to their vision for San Jose. And with a ground swell of local interest from their network of contacts, that dream may become a reality.
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