Throughout much of 2019, Smart Growth America’s LOCUS team worked hand-in-hand with six Massachusetts communities to harness Opportunity Zone investments to benefit rather than displace their residents, and result in walkable, mixed-use communities with a variety of employment and housing options for everyone. We spent a day earlier this month going overall we learned in a public event in Boston earlier this month.
With the creation of a new national academy for Opportunity Zones, Smart Growth America and our LOCUS coalition of responsible real estate investors continue to be on the forefront of helping communities use this tax incentive as a force for equitable growth that’s mutually beneficial for both investors and most importantly the people who live and do business in them.
The Rockefeller Foundation and Smart Growth America today announced the launch of the National Opportunity Zones Academy, which will help cities drive sustainable growth in Opportunity Zones by attracting socially responsible investment. Five cities so far have been selected to participate: Chicago, Greater Miami and the Beaches, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Norfolk, VA.
LOCUS and the City of Brockton, Massachusetts hosted a LinkUP event in June to bring together development professionals and learn more about key parcels in the city’s Opportunity Zones.
The 2019 Massachusetts Opportunity Zone Academy kicked off last Sunday with four teams from Massachusetts convening in Washington, DC to learn and strategize about how to use the new federal Opportunity Zone tax incentive to spur private, triple-bottom-line development and investment in their communities.
How can cities and towns maximize the positive impact of their Opportunity Zones? The answer is different for every community, and that’s why LOCUS and Smart Growth America are offering tailored technical assistance to six Massachusetts communities in the first-of-its-kind Massachusetts Opportunity Zones Academy.
How does a city make sure it’s ready for investment? A question weighing on many municipal minds is how to organize planning, economic development strategies, and zoning regulations to make it clear to residents, developers, and investors that this is the right place to be. Further, how does a community encourage investment without sacrificing the characteristics that make it an attractive community to its residents?
LOCUS and Smart Growth America are launching the 2019 Massachusetts Opportunity Zones Academy, a five-month technical assistance program, with the goal of building the capacity of three to five Massachusetts communities to leverage their designation as Opportunity Zones.
Much of the buzz around Opportunity Zones has centered on big cities, but Councilman Bruce Lockett of Pine Bluff, Arkansas is determined to show potential investors that his community—and other small towns like it—should not be overlooked. Last year, he championed a local ordinance to create a task force of community stakeholders charged with raising Pine Bluff’s profile and attracting investment to the town’s three Opportunity Zones.
The newly created Opportunity Zones program will likely go down as the largest and most significant federal community development initiative in U.S. history, with trillions of dollars in new private investment about to start flowing into pre-designated low-income communities around the country.