LOCUS & Smart Growth America recently launched the National Opportunity Zones Marketplace, an online resource to help facilitate equitable development and information sharing. It’s the latest evolution of our work to ensure that new investment in Opportunity Zones benefit existing residents the community at-large instead of displacing the people the tax incentive was intended to help. Watch the recorded webinar about how to use the Marketplace.
The National Opportunity Zones Marketplace is a networking platform for developers, investors, community leaders, local governments, non-profit organizations and individuals who share a common goal of utilizing Opportunity Zones to promote equitable development. Designed initially as a tool to help cities in our Opportunity Zones Academy make their planned projects a reality, the Marketplace has much broader appeal, allowing a variety of organizations and individuals to collaborate on Opportunity Zone projects.
During the webinar, representatives from two cities in the National Opportunity Zone Academy—Pittsburgh and Norfolk, VA—joined LOCUS Director Christopher Coes who talked about the big picture: “Smart Growth America’s National Opportunity Zones Marketplace is really designed to be where capital gains become equitable, walkable places and where new business opportunities can actually lift off of.“
Presenters then delved into the various functions and features of the Marketplace, specifically:
- Featured National OZ Academy Project Opportunities: These Opportunity Zone projects are endorsed by Smart Growth America for encouraging triple-bottom-line and equitable development outcomes. Featured projects are elevated to the top of the Marketplace website and also circulated monthly to Smart Growth America’s developer, investor, and Opportunity Fund network.
- Member Profiles: All participating cities in the National Opportunity Zones Academy and LOCUS members have profiles on the Marketplace. These profiles include information about each city, organization, or individual, as well as future project opportunities, past project examples, and current Requests for Proposals and Requests for Information.
- Place Networks: Network locally by joining your place network. Under the Places tab on OppSites, you can search for communities you want to stay up to date on regarding Opportunity Zone development—whether they’re in the Academy or not. Clicking Join Community will connect you to a feed of updates and discussions pertaining to Opportunity Zone development in that particular community, similar to joining a Facebook group.
Representatives from Pittsburgh and Norfolk then explained how they will be using the Marketplace and the broader technical assistance to achieve their Opportunity Zone goals, including more inclusive economic growth and access to attainable housing.
But anyone—whether you live in one of the cities participating in the Academy or not—can stay up to date with the Marketplace and use it to connect to Opportunity Zones news in your area.
- Go to https://oppsites.com.
- Click Join in the top right corner and create an account using your LinkedIn, Facebook, or email account.
- Search for Smart Growth America in the top search bar under People & Orgs.
- Click Follow to get updates from the Marketplace.