Opportunity Zone Magazine Volume 1, Issue 3 | Page 22

22 OPPORTUNITY ZONE MAGAZINE | VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 3 WHY NUMBERS SHOW OPPORTUNITY IN OPPORTUNITY ZONES By Jeremy Goldstein OZ attributes include strong employment options, high quality infrastructure, growing rent and income levels, local amenities, and a higher rate of young people to make OZs attractive investment areas. If you were asked to describe the general characteristics of Opportunity Zone locations, the 8,766 census tracts themselves, how would you describe them? You might most likely focus on the problems: low income, high unemployment, high vacancy rates, history of disinvestment. After all, that’s why these census tracts were chosen as OZs in the first place. From the outset of the legislation, the focus on OZ locations has been on negative attributes. But that focus may be influencing perception on OZs as good investments. When speaking with fund managers, developers, and investors about OZs, many of them say they face uncertainty about OZs. Sometimes it is their own uncertainty about these locations; other times pushback comes from investment partners. Usually this pushback stems from a perception that OZs lack the qualities needed to be successful investments. But the reality is, OZs are starting to show a great deal of potential. A closer look at some key facts and figures paints a more complete and more promising picture of these zones. Here are some of the ways in which OZs are beginning to buck prevailing perception. OPPORTUNITYZONE.COM