Opportunity Zones are the latest tool to spur local investment for our local government partners and DFI is ready to help.

The Opportunity Zone (OZ) program, created as a part of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, aims to encourage private investment in low-income communities. There are 252 census tracts in North Carolina designated as OZs. Investors receive tax benefits for reinvesting capital gains into designated OZs. Real estate development projects make ideal OZ investments due to the long hold periods required to take full advantage of the federal tax benefits. The most strategic local governments will identify attractive development opportunities, make them “investment-ready,” and market them to as many OZ investors as possible. The development experts at the Development Finance Initiative (DFI) have successfully attracted private developers to dozens of North Carolina projects since 2011. OZs are simply the latest tool to spur local investment for our local government partners and DFI is ready to help.

 
 
How can local governments attract Opportunity Zone investors?
 
 
When should local governments act?
 
 
How will Opportunity Zone investments function?
 
 
Where does DFI come in?

DFI – READY TO HELP LOCAL GOVERNMENTS PREPARE FOR OPPORTUNITY ZONES


The Opportunity Zone program is a new way to incentivize investment in communities across the state. For most communities, the designation of an Opportunity Zone, on its own, may not spur development activity. DFI can help local governments develop strategies to attract investment for projects that achieve local goals.

To learn more about how DFI can position your community for strategic Opportunity Zone investments, contact Sarah Odio at odio@sog.unc.edu (link sends e-mail).

The Development Finance Initiative (DFI) at the UNC School of Government is a group of developers, designers, and experts in the fields of development finance, law, planning, and public engagement that works across the state of North Carolina to create win-win partnerships between local governments and private developers.

Since its founding in 2011, DFI has partnered with more than 75 cities and towns to design and attract investment for development projects that accomplish local goals. Its clients include some of the state’s largest cities as well as its smaller towns. DFI is particularly engaged in North Carolina’s booming metro areas, with five projects now in progress in Greater Charlotte and three in the Raleigh-Durham area. DFI performs a unique pre-development process which includes in-depth market, site, and financial analyses; identification of development partners; and guidance on structuring public-private partnerships. Through this process, local governments create attractive investment opportunities with transformative impacts for their communities.

DFI currently has eight pre-development projects in Opportunity Zones, valued at $800 million at full build-out, and is working with another eight communities with Opportunity Zones in their jurisdictions. DFI projects are especially well-suited for Opportunity Fund investors. As compared to other investments, real estate investments tend to have lower risk and longer hold periods, making them especially well-suited for the incentive structure of the Opportunity Zone program. DFI projects are unique in that they are locally initiated and have strong local support. Investments in such projects are more likely to have positive impact in the communities that need them most.

Investors interested in community-driven projects should contact Sarah Odio at odio@sog.unc.edu (link sends e-mail), to learn more about our services and areas of expertise.

Featured DFI Opportunity Zone Projects


 
 
DOWNTOWN KANNAPOLIS (ESTIMATED $375 MILLION IN PRIVATE INVESTMENT)
 
 
TRENTON MILL FUSE DISTRICT, GASTONIA (ESTIMATED $50 MILLION IN PRIVATE INVESTMENT)
 
 
BROUGHTON DISTRICT AND HISTORIC BROUGHTON HOSPITAL, MORGANTON (ESTIMATED $182-$192 MILLION IN PRIVATE INVESTMENT)

https://www.sog.unc.edu/dfi/broughton
 
 
DOWNTOWN CONCORD (ESTIMATED $40 MILLION IN PRIVATE INVESTMENT)
 
 
DOWNTOWN DURHAM (ESTIMATED $80 MILLION IN PRIVATE INVESTMENT)

DFI Client Communities with Opportunity Zones

BooneBrevardConcordDurham
GastoniaGreenvilleHendersonvilleHickory
KannapolisKinstonLenoirMorganton
New BernRocky MountSanfordWilson

For more information on DFI and its projects, contact Sarah Odio at odio@sog.unc.edu (link sends e-mail)