Comstock's magazine 0519 - May 2019 - Page 91

Special Supplement checked all the boxes for the buyers, and the tax incentives were an important variable,” Marchand says. “Of the offers received, half mentioned the opportunity zone as significant to their interest in the property.” “I’m told there are millions of dollars on the sidelines waiting to be invested, which must be done through opportuni- ty funds, the specific investment vehicle for these projects,” says Sacramento City Councilman Allen Warren, who represents District 2, which includes several opportunity zones, including the Noralto, Old North Sacramento and South Hagginwood neighborhoods. Councilman Jeff Harris’ District 3 encompasses The Railyards and the River District along Richards Boulevard, and though the district doesn’t have any opportunity zone projects yet, Harris says, “I’m hearing tremendous interest from investors. There are some projects ready to go that can probably attract in- vestment because they’re in opportuni- ty zones. It should be a good tool to get social equity projects built and use cap- ital that’s currently parked in tax-shield- ed programs, not doing anything for the greater community.” “I think they’ll move some projects off the bubble and attract interest in projects that may not have been on the radar before,” says Fritzsche. “I antici- pate a wide variety of usage across the city in terms of real-estate investing as well as investing in businesses.” Sacramento’s Northgate and South Natomas areas have swaths of oppor- tunity zone designation, and the River District and Railyards in their entirety are designated as such. “Looking at infill opportunities,” says Harris, “there aren’t many big tracts of land, but 80 acres at Northgate Boulevard and [Interstate 80] is in an opportunity zone, and the landowner is now very eager to develop.” Harris also sees this as beneficial to the River District. “It’s an older indus- trial and commercial area, and the op- portunity zone should be golden there,” he says. “There’s a lot of interest from developers in acquiring River District property, partially because it’s adjacent to The Railyards, but also because of its opportunity zone designation.” A Point of Caution Though opportunity zones may be used for affordable housing developments, the main focus is economic and business development. But community-based organizations are keen on making sure the program’s BUILDING THE FUTURE OF CONSTRUCTION May 2019 | 91