20 Nov Opportunity Investment Consortium of Indiana Launches to Support Projects in Newly-Named Opportunity Zones
INDIANAPOLIS, November 16, 2018 – Today, the Opportunity Investment Consortium of Indiana officially launched in efforts to intentionally champion the transformation of Opportunity Zone neighborhoods into vibrant places for residents and businesses. The Consortium has just released an online portal to aid in matching projects in need of funding in these specified census tracts to potential investors. This morning in Indianapolis, more than 100 community partners and potential investors will gather to hear from expert panelists to learn how they can become more involved in this effort.
In April, Governor Holcomb nominated 156 Indiana census tracts to become Opportunity Zones. Civic leaders took immediate action, coalescing to launch the first statewide consortium comprised of a public/private coalition of investors poised to invest in Opportunity Zones.
“I am proud to support this initiative, which will bring together all the right partners to ensure the success of Opportunity Zones,” Governor Holcomb said. “The Consortium will serve as the state’s hub for Opportunity Zone activity as we continue to develop a pipeline for investment in low-income areas throughout Indiana.”
Investor participation commitments have been made to date from a broad range of financial institutions, impact investors, and equity funds to utilize the pairing platform.
In addition, Fifth Third Foundation announced today a $100,000 presenting sponsorship of the Opportunity Investment Consortium. Funds will be used to host the online deal portal while also helping to build out and support the Consortium, education, capacity building and technical assistance support.
“We are committed to making community investments that improve lives, strengthen families and build strong communities,” said Kevin Hipskind, president of Fifth Third’s Greater Indiana region. “This program will provide meaningful statewide support by expanding opportunities to build and maintain vibrant communities.”
An advisory leadership, together with backbone agencies, training, and consultancy partners, will collectively provide coordinated assistance to deals as they clear milestones and prepare for Opportunity Zone investment infusions. Commitments to help staff the backbone of the pilot include: State of Indiana, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Cinnaire, Indy Chamber, Indiana Bond Bank, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs and Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority. LISC will house the online portal with support from the Fifth Third Foundation.
“Opportunity Zones could be the biggest incentive to attract investors to these underinvested communities we’ve ever seen. They also allows us a tremendous opportunity to educate investors as to the potential of these communities,” said Maurice Jones, President and CEO of Local Initiatives Support Corporation. “The portal that the Consortium has created highlights what is beneficial about these projects on both sides–for the folks in the Opportunity Zones and for the investors–in a way that is transparent. This portal should serve as a model for other sites to follow as we move forward into this work, educate each other, and make sure that people remember this is a two-fold opportunity – one for investors and one for the benefit of the community.”
“LISC has helped to package unique community and economic deals in low income areas for forty years. We know that projects in distressed areas are not easily packaged nor immediately poised for equity infusions,” said Tedd Grain, Executive Director of LISC Indianapolis. “By joining together, we provide timely technical support, key partner connectivity and early-stage assistance for deals to truly land successfully at the finish line.”
“We are excited to join our partners to lead the Opportunity Investment Consortium of Indiana,” said Keith Broadnax, Cinnaire Senior Vice President. “With broad-based support from financial institutions, CDFI’s, non-profit organizations, foundations and state and local government, we are creating a pipeline of high impact projects for Opportunity Zone investors. The Consortium will advance the market to invest in Opportunity Zones throughout Indiana, providing much-needed investments to low-income and distressed communities.”
About Opportunity Zones
Opportunity Zones were recently designated throughout the country in response to bi-partisan legislation included in the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The goal of the Opportunity Zone initiative is to encourage long-term private capital investment in low-income urban and rural communities. The Opportunity Zones program offers long-term tax deferral on capital gains for investments in designated census tracts. Opportunity Zone Funds must be placed as equity, taking a shared ownership position in real estate improvements or business enterprise expansions in the designated census tracts. Indiana’s 156 Opportunity Zones are located in 58 counties covering all or portions of 83 cities and towns throughout the state. Opportunity Zones will cover over 1,000 square miles and the residences of more than half a million Hoosiers.
For more information on the Opportunity Zone Consortium and the launch of the portal please see the slide deck below or contact Brian Carman, firstname.lastname@example.org.