Baltimore Seen To Progress In Becoming “The Opportunity Zone City”

Baltimore is slowly but surely becoming among the fastest growing cities not just in Maryland, but in the entire country. More and more businesses, both small, medium and large corporations are booming and are generating huge profits in a short span of time. This is because the city’s economy is rapidly growing. It’s the perfect place to start investing or open up a business.

Among the best business news about Baltimore is that the city has recently become one of the country’s “The Opportunity Zone City” that the city mayor explains thoroughly in an article written by Matthew Rothstein in Bisnow. Read the article below to learn more.

Baltimore Is Going All-Out To Be ‘The Opportunity Zone City’

Image Courtesy of Bisnow

With decades of post-industrial malaise and a national reputation attached to crime and poverty, Baltimore has long looked for a selling point to hang its hat on. With opportunity zones, Mayor Catherine Pugh thinks the city might have finally found it.

“[In spring of last year,] I pulled together my team and I said, ‘We need to really get up on this, because we want to be the opportunity zone city of the nation,’” Pugh said during her keynote address at Bisnow’s Baltimore Opportunity Zones event last week. “We want to be first in, getting the most investment of anyone.” With Prudential Financial Impact Investments buying into the Yard 56 project in Greektown, Baltimore was the first city to land an investment from an opportunity fund. With the city and state contributing as much in resources as they can to incentivize investment and close deals, the urgency is palpable to capitalize on the opportunity (no pun intended).

Pugh outlined all the efforts her office has undertaken to raise enough capital to help deals work for private investors, such as the $35M grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the ambitious East Baltimore redevelopment and her Neighborhood Investment Fund. The NIF started with $52M in city money and is already up to $80M in private contributions while still in its embryonic stage, Pugh said. Baltimore Development Corp. Opportunity Zone Coordinator Ben Seigel and Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development Strategic Business Initiatives Director Frank Dickson are working on the city and state levels, respectively, to establish information exchanges that can quickly educate outside investors on where their capital can both produce acceptable returns and make a social impact.

A common refrain at the event was the opportunity zones’ unique status as a tool for impact investment without significant regulatory restrictions. While that opens up some concern that they could be used as a gentrification tool, affordable housing developers have seen it as a positive. “For us, this is about returning back to basic principles to leverage private tools for doing good in communities,” Enterprise Community Partners Impact Investing Director Rachel Reilly said. “We saw it as an opportunity [to] take everything we had already been doing and to do it in a really differentiated way.” Click here to read the rest of this post…

This is actually a very welcoming development for the city becoming an opportunity zone city. This is really good news not just for Baltimore, but for the entire state of Maryland as well. Another interesting development is that a lot of Baltimore developers see a ray of hope for the project in opportunity zones. Check out this awesome article written by Lorraine Mirabella in Baltimore Sun about this great news on the economic development of the city. Read the article below.

A Big New Federal Tax Break: Baltimore Developers See Hope For Projects in Opportunity Zones

Beneath an overpass near M&T Bank Stadium, a banner on a more than century-old former whiskey distillery proclaims “Future Home of Hammerjacks.”

Kevin Butler and Andy Hotchkiss have been working for several years to resurrect the popular 1980s concert hall amid a stretch of industrial buildings and vacant lots on Russell Street that the city wants to transform into an entertainment district.

The partners expect the slow-moving project could get a boost from a new economic development tool, an incentive tucked into President Donald Trump’s federal tax reform passed in December. The future Hammerjacks falls into one of more than 8,700 newly designated “opportunity zones” across the United States, making it eligible for a program designed to direct investment capital into struggling communities by offering a huge new tax break.

Image Source: The Baltimore Sun

Anyone who uses profits from another investment to invest in real estate or businesses in the designated zones could defer and reduce their capital gains tax — and any profits from the opportunity zone investment would be tax free as long as it is held for 10 years.

Government and economic development officials believe the new program will flood impoverished neighborhoods with investment. Critics, however, worry it’s a massive tax giveaway benefiting real estate developers who will bypass many poor areas and focus instead on existing projects in opportunity zones nearby.

FAQ: How will the federal ‘opportunity zones’ tax incentives work in Maryland?

Baltimore selected its opportunity zones based on anchor projects where the city really wants to attract further investment, said William Cole IV, president of the Baltimore Development Corp., the city’s quasi-public economic development agency.

Opportunity zones exist downtown and for Poppleton, Port Covington and Perkins Homes, areas already scheduled for redevelopment. There’s also a zone in Park Heights that includes Pimlico Race Track, which city and state officials want to see redeveloped to keep the Preakness. Other zones are in impoverished areas of East, West and South Baltimore.

Butler and Hotchkiss expect the opportunity zone to make their Hammerjacks project, and properties they hope to redevelop nearby, more attractive to investors. See full post here…

With Baltimore being named as Opportunity Zone, this means a lot of old and new businesses will flourish in the city, creating more employment for people in the city. With statistics showing a decline in the current population, this is the best opportunity to increase the city’s workforce.

The status of the city as opportunity zone has caught the attention of the President himself, saying that he’s aiming to bolster investment in opportunity zones in cities like Baltimore as written by David Collins in WBAL TV. Read the article below.

President Aims To Bolster Investment in ‘Opportunity Zones’ in Cities Like Baltimore

Image Source: WBAL TV

President Donald Trump highlighted Baltimore City during a White House ceremony Wednesday afternoon as he signed an executive order focused on so-called opportunity zones.

Opportunity zones are under-served and distressed communities where tax incentives are offered for private investment.

Baltimore preacher Donte Hickman, who attended Wednesday’s ceremony, told the president that Baltimore is prepared to be a demonstration project.

“Your influence on federal agencies and private entities through this executive order will enable distressed communities like Broadway East in Baltimore to obtain investment needed to capitalize and bridge funding gaps to create obtainable health, wealth, housing, educational, recreational, grocery and employment opportunities,” Hickman said.

The president announced the creation of a revitalization council to oversee the initiative to bolster investment in communities like in east Baltimore. The council will be chaired by Baltimore’s Ben Carson, the secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said she sees opportunity where most people see blight.

“Absolutely, I see opportunity,” Pugh said.

The mayor took 11 News on a tour of some of the 42 areas designated as “opportunity zones,” made possible through last year’s congressional tax overhaul. The designation allows investors to cut their capital gains tax bills if they put money into special funds that support projects in opportunity zones.

Pugh hired an opportunity zone coordinator in October to identify areas that would benefit most.

Vacant rowhomes and other buildings were cleared from 17 acres of land near the corner of Park Heights and Woodland avenues. Bids have gone out and investment interest is coming in. Read the rest of the post here…

With the President now promised to funds cities known as an opportunity zone, it is only a matter of time until these cities like Baltimore could feel the benefits of tax incentives for private investments. With this awesome deals, private investments can now put their money into special funds that also supports projects in opportunity zones.

With this recent business news and developments happening in Baltimore, it has become a good location for starting a business for it has greater chances of earning profits if done right. On that note, if you plan on raising capital and need to sell your house, Dependable Homebuyers can help you find the right buyer for your property. Visit our website to get started.

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