Press Release

Opportunity Zone Investments Fuel Community Revitalization and Support Affordable Student Housing

Jan 12, 2021

Washington, D.C.Today, the Economic Innovation Group (EIG) published three case studies on developments in Washington, D.C., North Carolina, and Colorado that leverage Opportunity Zone investment. These profiles demonstrate how Opportunity Zone investments are creating hundreds of local jobs and expanding much-needed affordable housing for students, empowering ongoing community revitalization and economic diversification efforts. 

Below are summaries of the three projects:

  • MLK Gateway I: A commerce hub in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Menkiti Group and Enlightened, which will relocate its employees to anchor MLK Gateway’s office space. The commerce center will also include neighborhood-serving retail and an incubator for minority-owned tech startups. Enlightened is the largest D.C. company to move east of the Anacostia river in 40 years. Community facing retail will also create additional jobs during the project’s construction, development and operation. MLK Gateway came to fruition after years of engaging with dozens of local stakeholders, and it is locally financed by Menkiti Group, LISC, and local foundations, in addition to other sources of financing. The city of Washington, D.C. is leasing the land for the project and supporting it through public subsidy.
  • Agile Space Industries: Accelerated growth for an aerospace company in Durango, Colorado, creating 50 jobs directly and 209 jobs indirectly. The investment will enable Agile to attract highly skilled engineers to the small town, spurring local economic activity and contributing to the diversification of the town’s economy, which had been heavily reliant on tourism prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Agile is committed to training and hiring local residents, and will train 24 members of underrepresented populations over the next four years. The Opportunity Zone investment is financed through the CORI Innovation Fund. 
  • 698 Prospect Phase I:A student housing, commercial and retail development adjacent to the University of North Carolina Pembroke, a Native American founded university focused on serving students with low incomes. The project will create housing for 192 students, 54 full-time equivalent jobs and 32 construction jobs, and generate $2.9 million in wages in Pembroke, a small, economically distressed rural town and the political, economic and cultural center of the Lumbee Tribe, the largest Native American Tribe east of the Mississippi. 698 Prospect is jointly financed by Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund, an Opportunity Zone fund established by Woodforest National Bank® and CEI-Boulos Capital Management, and community lender Self-Help Credit Union. Equity Plus LLC is the developer.

The new profiles continue the series of Opportunity Zone Development Profiles, first launched in November 2019, that detail project financing, community socioeconomic data, and projected economic impact. To view an interactive map detailing Opportunity Zone initiatives and investments across the country, visit eig.org/oz-activity-map.

EIG media contact: [email protected]

About the Economic Innovation Group (EIG)

The Economic Innovation Group (EIG) is a bipartisan ideas laboratory and advocacy organization whose mission is to advance solutions that empower entrepreneurs and investors to forge a more dynamic American economy. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., EIG convenes leading experts from the public and private sectors, produces original research, and works to advance creative legislative proposals that will bring new jobs, investment, and economic growth to communities across the nation. For more information, visit eig.org.

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