We were tied but poised to go on a 20-2 run of pure domination to start the second half. Then COVID killed the power. The game clock kept ticking but game play froze…  

 If the Opportunity Zone (OZinvestment game were like a basketball gamethat’s how things felt in early 2020. When COVID hit, player confidence and purpose gave way to fear and apprehensionIcan’t stay dark forever can it? Have the rules changed? Today, savvy players are still moving slowly around the dimly-lit floor getting in position for easy baskets once the lights come backAre you still frozen at half court or are you getting to the hoop for an easy layup? Are you in the game?  

 Some OZ basics: 

  What are they? [Think taxadvantaged investment incentives on PEDs] 

  •   Who do they help? [Imagine barbell with the wealthy and not-so-wealthy] 
  •   How do they work? [Simple concepts, devilish details] 
  •   Where are they? [Every city, just about] 
  •   When are they? [Now, but not forever] 
  •   Why do they exit? [Good question!] 

Opportunity Zones were created to encourage (read: entice)the holders of the trillions of dollars of generational wealth to put some of that money to work in the US economy through investment in our nation’s marginalized communitiesIt offers the potential for great tangible and intangible reward 

COVID has been a disruptor (understatement) and an accelerant. Essentially by definition, OZ communities were struggling pre-COVID. Now and going forward, the need for OZ investment is as critical as ever. The investment risk/reward may now be as compelling as ever. 

 The next 12 to 24 months may offer a window of time to make an impact 

 Help solve the Bay Area affordable housing crisis – build in San Jose. Near Google. 

  • Build the next SoHo – renovate buildings in gritty neighborhoods  
  • Create jobs, change lives – invest in new businesses that bring life to these communities 

 If you have questions about OZ and how they could work for you or vice versa, a good place to start would be with your trusted accounting advisorWhether OZ will meet your needs is a personal decision based on your financial obligations and goals.  

 Opportunity Zones 

This column will occasionally present Opportunity Zones from various angles with the goal of being informative, easy to read and perhaps inspire the reader to delve deeperIt is not a definitive resource, nor an opinion editorial, nor a promotional platformIf you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact the writer.

About the Author

John Churchward is a Managing Director with Marwood Company, a real estate investment and development company based in San Jose. John has a diverse background working professionally in commercial real estate as lender, advisor and principal. John earned his Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Brown University where he played Varsity Hockey and Crew.

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