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Opportunity Zones and Non-profit Anchors – TUFF developed Toolkit for anchor co-investment with the private sector

By April 29, 2019 No Comments

Non-profit anchor institutions such as universities and healthcare systems are leading the way in reimagining underserved communities.  The private sector has been provided with a new tool to invest in those underserved communities through Opportunity Zone (OZ) legislation but the real catalyst, the non-profit anchors, can not benefit in the same way as the private sector so those non-profit anchors are questioning how they can leverage OZ investment.  As institutions with long-term missions, anchors are deeply embedded in the community and have a perspective that can bind the political, economic and social narratives into a unified force maximizing the potential of OZ developments.  The University Financing Foundation (TUFF) has developed the first “Non-profit OZ co-investment Toolkit” which provides specific approaches that Non-profit anchors can use to co-invest in both the real estate and businesses within opportunity zones.  Redevelopment of these underserved areas requires investment by both the anchor institutions and the private sector.  TUFF has developed a variety of ways for anchors to leverage the OZ tool and bring about new opportunities for research, education and economic development. TUFF has presented these concepts at national events including the investors summit curated by Accelerator for America and is in discussions with many anchor institutions regarding application of the Non-profit OZ co-investment Toolkit.  The image represents the Toolkit reflecting the use of creative development and leasing structures, blended investment funds and philanthropy.  A nine point summary is included here of what the public and private sector learned at the summit. Because of TUFF’s Non-profit OZ co-investment Toolkit, OZs can provide another way for anchors to meet their real estate needs by positioning proposed projects in a catalytic role to attract significant outside private capital for real estate and for business.  Additional insights highlighting the work of Arizona State University within Opportunity Zones can be found in this article.