OPPORTUNITY ZONE PIPELINE INITIATIVE
Mayors and local officials are finding it hard to make a business case for investments in previously dis-invested areas. Investors state they lack of a good set of investable projects, which is partially because there has been little focus on the “dollars and cents” it would take to actually create investable projects with the desired mix of economic growth and inclusivity.
Local government and organizations lack capacity to fund or execute pre-development work to prove these investments are feasible. Lastly, Developers and business owners in opportunity zones struggle to obtain resources, expert assistance, and funding to complete required pre-development work to make their investments attractive to investors.
The Rockefeller Foundation partnered with LISC Strategic Investments to manage $2.4 million Opportunity Zone Pipeline Seed Grants to build capacity and pipeline of equitable investment projects in six cities across the United States.
LISC with support from Shift Ventures will work with businesses to create thriving communities based on business creation, work, new jobs, revitalized real estate, and small businesses services, while forestalling of limiting the displacement of current residents. LISC will choose strong community impact projects to work through the predevelopment phase to investment readiness and investor matching to bring projects to fruition.
LISC utilizes a seven stage process from Stage One - Supporting Community Needs Assessments through to Investor Matching for real estate development and a five stage process for a business.
Beyond financial projections and feasibility, LISC will also be evaluating each project on its community impact across multiple dimensions, including a project’s fidelity to equity and inclusion, responsiveness to community assets and needs, and ability to create employment, small business, and affordable housing opportunities.