While the Opportunity Zones initiative is bringing much-needed economic development to distressed neighborhoods throughout the country, concerns about whether these neighborhoods will succumb to gentrification and displacement have been raised by community leaders and residents. To help shed light on the matter, we asked Jonathan Tower, Managing Partner of Arctaris Impact Fund, to weigh in on gentrification in Opportunity Zones.

Jonathan shared his thoughts with our EVP Reid Thomas during the Opportunity Zones webinar NES hosted on February 12th in the clip below. Also, if you missed our Q&A with Arctaris about the importance of social impact investing, please click here to read.

 

Jonathan discussed during our webinar that “people really look at the data and the long-term effects of social impact investments.”

“Our focus is on investing in companies that create quality jobs that increase income levels for the people who live in these communities,” added Jonathan. “What is the best solution to increase people’s income levels by offering them pathways to prosperity work or training and fair economic opportunity?”

Benjamin Bornstein, a managing director with Arctaris, also chimed in on the subject of gentrification and risk in Opportunity Zones during the webinar.

“At Arctaris, we consider both return and impact measurement…to that end, we have developed a structural solution through our innovative capital stack, which partners with impact-oriented and mission-driven investors such as Kresge Foundation, as well as states/municipalities, to create above market returns without taking on additional risk, and then using our impact filters to avoid investments that may lead to a negative conclusion such as gentrification.”

To hear more of what Arctaris had to share during our OZ webinar, please click here.