SoLa Impact Announces “The Beehive”: The Nation’s First Campus for Opportunity Zone Businesses
South LA based OZ Campus aims to attract Opportunity Zone operating businesses;
Launch attended by Dr. Ben Carson (Sec. of HUD) and Scott Turner (Exec. Director, Opportunity and Revitalization Council)
LOS ANGELES, September 18, 2019 —Today SoLa Impact announced “The Beehive”, the nation’s first campus for Opportunity Zone (OZ) operating businesses. The Beehive will offer co-working space, creative offices, and shared amenities to innovative entrepreneurs, start-ups and local businesses – extending the same tax benefits to investors in OZ businesses located in The Beehive as currently afforded to investors in OZ real estate funds.
The five-acre campus located ten minutes south of downtown Los Angeles is comprised of over 100,000 sq. ft. of rental space across six repurposed red-brick warehouses in the Goodyear District, an area which formerly housed the Goodyear Tire company. “These unique bow-truss buildings have tremendous character. We want to offer this unique space for half the price of downtown or the westside,” said Martin Muoto, Founder and Managing Partner of SoLa Impact’s Opportunity Zone Fund.
SoLa Impact, a family of real estate funds with a strong commitment to social impact, is venturing beyond its roots in multi-family, affordable housing to establish The Beehive. Muoto added, “We believe there will be a tremendous infusion of capital going to OZ-based businesses over the next several years – and that will spur economic development and entrepreneurship in historically capital-starved areas of the country.”
Darryl Wash, Managing Partner of Bennu Ventures, a leading venture capital investor, added “Los Angeles continues to be recognized as a global hub for businesses, and LA’s Opportunity Zones will certainly attract some of the most dynamic emerging companies. SoLa’s Beehive OZ campus represents a visionary model of purposefully bringing together high growth companies to collaborate, compete, and possibly share resources in order to succeed, not unlike what occurred in the early years of Silicon Valley.”
“We have a strong track record of providing high-quality, affordable housing in South LA. However, we believe that the long-term revitalization of our communities requires job creation,” said Gray Lusk, Co-Founder of SoLa Impact. “Our goal is to make sure that the South LA community participates in the growth created by the Opportunity Zone legislation. To accomplish that, we are prioritizing commercial tenants that reflect those same values – a commitment to living-wage jobs, training, and opportunities that are available to local residents.” SoLa Impact expects to attract 20-30 commercial tenants to The Beehive and will make a section of the campus available at discounted rents to non-profits and social enterprises serving the South LA community.
“I’m elated to have the nation’s first OZ business campus located in Los Angeles’s District 9 in our Industrial hub, The Goodyear Tract.” said Councilman Curren Price Jr., whose ‘New Ninth’ district houses The Beehive. “A new chapter begins for South LA right here, right now! We now have a powerful tool that promotes economic growth and social progress. I'm excited about the potential “The Beehive” has for local families and for our community."
The Beehive has drawn the attention of leading Opportunity Zone experts, including OZ tax advisors, law firms, accounting firms, and other key OZ stakeholders. “The Beehive is a terrific example of how Opportunity Zones can be used to foster a more inclusive and entrepreneurial local economy. Providing emerging businesses access to a network of investors, best practices, and shared compliance services is a creative and impactful model we hope to see deployed in more communities throughout the country,” said John Lettieri, President and CEO of the Economic Innovation Group (EIG) and one of the nation's leading OZ experts.
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