In a move to spur the development of more downtown housing and infrastructure development, the City of Albuquerque is making a pitch to secure a $25 million grant from a Boston-based investment firm.
Arctaris Impact Investors has announced that it is offering cities across the country grant support for projects built within defined Opportunity Zones.
Those zones, as defined by the Treasury Department, are areas of a city, suburb, or rural community regarded as economically distressed.
New construction and development projects, as well as start-up businesses launched within those zones, may be eligible for valuable capital gain tax incentives coming out of Washington.
In responding to Arctaris’ Opportunity Zone Investment Initiative, the City of Albuquerque is pointing to a project known as the Rail Trail.
That multimodal public art esplanade based in downtown Albuquerque will spur the city to “unlock redevelopment potential throughout the Downtown corridor, while bringing much needed infrastructure, housing, and jobs to the area,” Mayor Tim Keller said in his appeal to the Arctaris group.
Keller also mentioned that Albuquerque wants to “build in smart community technologies to benefit residents and businesses.”
Arctaris announced the formation of its Opportunity Zone fund last year, with the goal of eventually investing in more than 8,700 defined Opportunity Zones.
Funded in 2009, Arctaris Impact Investors’ mission is to put money in business and community infrastructure projects located primarily in underserved communities.
In announcing the $25 million grant program earlier this summer, Michael Nutter, who serves on Arctaris’ board of advisors, said the idea of the project was to invest in “affordable housing and public works infrastructure throughout the U.S.”
As defined, Arctaris provides 80% of the capital for any given Opportunity Zone project, with pubic or private partners coming up with the remaining 20%.
The Albuquerque Rail Trail project is centered on the construction of a foot and bike path running adjacent to a series of railroad tracks in the city’s downtown area, between Central Avenue and Lomas Boulevard.
It is expected that Arctaris will announce its Opportunity Zone grant recipients by early next summer.
By Garry Boulard
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