It has taken a while for the Treasury, the IRS and investors to to understand, implement and utilise Opportunity Zones, created from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Now that COVID-19 and the related shutdown measures and pushed us into recession, some commercial property buyers have been waiting on the sidelines to see how the news and the numbers develop. There is some evidence that opportunity zone fund managers are actually increasing their deal activity or doing fundraising. Some of this may be from business that started pre-COVID but the fact that deals are still being concluded is interesting. Joseph Pimentel and Jon Bannister, writing for Bisnow, note that the “long-term nature” of investments in this program make it attractive to some patient investors. With a significant improvement test, it takes a while for firms to acquire, redevelop and lease the assets so many don’t feel like they will be landing right in the middle of a recession but rather on the exit from one.

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