Chicago Opportunity Zones: What they are and why they might define 2019 real estate investing

February 07, 2019
  • Since President Trump and Congress established the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 in an effort to incentivize long-term investments in low-income communities nationwide, a total of 8,700 opportunity zones, or 12% of the country and the home to 31 million people, have been established as areas needing improvement. Though there are many more provisions to whom/what entities can invest, the plan was created with good intentions of having the $6.1 trillion in unrealized capital gains to spur private investment with deferred or reduced taxes on capital gains tied to the longevity of their investment.
  • Illinois has a total of 327 opportunity zones, while Chicago alone has 135 within the city limits. The zones nearest to the CBD are Zone 2804 and 2809, both directly west of the Loop. 2804 is just outside of Fulton Market’s western boundary so with accessible transportation on the Green Line, this zone appears to be one of the most highly coveted. Zone 8429 is also considered a top ten opportunity zone in Illinois, southwest of the Loop and boxed in by South Western, Roosevelt and Racine – this zone contains plenty of medical office product and is close to UIC’s campus.

Source: JLL Research, CNBC 2018, Forbes 2018

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