Understanding Opportunity Zones and Opportunity Funds

Webinar Date: Wednesday, August 22, 2018, 1:00 -2:00 p.m. EDT
Price: Free for ULI members | $100 for nonmembers

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Buried in last year’s tax reform package was a once-obscure, now-centerstage provision called “Opportunity Zones.” This bold and flexible new component of the tax code aims to unlock much-needed private investment capital for distressed communities through an innovative series of tax benefits.

Join former ULI Responsible Property Investment Product Council Chair Molly McCabe as she hosts one of the architects of the idea, Kenan Fikri, and Christopher Coes, of LOCUS and Smart Growth America, to discuss the new provision and its implementation status. Presenters will address both the promise and perils of Opportunity Zones and share what communities are doing to prepare as the market takes shape.

This is fifth of a series of 2018 webinars presented by RPIC.


Molly McCabe
President and Founder
HaydenTanner, LLC




Kenan Fikri
Director for Research
Economic Innovation Group

Kenan manages a research program that aims to better understand how the U.S. economy is evolving and what it means for people and places. Prior to joining EIG, Kenan worked with a team of leading economic development thinkers and practitioners at the Brookings Institute’s Metropolitan Policy Program. Kenan has also served as a consultant on competitive cities with The World Bank.

The Economic Innovation Group is a bipartisan public policy organization founded in 2013 and based in Washington, DC, dedicated to advancing solutions that forge a more dynamic and entrepreneurial economy throughout the United States. EIG works closely with policymakers on both sides of the aisle, including in the development of the bipartisan Investing in Opportunity Act (IIOA), which was the predecessor legislation to what we now know as Opportunity Zones.


Chris Coes
Vice President, Real Estate Policy and External Affairs
Smart Growth America

Chris oversees the organization’s real estate programs including LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors and TOD Finance and Advisors, Inc. and leads LOCUS and Smart Growth America’s public policy and advocacy efforts on a range of issues. In 2014, Chris launched the Attainable Housing and Social Equity Initiative, which has assisted local communities to develop place-based, market-driven strategies aimed at encouraging economic growth while ensuring accessibility and social equity in great walkable urban places.

He has advised cities on community revitalization and sustainable and equitable economic development, including serving as an advisor to USDOT’s LadderSTEP Pilot Cities (Atlanta and Baton Rouge). In addition, he has facilitated numerous deal-making opportunities that have produced over $1 billion in new smart growth real estate deals.

He currently serves as an active member of Urban Land Institute and serves as Treasurer and the Board of Directors Director of African American Real Estate Professional of DC.