CLA and St. Louis Client Meet HUD Secretary to Discuss Opportunity Zones
St. Louis, Missouri — On March 29, 2019, CLA professionals met with Ben Carson, United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and chair of the Opportunity Zone (OZ) task force, during his tour of St. Louis OZs. The tour included a stop at the City Foundry STL, a development owned by CLA client Steve Smith, who asked CLA professionals to attend his meeting with Carson and discuss the impact the program is having on the local community.
“We’ve been alongside Steve since we started talking about the project in August 2018,” says Luke Pope, real estate principal with CLA. “From making sure the project fit within the OZ requirements, to modeling the deal, raising capital, and checking compliance measures, we used our experience to help Steve get the most he could out of the program.”
During Carson’s visit, Smith and CLA discussed how the program is benefitting the City Foundry STL, and ways the task force could better address the needs of developers, investors, and those who live in the surrounding community.
“We’re the eyes and ears of the program,” says Matt Drinen, tax credit services director with CLA. “In our conversations, we were able to provide our feedback based on the multiple projects we’ve worked on within the program. We are excited to have ongoing dialogue with Carson’s team in the future to discuss areas for improvement.”
In addition to vetting the project for the OZ program, CLA assisted Smith in raising 50 million dollars in capital for the project. Once complete, the City Foundry will include a food hall, retail stores, and a movie theater.
“When we first started brainstorming this project, we did our research and looked into how similar projects were doing across the country,” said Tony Hallada, managing principal of wealth advisor strategy with CLA. “Using that research, we educated our marketplace contacts on the impact the City Foundry could have on revitalizing the area, which helped drive interest and ultimately led to raising capital for the project.”
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