Opportunity Zones

Robinson+Cole’s Opportunity Zone Impact Investment Team - a cross-disciplinary group of experienced lawyers from our tax, real estate, corporate, securities, fund formation, and tax-exempt practice areas - advises investors, developers, fund managers, municipalities, non-profits and businesses on how best to navigate and realize the benefits of the federal Opportunity Zone program and other investment tax incentives.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Act) created Opportunity Zones (OZ), a community reinvestment tool designed to encourage the use of federal tax incentives to promote long-term investment in qualifying urban and rural communities. The OZ program offers a number of attractive and significant investment benefits. The legislation is expected to benefit a host of stakeholders, from developers, businesses and investors to fund sponsors, individual taxpayers, and the designated communities. A broad range of related federal income tax incentives and economic benefits was made available to taxpayers who reinvest their capital gains in a Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF). The potential investor base for this program is extraordinary – it is estimated that as much as $6 trillion of unrealized capital gains may exist in capital assets that are eligible for re-investment in the OZ program. 

Our Opportunity Zone Impact Investment Team has experience representing financial institutions, foundations, nonprofits and philanthropic individuals in the legal aspects of OZ investing, including fund equity investments, loan and investment programs, private equity investments, regulatory and tax advice, and negotiating and implementing various other finance transactions. Our clients’ projects have encompassed a broad range of activities and development areas, including real estate, clean energy , affordable housing, economic development and community renewal, charter school finance, low interest lending programs, New Markets Tax Credits and Community Reinvestment Act compliance.

We advise on a range of OZ structuring, social impact initiatives, including the establishment of qualified opportunity funds, innovative investment structures, social impact bonds and other capital market solutions. Our multidisciplinary teams can create and develop new solutions with clients, beginning with the concept and pilot phases, and going right through to a successful closing. We represent various entities, both for-profit and nonprofit, that have been instrumental in the development of innovative business models designed to address urgent social needs.

Robinson+Cole’s lawyers give legal advice regarding development strategies that can help realize the full benefit and unlock the economic potential that Qualified Opportunity Zone investments have to offer. In analyzing and applying the eligibility requirements, exemptions and compliance regulations legislated by this new program, and drawing upon our related experience in tax credit and community development financing, Robinson+Cole remains a thought leader and key advisor on this important new investment program. We are committed to making a difference in the community through the support of these social enterprises and community development-based ventures.

    • News
      • July 17, 2019

        Michele Maresca Moderates Program on Opportunity Zones at ICSC Deal Making Conference in Boston

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    • Publications + Presentations
    • "Opportunity Zone Update - Understand it Benefits and Complexities," the final From Soil to Solar:Land Law Development Forum. (11/14/2019)
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      "Opportunity Zones: The Many Perspectives on the Land of OZ," presented by Michele L. Maresca, moderated by Michele Maresca at the 2019 New England Conference and Deal Making in Boston, MA. (7/15/2019)
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      Deferring Capital Gains Taxes – Opportunity Zone Investments, authored by Michael J. Kearney Jr. (10/31/2018)

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