Ron Beit, chief executive officer of RBH Group LLC, and developer of Teachers Village project in Newark, announced the launch of an investment fund dedicated to building housing for teachers and other social impact related projects in multiple cities across the United States with the intent of partnering with other Opportunity Zone Funds.
The “Teachers Village” Opportunity Zone Fund will kick off with a $40 million fund invested by David and Leila Centner and will leverage over $150 million of additional equity from various high-net worth and institutional investors.
This will spur investment in Opportunity Zones with over $700 million of total project costs for the complete program. The Fund was established in August and completed its first acquisition in September 2018.
In a release Beit said: “The need to supply moderately priced housing for teachers, which helps to retain and recruit teachers and support revitalization efforts, is an issue of national concern in cities across the United States, from San Francisco to Miami. Our development is a model for success in garnering public and private support for a crucial social impact development.”
The Teachers Village Opportunity Zone Fund emerged from The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was championed by Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, and which created a new tool for community development. A provision of the Act is designed to provide tax incentives to help spur private sources of financing to fund businesses and capital investment in underserved communities; the very communities in which RBH has demonstrated a track record of success.
Teachers Village, Newark is a six-building development in downtown Newark that was recently completed. It contains 203 moderately priced apartments, with nearly 70 percent of those occupied by teachers; three schools with over 1,000 students; and 18 retail outlets. The $150 million public/private partnership, developed with investments from Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group and Prudential Financial, is a model for teacher housing developments in other cities.
RBH is currently developing Teachers Village, Hartford, and Teachers Village, Chicago; is in pre-development for projects in Atlanta and Miami; and is exploring additional opportunities in Los Angeles, Denver, Baltimore and Boston.