Michael Stern is jumping on the Opportunity Zone bandwagon.
His company JDS Development Group has invested at least $139 million in property purchases in Opportunity Zone sites in Brooklyn, Queens and Allapattah and Opa-Locka in Miami-Dade County, Florida.
“Opportunity Zone money is starting to flow,” Stern told Bloomberg,“There are still some out there that are cautious. But I think we feel very confident that the rules of the game are firm enough us to engage in some of these investments.”
Most of Stern’s investments have involved industrial real estate, including six properties in Jamaica, Queens, that he plans to develop into office and light industrial buildings, according to Bloomberg.
He will also use Opportunity Zone financing at an ongoing project at 9 DeKalb Avenue, slated to be Brooklyn’s tallest residential tower. Stern hopes to close the equity financing in the next few weeks.
Some developers are hoping that opportunity zones funding could help replace the controversial EB-5 program, which offered green cards to foreigners who invested a minimum of $500,000 in qualifying real estate developments.
JDS is the co-developer on 111 West 57th Street, a luxury skyscraper on Billionaires’ Row where sales started in September 2018. Stern is shooting for a $1.3 billion sellout at the project. [Bloomberg] – Decca Muldowney