LeFrak seeks to benefit from Opportunity Zones at SoLē Mia project

The new federal program was a topic at a four-day conference put on by the Milken Institute in the Hamptons

Richard LeFrak, CEO of LeFrak Organization and SoLe Mia
Richard LeFrak, CEO of LeFrak Organization and SoLe Mia

Tony Blair, Lloyd Blankfein, Steven Mnuchin and others gathered for a four-day conference in the Hamptons sponsored by the Milken Institute to talk about some of the world’s most pressing topics. One of the sessions focused on affordable housing, where U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed the importance of a new federal tax incentive called Opportunity Zones, according to Bloomberg.

During a panel discussion at his Southampton home, developer Richard LeFrak talked about the impact that Opportunity Zones could have on his SoLē Mia development in North Miami, according Bloomberg. LeFrak told Bloomberg after the meeting that some of the biggest returns could be found in building office space and relocating companies into the zone.

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The Opportunity Zone program was passed through President Trump’s tax plan and allows investors to defer their capital gains taxes by investing in economically distressed areas. Some say this could be a huge boon to developers who are looking to build new projects in these zones.

The Internal Revenue Service will be providing guidance on investing in the zones “shortly,” Mnuchin said, according to Bloomberg. Aron Betru of the Milken Institute said it was expecting guidance in about two months.

SoLe Mia is a $4 billion mixed-use project being developed by LeFrak and the Soffers of Turnberry Associates. Construction is underway with the project slated to bring 12 residential buildings totaling 4,390 units with more than 1 million square feet of commercial space to North Miami. SoLe Mia is also located inside a designated Opportunity Zone. [Bloomberg] — Keith Larsen