The Stonewall/American Life building is about to go from eyesore to workforce housing thanks to opportunity zone investment. (contributed)
One of the most prominent vacant buildings in downtown Birmingham is about to get a $24 million transformation into 140 workforce housing apartments thanks to opportunity zone funding and a new initiative by the city of Birmingham. Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin used the redevelopment announcement of the Stonewall/American Life building at 2308 Fourth Ave. N. to unveil the Birmingham Inclusive Growth (BIG) Partnership, a two-pronged effort to identify potential opportunity zone projects in one of the city’s two dozen designated opportunity zones, and to work with a separate investment board to find opportunity zone dollars to fund those projects.
Stonewall building
While OZs are being designated nationwide, Birmingham appears to have launched with a unique strategy designed to not just lure venture capital, institutional dollars and personal wealth into distressed areas but also to educate and empower residents in those areas to help identify projects in their neighborhoods that could spur the proverbial all-of-the-above opportunities all parties desire.
On March 18, 2019 we had occasion to attend the Opportunity Zone Investor Summit sponsored by Accelerator for America and Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth; hosted by the Stanford Global Project Center. Here’s what we learned.
STANFORD, Calif. — Mayor Sly James, of Kansas City, Missouri, says the Opportunity Zones in his city are getting ample attention from investors and developers, but emphasizes that it’s going to take more than that to make the program a success.
Christina Barker presents on All for Transportation in Philadelphia.

For a generation, Hillsborough County has struggled to provide meaningful transportation solutions to the people who live and work here.

Cheryl L. Dorsey speaks at the Accelerator for America Advisory Council meeting press conference in Las Vegas in June 2018.

It was in 1926 that Dr. Carter G. Woodson laid the groundwork for what would become our country’s Black History Month. Dr. Woodson chose the second week in February as it encompassed both Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12th and Frederick Douglass’ on February 14th.

Oakland, CA from the air
To those outside California, it might be perplexing that the state treasurer, Fiona Ma, got the loudest applause during her keynote address at the NES Financial-sponsored Opportunity Zone Expo for simply proclaiming that when it came to opportunity zones, the state would abide by the federal government tax statute. But California has always gone its own way when it comes to taxing capital gains income.
Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia

The last time it was declared “The Year of the Woman” I was 8 years old. That year, a record-breaking four women were elected senators and 24 women as representatives to Congress. This seemed like a big accomplishment in 1992.

Bruce Katz
Bruce Katz, Nowak Metro Finance Lab Director, shares his thoughts on how the federal tax incentive might grow equitable wealth in cities beyond its intent.
UBC General President Douglas McCarron

When I read construction industry journals and talk with contractors and owners, the buzz is all about a looming worker shortage. In fact, many jobsites already are short-staffed, but I contend that the real trouble isn’t a worker shortage—it is a skilled worker shortage.