Section 6: Your City by the Opportunity Zones
This section of the Prospectus explores the specific characteristics of the Opportunity Zones themselves, giving both a general overview of the Zones compared to their larger municipal context as well as drill-downs into the Zones or Zone groupings. The drill-downs highlight select data points, recent investments and potential investments in the opportunity zone.
Opportunity Zones General Overview
The overview should summarize the the scale of Opportunity Zones in your municipality in terms of total population, census tracts and Opportunity Zone tracts. As with the “Introduction to Your City” section, this data is publicly available from the Census Bureau’s American FactFinder app, although tools such as PolicyMap or other online mapping applications may make it easier to perform the aggregation calculations for multiple tracts for this and many of the following sections.
Opportunity Zones Socio-Economic Overview
As with the overview, this section compares key socio-economic data within Opportunity Zones (in the aggregate) to the US, State, Metro and City. The slide to the right illustrates the various characteristics that are relevant to Louisville’s Opportunity Zones, focusing on incomes, employment, poverty and educational attainment.
Opportunity Zone Mental Map
The slide to the right depicts what is referred to as an Opportunity Zone mental map. It depicts the combination of designated tracts into meaningful geographic groupings that have market integrity given their shared socio-economic demographics, land use and assets. This allows for a more strategic summary and marketing of the areas. The mental map should be created through discussions among public, private and civic sector leaders and driven by quantitative evidence as well as qualitative knowledge and expertise.
Examples from Louisville area mental maps are seen below to demonstrate how your city can convey a sense of district-wide organizing elements and place to make connections for investors between assets and potential. Note that because mental maps represent true market areas rather than administrative census tracts, cities will need to aggregate data for multiple census tracts to show the full assets of the Opportunity Zone.
Example 1: West Louisville
Depicted on the right is a drill-down map for West Louisville. Your map should provide a clear geographic overview of any key assets or investments in the area. This map of West Louisville includes SBA loans, venture capital investment and city investments. City permit data can also be a good data source for identifying investments. To the right, the map includes a data summary of the area, in this case drawn from the below sources:
- Population, vacant property data: PolicyMap
- Jobs and industries data: U.S. Census Bureau's On the Map
- See the Resources for Creating the Investment Prospectus for other data sources that you might use for informing your Opportunity Zone drill-downs.
Louisville’s prospectus provides background on historic investments and identifies catalytic investment opportunities as defining the potential expressed through the mental map. This includes:
Describe public, private and civic investments that have already been made in the area and serve as a platform for further investment.
Louisville cites a formerly industrial area where the CDC and other civic institutions have bundled assets anchored by an athletic facility and historic structures to create a mixed-use development concept including business incubation, residential and enhanced multi-use athletic facilities. Key for your city is to identify an invest-able project that is emblematic of Opportunity Zones, is already in design phase and could, if financed and delivered, have a catalytic impact on the Opportunity Zone. Catalytic projects can be sourced from public, private and civic institutions and leaders and should reflect priority areas where cities have aligned institutional and regulatory approvals so the project can proceed with an influx of investment.
Example 2: Louisville CBD
On the right is the mental map for the Louisville CBD. As with West Louisville, this map includes SBA loans, venture capital investment, and city investments. City permit data can often be a good data source for identifying investments. As before, the right side includes a data summary of the area using the same data sources.
In highlighting its catalytic investment in its Central Business District, Louisville focused on cultural assets ripe for rehabilitation and the connectivity of its position related to strengthening housing and job markets. The prospectus showcases its potential position within the market and incentives available for this parcel.