Shay Hawkins is the President and CEO of the Opportunity Funds Association. He served as Senator Tim Scott's (R-SC) Tax and Economic Policy Counsel during the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and Treasury's subsequent Opportunity Zone Regulation implementation. In this op-ed submission Shay discusses the need for a firm set of reporting standards to measure the impact of Opportunity Zone investments, with quotes from Quinn Palomino, CEO of Virtua Partners. Understanding the full scope and impact of Opportunity Zone funds will help ensure the provision fulfills the promise of revitalizing economically distressed communities across the country. Read the full story here
Left: Michele Kyoko Wiens, Right: Michele Drummond Virtua Capital Management, the capital formation arm of Virtua Partners, has hired Michele Drummond and Michele Kyoko Wiens to each serve as vice presidents of strategic relationships to assist Virtua in raising capital nationwide. Find out more about how these two industry veterans will help propel the Virtua team!
Oliver Schwab, EVP of Virtua Partners Shafron "Shay" Hawkins, a former staffer for Senator Tim Scott, the main author behind the Opportunity Zone legislation, has confirmed his departure to found the Opportunity Funds Association, a Section 501(c)(6) trade association, with Surya Gunasekara, a lobbyist and former chief of tax and tax counsel for form Rep. Jim Renacci. The association will lobby on policy surrounding opportunity zones at the federal, state, and local levels. Virtua's EVP, Oliver Schwab, has joined the board in support of the association. For the full story read here.
Using opportunity zone funding, Virtua Partners plans to build a 128-room SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Avondale. Virtua Partners affiliate, Virtua Credit, has secured $17.6 million in opportunity zone funding for Virtua Partners' development of 1,300 residential units and 250,000 square feet of commercial space. The projects aim to allow investors to defer income taxes on capital gains and potentially reduce or eliminate federal income taxes for their investment in these properties, said Ethan Schelin, president of Virtua Credit. To continue reading, click here.
Principal of Virtua Partners, Quinn Palomino, suggests that fund reporting be impactful, but simple. "It should include a breakdown of the number of jobs created with salaries and training for opportunities for upward mobility and, in the case of housing developments, the number of units created at market rate, workforce rate (priced for those earning 80%-120% of area median income) and affordable rate (for those earning below 80% of area median income), says Palomino. 'We aim for 10-25% of workforce and affordable housing as a rule,' said Palomino." Read More
Quinn Palomino, CEO of Virtua Partners speaks with Kelsi Borland of GlobeSt. on the first-ever Opportunity Zone groundbreaking In this GlobeSt.com story, Virtua Partners' CEO Quinn Palomino speaks on Virtua Partners breaking ground on the first ever Opportunity Zone project - a Springhill Suites by Marriot in Avondale, AZ. The 130-room hotel is built on a vacant lot in a designated Opportunity Zone. In total, Virtua Partners' development will create at least 30 full-time employment opportunities for local residents and 120 construction jobs. The hotel will be managed by Hotel Equities, a strategic partner with Virtua Partners. For the full story read here.
If done right, Opportunity Zones have the potential to be tremendously transformative for our communities. Virtua believes it a duty of the fund sponsors to define and comply to metrics of which this impact can be measured. "The long-term viability of the Opportunity Zone program is dependent on producing the social benefits promised to the community," Quinn Palomino tells National Real Estate Investor. Read Here
[caption id="attachment_1842" align="aligncenter" width="382"] Virtua Partners cited as first to break ground on Opportunity Zone development in The New York Times[/caption] On February 1st, Virtua Partners broke ground on the first-ever Opportunity Zone development and hosted a round-table discussion featuring key program advocates, local and national government officials and other program stakeholders. The event was covered exclusively by The New York Times. Read the full story here. [caption id="attachment_1866" align="alignnone" width="682"] Location of Virtua Partner's first Opportunity Zone development[/caption]
Listen here to Quinn Palomino on Bloomberg Radio discussing Opportunity Zones (5:13) Quinn Palomino, CEO of Virtua Partners, joins Carol Massar of Bloomberg Radio to discuss the latest trends and updates on Opportunity Zones. Quinn also goes into detail about Virtua Partners, the recent projects and new developments specific to the Opportunity Zone program. Finally, she shares why implementing a system to measure the social impact of each Opportunity Zone project is important to Virtua Partners and the entire program more broadly
The new development sets the stage for implementation of the Opportunity Zone program SCOTTSDALE, Az. – (February 1, 2019) – Virtua Partners, the Scottsdale-based private equity firm, and its management partner Hotel Equities, marked a new chapter today for the Opportunity Zone program. Local officials, community leaders and project partners gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new 130-room Springhill Suites by Marriott being constructed in the Phoenix suburb of Avondale. In addition to being a first mover, Virtua Partners is leading the charge to ensure that the Opportunity Zone program provides the economic and social benefits promised to local communities. To that end, Virtua Partners hosted a roundtable policy meeting for stakeholders, policymakers and thought leaders to discuss how to assess, measure and track the social impact of Opportunity Zone projects. One result of this discussion was…