ImpactAlpha, July 1 – Arctaris Impact Investors has launched a $40 million Opportunity Zone initiative invest in projects to revitalize the downtown corridor in Erie, Pennsylvania, including mixed-use real estate projects.
The city of Erie has eight designated Opportunity Zones, “including some of the lowest-income zip codes” in the U.S., according to the Boston-based impact investor.
The initiative is being supported by Erie Insurance, which invested $25 million in the Arctaris Opportunity Zone Fund in June, and the Erie Community Foundation, which committed $5 million to Arctaris to expand mission-related projects in the community (see, “Investments in ‘people and places’ start to demonstrate impact in Opportunity Zones”).
In addition to Erie, Arctaris is leveraging Opportunity Zone tax benefits for impact in Baltimore, Ohio, Maine and Michigan. Acrtaris commits 80% of the capital and looks for partners for the other 20%. It plans to launch 10 more such programs by next year.
Arctaris’ announcement follows a sobering report detailing the failure of Opportunity Zone capital to flow to equitable development and small businesses (see, “Opportunity Zone capital flows to real estate but not to small businesses – or impact”).