By Opportunity Zone Expo Staff

Two major Chicago real-estate players are teaming up to raise $1 billion for Opportunity Zones investments in the Midwest and across the country. Farpoint Development, which has played a key role in redeveloping Chicago’s west side, will pair with real estate firm Clayco to launch Decennial Group, named for the 10-year investment timeline required to reap the full benefits of the OZ program.

“We saw this as a really great opportunity to make long-term investments into communities that need them,” explains Shawn Clark, president of CRG, Clayco’s real-estate investment company. “It’s a new source of capital with a new mission.”

Decennial is currently eying around 250 potential deals, worth a total of $20 billion, and factoring in construction loans and other financing expects to complete deals worth $2 billion to $3 billion. Much of the initial focus will be on the heartland, and especially the Burnham Lakefront development on Chicago’s south side, where the group is planning a 12 million square foot high-rise project.

“Decennial will make smart, long-term investments throughout the country, but we will begin by capitalizing on deep relationships and an already strong pipeline of deals in the Heartland, where we have unparalleled investing experience,” says Farpoint principal Scott Goodman.

Decennial’s key selling-point will be its vertical integration, with investment management, design, and construction know-how all under one roof, Clark says.

“It’s one thing to go out and raise the capital and build a fund, but it’s another to be able to identify really good opportunities on the real estate side, and then execute on that,” he says. “Our team brings the whole thing.”

Decennial also plans to use sustainability as a differentiator, with David Pavlik of 11 Million Acres leading the group’s efforts to leverage renewable energy financing and tax credits.

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