By Opportunity Zone Magazine Staff

URS Capital Partners of Huntington, NY, has raised more than $20 million in Opportunity Zone capital to help fund a $45 million multifamily development in South Portland, Maine.

The 7-acre Latitude at South Portland project, which will see 256 apartments built across four separate buildings, is the result of a lengthy search for suitable investments in OZs along the East Coast.

“We’ve reviewed dozens and dozens, but this is the first one that we're actually moving forward with and developing,” says URS managing partner Christopher Urso.

URS Capital ultimately selected the Latitude development because of the fundamentals, including 95% occupancy rates in the region and also because local developer Vincent Maietta had already planned and permitted the project.

“We liked the fact that it was a fully entitled project,” Urso says. “We only closed a month ago, and we’re basically breaking ground already.”

The first building is expected to be completed in about 12 months, and the full project completed within 30 months — significantly faster than would have been possible without URS’s injection of OZ capital.

“They are a bigger company, with more financial resources, and it made an easy and fantastic fit for this project,” Maietta told Mainebiz. “Without their help, we would have had to do this in phases.”

URS has already raised all the OZ capital needed.

“We’ve already raised and are funded at $20.25 million, just for this project,” Urso says. “That’s 100% capital-gain dollars and Opportunity Zone dollars.”

To achieve that, URS drew on existing investor relationships, Urso says.

“We started educating our investor base about the OZ stuff early on,” he explains.

The Latitude project is a sign that there’s plenty of liquidity in the OZ sector, if companies have the savvy to spot promising projects and the relationships in place to support them, Urso adds. “There are plenty of capital gains out there,” he says. “Finding the right projects to marry them off with, I think, is kind of the key.”