On April 21st, Opportunity Alabama announced the creation of The OPAL Fund. We took a closer look to see how the fund will impact the state by investing in projects that benefit traditionally under-represented communities.
Meet Opportunity Alabama
Launched in 2018, Opportunity Alabama is a non-profit organization primarily focused on community improvement and capital formation in Opportunity Zones—sites in low-income areas with favorable tax incentives for developers and investors.
Here in Alabama, Governor Ivey has identified 158 Opportunity Zones. Opportunity Alabama aims to make the most efficient use of these zones, by identifying and unifying four essential groups:
Once identified, Opportunity Alabama works with investors, communities and their partners to develop successful projects and improve these communities.
“We have spent the past two and a half years building relationships with national capital sources and with developers working in Alabama’s Opportunity Zones, making introductions and providing technical assistance to help get deals done. We see The OPAL Fund as our opportunity to get more local capital into projects in our own backyard.”Alex Flachsbart, Founder and CEO, Opportunity Alabama
Enter The OPAL Fund
Now, Opportunity Alabama is launching their own fund to help drive much-needed developments through the state. With the help of Blueprint Local, a national platform for meaningful investment opportunities, Opportunity Alabama opened The OPAL Fund to investors earlier this year, quickly raising $13M—three million more than their goal.
With The OPAL Fund, Opportunity Alabama will be investing in real estate projects, utilizing minority and woman-owned businesses enterprises (MWBEs) for development & property manangement with the goal of growing stronger communities across the state.
“In building an investment ecosystem during the past few years, we have identified a need to more intentionally and strategically diversify our investor base. With The OPAL Fund, we will work to ensure investors and our deals are representative of the diverse tapestry of Alabama, and that opportunities for wealth-building are equitably available.”Alex Flachsbart, Founder and CEO, Opportunity Alabama
So what’s next for The OPAL Fund? Over the next few years, Opportunity Alabama will use the fund to help minority investors create & reinvest wealth into their communities. In addition, Opportunity Alabama plans to create a statewide network of minority- and women-owned businesses involved in real estate development. With The OPAL Fund, Opportunity Alabama will merge these two groups to drive community-level developments across the state.