SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Catalyst Opportunity Funds (“Catalyst”), a double bottom-line investment firm focused on transformative Opportunity Zone investments, has officially completed investments for its first three projects. Catalyst’s initial developments, each located in the Mountain West, will convert underutilized real estate into high-impact office, residential and retail space within neighborhoods that offer immense growth potential but lack capital investment and quality development. Catalyst intends to invest over a combined $28 million in qualified capital into these three projects. Over the long term, Catalyst will utilize its proprietary impact scorecard to measure and track the economic, social and environmental impact each development has on its respective community.
“We set the bar high for ourselves in order to find projects that truly meet the spirit of the Opportunity Zone program’s purpose. We aim to be the model fund for this program and our work starts now with these projects,” said Jim Sorenson, managing partner of Catalyst and world-renowned impact investor. “These are long-term investments aimed at spurring sustainable economic and community development. Our first investments are an example of what we plan to focus on moving forward, and we’ve identified a pipeline of developments across the country that we feel meet the strict qualifications we have for our Opportunity Zone investments.”
Catalyst’s first two Salt Lake City projects include “INDUSTRY SLC” and “Pickle and Hide.” Both are in a blighted, industrial neighborhood on the front doorstep of downtown Salt Lake City, called the Granary District. The projects involve repurposing dilapidated industrial buildings into creative office, retail space and affordable housing and are expected to catalyze and anchor additional growth and investment in the neighborhood in the coming years.
- INDUSTRY SLC is a strategic repositioning of an old iron forge dating from the early 1900s encompassing roughly 340,000 square feet of space.
- Once complete, INDUSTRY SLC will be a creative office campus and entrepreneurial ecosystem, consisting of community and event space, shared amenity areas to support local businesses and, in a subsequent phase, residential workforce housing.
- The development is led by Q Factor, a development team co-founded by entrepreneur Ellen Winkler, who was the recipient of the ULI Impact Award in 2017 for exemplary leadership in responsible use of land, and her husband Jason Winkler. The Winklers were the driving force of redevelopment and revitalization of a similar blighted industrial area of Denver - River North Arts District (RiNo). Joining the Winklers in development of INDUSTRY SLC is Brandon Blaser of BCG Holdings, a local Salt Lake based community development group.
- The Q Factor and BCG development team controls approximately 35 acres of land in the Granary District and intends to help transform the neighborhood into a vibrant economic and innovation hub for the broader Salt Lake market. Catalyst intends to invest in other projects and phases in this area with the same sponsor.
Catalyst’s “Pickle and Hide” investment is expected to transform two historic industrial buildings located in Salt Lake City’s Granary District:
- The project will create an impact and innovation campus with creative office and retail space, as well as social centers featuring outdoor gardens and community event areas.
- Pickle and Hide will also include affordable housing units for low- to moderate-income residents in the community.
- The development will be overseen by BCG Holdings and Q Factor.
- The development is working closely with the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City to create synergies between their joint mission of bringing vitality to The Granary District of Salt Lake City.
Additionally, Catalyst is investing in a 60-unit workforce-attainable apartment complex in Bozeman, Montana, called “Enterprise”. With this project, Catalyst expects to help address Bozeman’s need for attainable housing, which has been a focus for the city as it works to address its housing shortage amid a growing workforce. Other details include:
- Enterprise will provide new housing opportunities for families, young professionals and the growing workforce in Bozeman.
- The multifamily development will be led by best-in-class developer, Bridger Builders. With over 40 years of experience under their belts, Bridger Builders has a proven record of transforming properties throughout Bozeman, receiving the Multifamily Community of the Year award in the Best in American Living Awards (BALA) by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
- The units are expected to be offered at a price point (66% of Median Family Income per HUD) that is attainable for the backbone members of the local workforce, including public safety officials, nurses, teachers, etc.
Catalyst emphasizes institutional-quality due diligence while incorporating its proprietary impact scorecard to screen for projects that meet its goals of generating market-rate returns and measurable impact. This holistic approach, augmented by partnerships with top-tier developers, community and government leaders, is exemplified by all three of Catalyst’s first investments.
“These are not one-off developments, but rather calculated investments centered around longevity and anchored by job growth, affordable office space and community needs,” said Patrick McKenna, managing partner at Catalyst and successful entrepreneur and investor. “Job creation is at the core of community revitalization, and to do that we want to cultivate areas that draw in workers and businesses. This is core to our investment thesis with the Opportunity Zone program. We want to help spur this type of tangible change and target market-rate returns.”
Catalyst’s team is strategically assembled to maximize the economic and social benefits of other Opportunity Zones in addition to these initial investments. The firm is currently reviewing over 50 high-impact projects across 18 states, with a total value exceeding $2.15 billion. The focus on driving positive change and providing stimulus to overlooked communities exemplifies Catalyst’s mission to grow opportunities evenly throughout the United States and invest in undercapitalized local communities with high potential.
About Catalyst Opportunity Funds:
Catalyst is a double bottom-line private equity firm focused on making high-impact Opportunity Zone investments in small and midsize markets throughout the U.S. The firm was founded by a team of successful business entrepreneurs, real estate investors and renowned impact investors including Jim Sorenson, Jeremy Keele, Patrick McKenna and Kristian Peterson.
For more information, visit: catalystoz.com
The contents of this communication do not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sales of any such securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. Any securities issued by Catalyst in connection with these investment opportunities will be offered only to certain qualified investors, and any offer of such securities will be made only by means of a private offering memorandum. No such securities have been registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the securities laws of any other jurisdiction, and any such securities may not be offered or sold in the United States without registration or an applicable exemption from registration requirements.
This communication contains forward-looking statements that relate to future events. Catalyst cautions you that such statements are simply predictions and actual events or results may differ materially. These statements reflect Catalyst’s current expectations, and Catalyst does not undertake to update or revise these forward looking statements, even if experience or future changes make it clear that any projected results expressed or implied in this or other Catalyst statements will not be realized. Further, these statements involve risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Catalyst’s control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Statements related to, among other things, the availability of Opportunity Zone investments, the consummation of investments located in Opportunity Zones, and potential changes in market conditions constitute forward-looking statements.