LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Catalyst Opportunity Funds (“Catalyst”), a double bottom-line investment firm focused on transformative Opportunity Zone investments, has announced its latest investment in SoLa Impact (“SoLa”), a South Los Angeles-based Opportunity Zone project sponsor. Catalyst’s initial investment of qualified Opportunity Zone capital will be utilized by SoLa Impact to acquire, rehabilitate and develop multifamily and mixed-used properties across several Opportunity Zones in the South Los Angeles market.
The SoLa projects aim to revitalize underserved LA neighborhoods such as Compton, Watts and South Central through real estate development, with additional wraparound services like job training, financial literacy, and homelessness prevention. Projects will be completed under the management of best-in-class, impact-focused developer SoLa Impact, spearheaded by Founders Martin Muoto and Gray Lusk, who are known for their successful track-record in Los Angeles. Their influential work earned the SoLa Impact Opportunity Fund recognition as a finalist for the Forbes OZ 20, which recognizes the nation’s top Opportunity Funds. Catalyst is thrilled to be investing with such a responsible and dedicated team of impact-focused professionals.
The SoLa investment qualified due to its high score on Catalyst’s proprietary impact scorecard. This scorecard depicts a community’s quantified need and potential impact in numerical points by assessing current health and wellness, education, food access and climate-change risk. The SoLa projects received a need-analysis rating of 34 on a scale of 0-100, where a lower score signifies a much greater need for investment. Conversely, the impact-potential rating for the projects were awarded an 89/100, indicating a very high potential social, economic and environmental impact. Both ratings will eventually be compared to a third pillar of due diligence, which is a post-investment rating that summarizes the realized impact of the projects over time.
“When we choose our prospective Opportunity Zone investments, we strive for projects that offer market-rate returns and incredibly high, measurable impact for the community,” said Jim Sorenson, managing partner of Catalyst and respected impact investor. “That’s why we’ve invested in developing our scorecard feature, so that we may hold ourselves accountable for measuring and tracking sustainable economic, social and environmental change within areas we invest in. By investing with a reputable and experienced developer such as SoLa Impact, we are able to further our joint missions by catalyzing meaningful change in neglected communities. We are pleased to be able to collaborate with SoLa Impact, whose commitment to creating lasting change is exemplified by their impressive work in the Opportunity Zone space.”
“We are excited to have the Catalyst team as an investor and a thought partner,” stated Martin Muoto, Chief Executive Officer of SoLa Impact. “Their disciplined approach and their quantification of the key levers of social impact and community engagement significantly enhanced our own methodology. We look forward to working closely with Catalyst to implement best-practices based on their perspective from having evaluated dozens of Opportunity Zone funds and projects.”
The lack of high-quality, affordable housing is an issue plaguing communities across the nation. The historically disadvantaged South LA market demonstrates considerable need, with 10% of the population reporting housing instability, meaning homelessness or not having their own place to live or sleep, in the past five years. SoLa seeks to solve this issue by providing quality multifamily residences for low-income individuals. Catalyst and its partners hope the SoLa projects will also inspire developers across the nation to positively address this prevalent issue.
In addition to projects focused on affordable housing options, the SoLa investment provides equity for a first-of-its-kind development called “The Beehive.” This unique mixed-use space, built in the heart of South LA’s Opportunity Zone, will offer flexible work and social areas for an Opportunity Zone commercial campus. The Beehive also provides the infrastructure necessary for Opportunity Zone-centric businesses and impact-focused entrepreneurs to thrive.
“The SoLa projects represent the transformational change Catalyst strives to bring to overlooked communities in Opportunity Zones across the U.S.” said Patrick McKenna, managing partner of Catalyst. “By injecting capital into the disadvantaged South LA housing market, we are able to reduce the cost per unit, making these apartments affordable for residents and providing them with greater disposable income to redistribute back into the community. In doing so, we also address critical issues like homelessness and access to education.”
Armed with its innovative scorecard and a pipeline of ambitious projects, Catalyst is poised to effectively implement its high-impact investment thesis in middle markets throughout the country.
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 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.