Created under a provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones are the latest buzzword in domestic real estate. Designed to encourage long-term capital investments in underfunded communities, Opportunity Zones hold potential to tap into new markets and sources of equity to address geographic disparities. But will they deliver on these promises? This panel will address the current landscape of Opportunity Zones, including what they mean for investors, developers, and communities.
Jesse Keenan (Moderator)
Faculty, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Jesse M. Keenan is a social scientist and a member of the faculty of the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. Keenan’s principle research focus is on climate change adaptation and the built environment, including aspects of design, engineering, financing and planning. Keenan has previously advised on matters concerning the built environment for agencies of the U.S. government, governors, mayors, Fortune 500 companies, technology ventures, community enterprises and international NGOs. Keenan is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
senior vice president, nycedc
Eric Clement leads the Strategic Investments Group at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, where he directs day-to-day management of the New York City Industrial Development Agency (NYCIDA), Build NYC Resource Corporation, a New Markets Tax Credit program, and a suite of investment funds to principally invest debt and equity into select venture capital and private equity transactions. These efforts help to advance company-wide and policy initiatives to address issues of income inequality, while promoting both good paying jobs and economic mobility in New York City. Eric has successfully led opportunities across multiple industries and product groups including investment banking, consulting, infrastructure, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, and telecommunications. Eric received his MBA from the University of Oxford with specializations in finance and strategy and his undergraduate degree from Lehigh University.
Fellow in Residence, Georgetown University
Jen Collins is a Fellow in Residence at the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University focused on driving positive social impact and engaging community voice in Opportunity Zones. A purpose-driven leader who has created a platform for success across a wide range of focus areas including real estate, hospitality, education, humanitarian and wellness initiatives, Jen has spent the majority of her career in commercial real estate. Prior to Georgetown, Jen held positons at LaSalle Hotel Properties, Westbrook Partners, and Tishman Realty & Construction. Jen is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.
Associate director, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Chelsea Cruz is the Associate Director for the Community Development Finance (CoDeFi) team which aims to increase the impact of community development finance projects in the New York Fed’s district and ensure that qualified Community Reinvestment Act activities are meeting the current needs of low-and moderate income communities. She leads the development of analytical products and educational materials, and conducts programming to connect community organizations, financial institutions, and other relevant stakeholders.
Founder & CEO, Heritage Equity
Toby Moskovits is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Equity Partners, a woman-owned real estate and development firm specializing in mixed-use development in the New York metro region. Prior to founding Heritage, Ms. Moskovits served as managing director of private equity and venture capital investment activity at Cammeby’s Capital Group, where she also developed a merchant banking practice. Ms. Moskovits, who holds an MBA from Bar Ilan University, also serves on the National Advisory Board of Springtime Enterprises, a nonprofit supporting women’s access to capital markets, and serves as a Chair of the Innovation Committee at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
Executive Vice President, Youngwoo & Associates (YWA)
Bryan Woo is an Executive Vice President at Youngwoo & Associates (YWA) a real estate development company based in New York and leads the company's acquisition strategy. The company has developed more than 8 million square feet of property in niche markets and property types. Previously, Bryan lived in Seoul and worked in the Principal Investment Division at Mirae Asset Securities. Earlier in his career he was an analyst in the securities team at Northstar Realty Finance Corporation (NRFC). Bryan received his B.A. in Economics and Psychology from Amherst College. Since 2009, Toby has been involved in the management of four residential buildings including over 120 units as well as 10,000 square feet of office space. In the coming 6 months, upon completion of additional of her projects she will increase her portfolio of properties under management to include an additional approximately 200 residential units and an additional 60,000 square of office space.