National study Ranked 8,000 Opportunity Zones
The LOCUS National Opportunity Zone Ranking Report, first of its kind, ranks each of the designated Opportunity Zones based on its Smart Growth Potential (SGP) as well as Social Equity + Vulnerability Index score. Newark had Opportunity Zones in both categories and Jersey City was listed in one.
The report, from Smart Growth America, was produced by LOCUS in partnership with the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at the George Washington University School of Business and in collaboration with SPARCC, or Strong Prosperous and Resilient Communities Challenge.
According to the report:
For Smart Growth Potential, Opportunity Zones were scored on four metrics — walkability, job density, housing diversity and distance to the nearest Top 100 central business district — to generate a final score ranging between 0 and 20.
For Social Equity + Social Vulnerability, Opportunity Zones were scored on four variables — transit accessibility; housing and transportation affordability; diversity of housing tenure; and social vulnerability — to generate a final score ranging between 0 and 20.
Mayor Ras Baraka said, according to ROI, that he’s thrilled the city has been identified as a top place to invest, but he noted that it did not come by accident. And that the city is doing all it can to take advantage of Opportunity Zones.
“We’ve already assembled teams in the city of Newark that are going to be targeting those tracts,” he said. “Teams that consist of planners, project managers and developers in those areas (will) begin taking inventory of all the abandoned property, abandoned land, the rents, everything that’s going on in that area.
“We have a heavy industrial area to around the airport that we also tagged as an Opportunity Zone because we want to encourage the kind of advanced manufacturing and development or job creation and growth in that area as well to help our residents get high-paying jobs.”
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