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Steve Glickman a former adviser to President Obama and and Scott Goodman, a principal with Fairpoint Development have teamed up on a new venture called Decennial Group that wants to raise $1 billion earmarked for overlooked real estate development opportunities in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reports. Some of the targeted areas include a site once occupied by a hospital and a 440-acre parcel that used to host a steel mill.

Those properties fall within some of the 135 “opportunity zones” on Chicago’s South and West sides. While courting investors, Decennial’s leaders are lining up projects in Chicago and other cities that they previously may have avoided because of the risk.“We want to be purposeful and profitable,” Goodman said.“The idea is to come into sites like this (Michael Reese), where it’s been in desperate need of investment for a long time,” he said. “This tax code has allowed it to be a more attractive target for investors.”

Early signs are promising, but it remains to be seen whether benefits of the program will trickle down to Chicago’s most challenged areas, and what impact any slowdown in the economy would have on the flow of funds into opportunity zones.

The former Michael Reese Hospital site is in one of 135 "opportunity zones" in Chicago. Opportunity zones were introduced years into a bull market for real estate and the stock market, which left many investors with profits to reinvest. Chicago’s opportunity zones are among more than 8,700 that were established nationally in December 2017 as part of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

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