A study released by a national smart growth-group shows that of New Jersey’s 169 so-called Opportunity Zones, many rank among those with the most potential when measured against zones elsewhere in the country.
The Opportunity Zones program was enacted in 2017 to drive long-term capital investments into low-income rural and urban communities. The federal program is designed to attract private investment in distressed communities through Qualified Opportunity Funds.
The report, by LOCUS, a national coalition of real-estate developers and investors, analyzed and ranked the nearly 8,000 opportunity zones in the country and placed many in the Garden State at the very top.
It ranked Newark’s Downtown and Ironbound neighborhoods as top performers, second and fifth in the nation. Jersey City’s Journal Square ranked third in one smart-growth category. Downtown Newark also ranked fourth in the nation for providing areas that are considered both walkable urban places and socially and economically inclusive.