Alternative investment firm USG Realty Capital and OZI Group, a sponsor of three opportunity zone funds, announced Monday that they have created a joint venture to launch an investor-directed, multi-asset opportunity zone investment platform.
Dubbed the USG/OZI Opportunity Zone Investment Platform, the companies plan to debut their first opportunity zone fund this month and will allow accredited investors “to choose as much diversification or project concentration as they please.”
The platform already has several projects and developer partners identified for the rollout and expects a total of five to 10 projects, according to the firms. Many of the projects are focused on asset classes with growing demographics, including senior living, multifamily housing and manufactured housing. Each project will demand $10 million to 15 million in investment equity.
“We aim to deliver better asset manager alignment with opportunity zone investors, versus the more common developer-driven funds, in which the developers also serve as the asset manager and therefore create a dynamic that is ripe for conflicts of interest,” said Greg Genovese, CEO of USG/OZI Opportunity Zone Investment Platform and founder of USG Realty Capital.
“During the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic, these conflicts of interest became all too evident,” he added. “We’ve developed an investment platform that allows the sponsor and asset manager to work amicably and collegially with the various developer partners, and puts us, the sponsor, squarely on the side of the investor as the asset manager, to serve as their advocate.”