The opportunity zones in the new tax law are supposed to attract investment to low-income areas. But some of these neighborhoods aren’t exactly struggling.
Pier Village promotes itself as a “jewel on the New Jersey coast.” It features Victorian-inspired oceanfront apartments, a pool club, and expensive restaurants. At a shoreline property built by Extell Development Co. in partnership with Kushner Cos., 786-square-foot one-bedroom apartments are being marketed for as much as $2,765 a month. At an adjacent development site, Kushner Cos. is constructing a 72-room luxury hotel.
The area is also, officially, distressed. That’s because this section of Long Branch, N.J., has been deemed an “opportunity zone,” a classification created in President Trump’s 2017 tax law, meant to spur investment in poor communities. Real estate developers are eligible for generous perks that include deferring some taxes and avoiding them altogether on future capital gains from projects in these areas if they own them for more than a decade. Kushner Cos. is one of many developers buying into about 9,000 opportunity zones across the country.