Catalyst Opportunity Funds, a private equity firm focused on opportunity zone investments, has invested an undisclosed sum in SoLa Impact, an opportunity zone project sponsor based in South Los Angeles.
Catalyst’s initial investment will be utilized by SoLa Impact to purchase, rehabilitate and develop multifamily and mixed-used properties across several opportunity zones in the South Los Angeles market.
The SoLa projects will focus on Compton, Watts and South Central through real estate development, with additional services that include job training, financial literacy, and homelessness prevention.
In the past five years, 10 percent of the South LA population reported housing instability, meaning homelessness or not having their own place to live or sleep. The SoLa project said that it seeks to help solve this issue by providing multifamily residences for low-income individuals.
In addition to projects focused on affordable housing options, the SoLa investment provides equity for a development called “The Beehive,” a mixed-use space that will offer work and social areas for an opportunity zone commercial campus.
“The SoLa projects represent the transformational change Catalyst strives to bring to overlooked communities in opportunity zones across the U.S.” said Patrick McKenna, managing partner of Catalyst. “By injecting capital into the disadvantaged South LA housing market, we are able to reduce the cost per unit, making these apartments affordable for residents and providing them with greater disposable income to redistribute back into the community. In doing so, we also address critical issues like homelessness and access to education.”
Catalyst launched its first real estate opportunity zone fund in May 2019 with plans to raise $150 million to invest in small and mid-market opportunity zone communities. Last week, the company announced that it completed investments for its first three projects, located in Salt Lake City and Bozeman, Montana.
Established through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, opportunity zones are a community development incentive that offers tax benefits for investors who make long-term commitments in certain low-income communities.