EJF Capital LLC, an alternative asset management firm, has closed its inaugural opportunity zone investment fund, EJF OpZone Fund I LP, after raising approximately $280 million in investor equity.
The fund launched in August 2018 and has closed on eight investments to date including development projects in Washington, D.C., Florida, California, Washington state, South Carolina, and Maryland. Four of the projects have been completed and leased up, three are under construction, and one is in final regulatory approvals with construction slated to begin this year.
Of the $280 million of capital commitments raised, approximately $219 million has been committed to these eight projects and EJF expects to identify and close on additional opportunity zone investments by the end of 2021.
“We are very pleased with the confidence shown in EJF by the investors in the fund, many of whom invested more than once,” said Asheel Shah, head of real estate development at EJF. “The fund’s investor base is comprised of numerous high-net-worth investors, RIAs and broker-dealers, corporations, a leading private bank, and a state pension fund.”
Launched as part of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, the opportunity zone program offers potentially significant tax benefits to investors who invest in lower income census tracts known as “opportunity zones.” There are more than 8,700 qualified opportunity zones across the U.S.
Headquartered near Washington, D.C., EJF Capital manages approximately $5.9 billion across a group of alternative asset strategies, as of December 31, 2020. Since inception, the firm has focused on regulatory event-driven investments including its strategy to invest in opportunity zones.