Pru­den­tial Fi­nan­cial backs op­por­tu­nity zone in city

Com­pany to make ‘siz­able’ in­vest­ment in Eastern Ave. mixed-use de­vel­op­ment

Baltimore Sun - - NEWS - By Lor­raine Mirabella

Pru­den­tial Fi­nan­cial plans to in­vest in a $150 mil­lion East Bal­ti­more mixed-use pro­ject through the fed­eral op­por­tu­nity zones pro­gram, an eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in­cen­tive de­signed to di­rect in­vest­ment cap­i­tal into strug­gling com­mu­ni­ties.

The in­sur­ance and in­vest­ment management firm said Fri­day its im­pact in­vest­ments group would put an undis­closed amount of money into the first phase of Yard 56, across Eastern Av­enue from Johns Hop­kins Hos­pi­tal’s Bayview Med­i­cal cen­ter. In its $77 mil­lion first phase, Yard 56 will have 100,000 square feet of of­fices and more than 80,000 square feet of shop­ping, with ten­ants Streets Mar­ket gro­cery store, LA Fit­ness, Chipo­tle, the Brass Tap craft beer bar, Top Coat and Panda Ex­press.

The Yard 56 pro­ject is in one of the city’s 42 des­ig­nated op­por­tu­nity zones, part of 149 such zones in the state where in­vest­ments are el­i­gi­ble for pref­er­en­tial tax treat­ment us­ing ve­hi­cles known as op­por­tu­nity funds. Tax­pay­ers who put cap­i­tal gains prof­its in an op­por­tu­nity fund can de­fer pay­ing taxes on those prof­its un­til as late as 2026. They can also avoid pay­ing those taxes at all if they hold the in­vest­ment for at least 10 years.

The Yard 56 in­vest­ment will be Pru­den­tial’s first in an op­por­tu­nity zone.

“This pro­ject is a once in a gen­er­a­tion op­por­tu­nity to re­move a sign of ur­ban de­cay im­me­di­ately across the street from one of Bal­ti­more’s most im­por­tant in­sti­tu­tions, while bring­ing needed ser­vices and jobs to a ne­glected area of Bal­ti­more,” Daryl Shore, trans­ac­tion lead from Pru­den­tial’s Im­pact In­vest­ments group, said in Fri­day’s an­nounce­ment.

The pro­ject, un­der de­vel­op­ment by Bal­ti­more-based MCB Real Es­tate, is ex­pected to trans­form the neigh­bor­hood by re­mov­ing blight, cre­at­ing per­ma­nent jobs and bring­ing in a gro­cery store, restau­rants and health care ser­vices. The de­vel­oper be­gan de­mol­ish­ing the for­mer site of PEMCO, Porce­lain and Enamel Man­u­fac­tur­ing, last spring and plans to com­plete the first build­ings by the end of the year

Pru­den­tial did not dis­close the amount of its in­vest­ment, but Mayor Catherine E. Pugh called it “siz­able.”

”We are thrilled that an im­por­tant, cat­alytic pro­ject such as Yard 56 is able to ben­e­fit from Pru­den­tial’s Op­por­tu­nity Zone Fund,” Pugh said in a state­ment.

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