In The News

Loren Schirber: Triple Bottom Line Returns in Opportunity Zones (Podcast Episode #16)

How can real estate investing in opportunity zones create triple bottom line returns? And what are some ways we can measure the social impact of these investments?

Loren Schirber is project pipeline manager for Minnesota Opportunity Zone Advisors, which recently started raising capital for their DREAM Fund. DREAM stands for “Developing Real Estate in Emerging Areas of Minnesota.” The fund is a Qualified Opportunity Fund that targets community-driven economic, social, and environmental impact.


Federal incentives could spike development in distressed parts of St. Paul. Here’s where.


Not long ago, Roger Hess began toying with the idea that maybe it was time to part with 100 years of family history.

The fourth-generation business owner is still considering putting up for sale the lakeside commercial building that for generations has housed the Hess Hair Milk barber supply company at 1911 Rice St. His hope is that a federally designated “Opportunity Zone” around Lake McCarrons, intended to boost private investment in low-income areas, will do exactly that.

Full story at

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Opportunity Zones: Private Sectors Investing in Low-Income Communities


Sparking growth in low-income neighborhoods is a goal a new federal government program is working on and they’re doing this with the help of the private sector.

The program is known as Opportunity Zones. It’s a new federal tax incentive for private sector investment in rural and low-income communities

A workshop explaining the mission of the tax incentive was offered to local developers, businesses, and employers at Clyde Iron Works with hope to get more people on board.


“The deferral of capital gains tax through 2026 is a meaningful benefit. Money that they invest in funds, if they hold it for 10 years, they don’t pay any capital gains taxes,” Jamie Stolpestad, a Minnesota Opportunity Zone advisor, said.

Full story and video at



SWIF Opportunity Zones workshop is being held Feb. 28

The Opportunity Zones workshop, which was originally scheduled for Jan. 31, has been rescheduled for Feb. 28, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel.

This free seminar is provided by the Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) in partnership with Minnesota Opportunity Zone advisors and features community and economic development specialists to explore leveraging opportunity zone investments.

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Video Thumbnail of Robinsdale Declared Opportunity Zone on CCX Media News

Robbinsdale Declared “Opportunity Zone” for Redevelopment

The 2017 federal tax law created so-called “Opportunity Zones” to encourage redevelopment in low-income urban and rural areas by rewarding investors with incentives. A portion of Robbinsdale is considered an Opportunity Zone. Robbinsdale Mayor Regan Murphy says developers have shown interest.

Jamie Stolpestad with Minnesota Opportunity Zone Advisors is training cities helping them to understand what this could mean for development. “The potential scale for this is huge,” said Stopestad. “There are estimates that the investing and opportunity act will generate as much as $100 billion of capital flowing into these funds.”

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From 15-story buildings to tiny apartments, Opportunity Zones mean promise — and risk

Jamie Stolpestad is building two apartment buildings in St. Paul’s St. Anthony Park neighborhood, right in the heart of an “O-Zone.”

Loren Schirber is gearing up for the “O-Zone” on St. Paul’s East Side, where he foresees at least two dozen tiny apartments, a dog park, a solar installation and an all-season food truck hall.

They’re hoping $100 million in projects will follow, including the massive redevelopment of Ramsey County’s former Government Center West building on Kellogg Boulevard.

Emerging market investing for undervalued, overlooked communities: Building dreams, opportunity

Minnesota Opportunity Zone Advisors (MN-OZA) has launched the D.R.E.A.M. Fund, an Opportunity Fund focused on Minnesota Opportunity Zones.

Investors can benefit from the federal tax incentives afforded such Opportunity Funds under the recently enacted Invest in Opportunities Act.

The D.R.E.A.M. Fund (Developing Real Estate in Emerging Areas of Minnesota) is focused on eligible real estate investments (new developments and substantial rehabilitation) within the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area Opportunity Zones and those in larger communities across Minnesota.

Developers create fund to invest in opportunity zones

A new fund hopes to take advantage of last year’s federal tax reform to put $100 million or more into real estate development in Minnesota’s most disadvantaged communities.

Across Minnesota, 128 census tracts have been designated opportunity zones under the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, marking them as low-income communities in need of investment.

Inaugural “Opportunity Zone” investment fund launches in Twin Cities

Minnesota’s first multiple-project “Opportunity Zone” fund has launched to attract investor money for real estate projects in one or more of the dozens of low-income neighborhoods selected this year in the wake of last December’s federal tax-cut legislation.
Backers of the Developing Real Estate in Emerging Areas of Minnesota (DREAM) Fund say they hope to raise up to $100 million from investors attracted by tax breaks and mission in the Minnesota Opportunity Zones. Gov Mark Dayton identified 128 low-income zones by census track in the Twin Cities and outstate Minnesota that were certified by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Developers and Investors Launch Opportunity Zone Efforts

MINNEAPOLIS—The recently enacted Invest in Opportunities Act, along with a set of guidelines issued last week by the US Treasury Department, has excited a lot of interest from developers and investors who want to take advantage of federal tax incentives now offered to projects in so-called Opportunity Zones. And that includes well-known names from the Twin Cities.

Minnesota Opportunity Zone Advisors, a mission-oriented real estate investment manager, has launched the D.R.E.A.M. Fund to focus on the state’s opportunity zones, both in the Twin Cities and other larger communities. Gov. Mark Dayton identified 128 zones that were then certified by Treasury officials, who administrator the program.

Press Information

MN-OZA seeks to drive social impact through our activities and processes. We strive to be transparent and collaborative.  We partner with local communities, community organizations, civic leaders, elected officials and under-represented community members to identify and prioritize transformative investments.

We strive to attract and inspire young people, especially people of color, to learn how to become investors, developers, real estate domain experts, community organizers, economic development leaders and the like, so we can train the next generation of community leaders.

To arrange interviews and speaking engagements please contact:

Loren Schirber  612-501-0358 or Jamie Stolpestad 203-585-7248

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