BPG and Clay Cove Capital Announce Formation of $5 Million Greater Hill District Opportunity Zone Fund
The Buccini/Pollin Group and Clay Cove Capital are pleased to announce the formation of a $5 million Greater Hill District Opportunity Zone Fund to help maximize the positive community benefits arising from the Lower Hill redevelopment. The Fund is being formed to promote investment in real estate projects in the middle and upper Hill District and along the Centre Avenue corridor, and help address head-on the ongoing challenges of overcoming poverty and advancing sustainable community development in the greater Hill District neighborhood.
The founding investors in the Fund include BPG, Clay Cove Capital and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“We are working to solve the access to capital problem that has been plaguing the Hill District for generations,” said Amachie Ackah, Founder of Clay Cove Capital, an anchor investor in the Fund. “There are residents and entrepreneurs in the Hill District who lack access to capital, and we are offering to bring Opportunity Zone investment to their projects and help the continued economic recovery of the Hill District.”
“We believe that a partnership with Clay Cove Capital, one of the leading Black-owned real estate management firms in the United States, and partnered with the Pittsburgh Penguins and FNB Bank, will allow us to attract investment into this important neighborhood,” said Chris Buccini, Co-President of The Buccini/Pollin Group.
The Lower Hill was recently added to the middle Hill District census tract as part of the 2020 Census, which now includes the Lower Hill redevelopment within the Greater Hill District Opportunity Zone. Because of this designation, investors seeking Opportunity Zone investments now have a federal tax incentive to invest in the entire Hill District.
The Fund will be created to make investments in the middle and upper Hill District neighborhood, including vacant and abandoned properties, improving housing conditions for existing residents, and ensuring overall long-term sustainable investment in the entire Hill District neighborhood.
The Fund is being formed by the Lower Hill development team as an additional coordinated community development strategy under the Community Collaboration and Implementation Plan (CCIP) adopted in 2014. The founding investors of the Fund will work with Councilman Daniel Lavelle, Representative Jake Wheatley, and members of the CCIP Executive Management Committee to identify the best ways to implement this fund in the Hill District.
About Opportunity Zones - Opportunity Zone legislation was passed in 2017 to attract capital to economically distressed areas. The legislation allows for investors to defer capital gains taxes on an investment by reinvesting into a new project in an opportunity zone that will be significantly approved. Ultimately, the Opportunity Zone will help the Hill District by attracting capital that would otherwise not invest.
Lower Hill Redevelopment Minority Workforce Plan Receives Unanimous Approval Today from City's Equal Opportunity Review Commission
The Pittsburgh Penguins and development partner The Buccini / Pollin Group (“Buccini/Pollin”) announced that their Minority and Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) participation plan for the Lower Hill redevelopment project was approved unanimously today by the City’s independent Equal Opportunity Review Commission (EORC).
Chuck Durham, Business Diversity Manager for the Mayor’s office, notified the Urban Redevelopment Authority in a letter this afternoon that “the Commission voted to approve the plan as presented.”
“This is a historic day for the Lower Hill redevelopment project because it is the first independent confirmation that we are achieving our goals for M/WBE participation, as we have committed under the Community Collaboration and Implementation Plan (CCIP),” said David Morehouse, President and CEO of the Penguins. “Our team reached out to hundreds of M/WBE contractors, and we have already achieved almost 42% participation for minority and women-owned businesses. We now have a detailed plan approved by the independent EORC for advancing to achieve our overall M/WBE goals for the Lower Hill development.”
In his opening remarks to the EORC, Boris Kaplan, Senior Vice President of Development at Buccini Pollin, noted that the project will be “both a well-timed and much-needed economic lift to local contractors, suppliers and consultants and also a new model for inclusive procurement and equitable reinvestment for public and private development across the City.”
Bomani Howze, Vice President of Development at Buccini Pollin and a resident of the Hill District, outlined how the entire Lower Hill development team has been focused on maximizing opportunities for Black and women-owned businesses. “At a time when the Hill District and our entire city is recovering from the pandemic, we are building a bridge from the Lower Hill to generate wealth in the community and invest tens of millions of dollars of construction and operations phase contracts for Black and women-owned businesses.”
Joining Kaplan and Howze at today’s presentation were Janai Smith, the project’s M/WBE inclusion consultant and Managing Director of Pittsburgh-based eHoldings, and Justin Hough, Project Director for PJ Dick, the construction manager.
Contractors and Consultants Interested in MWBE contracting opportunities, please contact:
Janai Smith, Managing Director of Pittsburgh-based eHoldings