A pair of Chicago development firms are teaming up on a new Opportunity Zones venture, hoping to raise $1 billion for development projects “Throughout America’s Heartland.”
Farpoint Development and Clayco will spearhead the Decennial Group, and will seek to deploy the money over the next three years, the company announced Thursday. Decennial Group has enlisted one of the Opportunity Zones architects, Steve Glickman, as a “Senior adviser.” Glickman, a co-founder of the Economic Innovation Group collaborative that designed the Opportunity Zones program, founded the firm Develop LLC, which consults developers and investors raising funds for Opportunity Zone projects.
Decennial Group principals said unlike most other Opportunity Funds that seek out third-party developers with viable proposals for Opportunity Zone projects, their venture will oversee design and construction in-house for most of its projects. Goodman co-founded development firm Sterling Bay in 1987 and oversaw its expansion in Chicago’s Fulton Market after the 2009 recession, helping plant the seeds for that neighborhood’s unprecedented development boom. He left the company in 2016 and founded Farpoint Development.
Not all Opportunity Zones were placed in distressed areas, spurring criticism that the program may turbocharge development in up-and-coming areas while leaving long-neglected neighborhoods behind.