Is it really worth investing in Opportunity Zones anymore? When you listen to this podcast with HCVT’s Blake Christian and MIT Modular’s Chief of Operations Roi Maufas, not only will you be convinced that the opportunity is still there, but there are also many projects in the QOZ Marketplace that are currently available for investors with exposure to capital gains taxes to explore. Opportunity Zones projects still allow you to trigger gains you otherwise would not generate, all the while investing in ESG green efforts into neighborhoods that have been underserved economically and which also happens to be MIT Modular’s main focus!
While one major incentive to Opportunity Zones investing is no longer available, the program still remains quite attractive. Not only does Mr. Christian explain in detail why this is so, but he also goes over several other aspects including why businesses should love this concept, why transparency is important, and what the future of Opportunity Zones may look like. In addition, himself and Mr. Maufas go over their own newly created Opportunity Zone Fund, where they have created a modular container housing solution in three intraoperative components.
Their MIT Modular project is dedicated to providing affordable, sustainable housing. By specializing in solar and wind powered solutions while maintaining an elegant modern aesthetic, MIT Modular’s business model is built around fulfilling a deep need for affordable housing, and their Opportunity Zone Fund offers investors minimal risk, good returns, and great tax benefits. With a team of professional architects, engineers and fiduciaries that are dedicated to providing solutions that provide solid foundations for investors and workers interested in providing a brighter future, they are actively pursuing opportunities to do well by doing good.
You would be doing good yourself if you continue to stay abreast of Opportunity Zone developments, as well as searching for projects such as Blake and Roi’s green vision. Get more information on Opportunity Zone investing at the www.hcvt.com website or visit MITModular.com for specific details on their newly created OZ Fund.
ABOUT OUR GUEST: Blake Christian
Blake brings over 35 years of experience providing tax consulting and compliance services to clients that include multinational, publicly traded corporations, as well as closely held owner-managed businesses. Throughout his entire career, Blake has specialized in federal, state and local tax incentive programs. Blake is leading the firm’s efforts in providing tax consulting services for Qualified Opportunity Zones. A thought leader, Blake has been recently interviewed by US News and World Reports and other national publications providing insights into this powerful, yet complex, tax incentive program and has authored several articles and HCVT Tax Alerts about Qualified Opportunity Zones (OZ) and Qualified Opportunity Funds. Blake has developed unique insights into OZ strategies for real estate developers and investors, as well as for operating business start-ups and expansions. In addition to tax incentive consulting, Blake provides partnership and individual tax planning and compliance services. His industry experience is broad and includes manufacturing and distribution, service companies, restaurant, shipping and transportation, energy and healthcare.
Blake joined HCVT to open the firm’s Long Beach office over 26 years ago and opened the firm’s Park City, Utah office in 2014. Blake has served, in leadership positions on numerous community boards including the Long Beach Community Foundation as Vice Chair, Cal State Long Beach Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership Governing Council, and the Long Beach Rotary where he served as president. Blake is also an active member of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and served as chairperson and is a regular member of the Park City Rotary Club, The Egyptian Theater and the Park City Chamber of Commerce. Blake was named as one of the Top 10 California Accounting Professionals in 2015 and 2014. The Long Beach Chamber of Commerce awarded Blake the 2016 Community Spirit Award for his economic development work and leadership in the California Enterprise Zone program.
Blake is a frequent contributor to leading industry related publications. TaxConnections.com named Blake as one of the Top 50 Tax Bloggers in the US. Blake has been a contributing columnist for the AICPA CPA Insider, a past columnist for the AICPA Corporate Tax Insider Newsletter, and is a regular contributor to the Long Beach Business Journal as well as numerous other publications. He has lectured at a number of universities, including University of Southern California (MBT Program) and California State University Long Beach (Annual Tax Conference), BYU and University of Utah, as well as various business and tax forums throughout the country. Blake has also been a technical resource for many news organizations, including USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Press-Telegram, KTLA News, Park City TV, KNX NewsRadio, and KFI Radio KPCW.
Blake began his career at KPMG LLP and was admitted to its partnership. Blake holds a master’s of taxation from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a minor in finance from California State University, Long Beach. Active in both the Long Beach and Park City communities. Blake supports the fundraising efforts of LB and PC Rotary, the LB and PC Community Foundations, Plant LB, The Egyptian Theater/ Save Our Stage and the National Ability Center.
ABOUT OUR GUEST: Roi Maufas
Surviving Hurricane Katrina and two years of homelessness, Roi Maufas, Founder and CEO of Gorilla Design, felt driven to meet the immediate shelter needs of disaster victims and rebuild afflicted areas with stronger, greener, and more affordable homes and buildings. In 2006, Roi specifically founded Gorilla Design to answer the question, “How do we find better ways to design and construct the built environment affordably and sustainably?” He soon discovered these attributes are in demand not only in disaster zones but in dense, urban communities and far-flung rural areas. Gorilla Design responds to both imperatives with innovative, environmentally responsible design and construction solutions.
At Gorilla Design, Roi has cultivated a team of experts who contend that quality housing inspires hope. By building strong, stable, state-of-the-art homes, we help alleviate the day-to-day stresses faced by formerly homeless and vulnerable community members so that they can look forward to tomorrow. Making daily life easier and more empowering for occupants through design features and system efficiencies leads to a happier, healthier community for all of us.
For two decades, Roi has developed and managed multi-million-dollar projects. His varied design and construction background and passion for inventing solutions to existing problems in the building science and energy fields, allow him to solve complex issues from a large picture perspective while producing highly innovative results. Roi is driven by sustainable economic development, i.e. empowering individuals in developing communities with the skills they need to effect change from within. To this end, he partners with community leaders and groups, a network of developers, non-profits, and educational institutions, along with local resources to design and build affordable, sustainable mixed-use, commercial, and residential structures that integrate hybrid systems like geothermal, solar, and wind power.
Roi is a frequent speaker at industry organizations and architectural schools, including the American Institute of Architects and Syracuse School for Design. Most recently, he opened a TEDX: How Does a Sustainable Community Behave?” with his presentation titled Repurposing the Human Spirit. His recent projects include Salt Lake City’s first shipping container structure, a sustainable multi-family apartment complex, a self-sustaining emergency shelter, and Utah’s first net-zero energy school. He is currently hard at work developing modern, modular, containerized workforce housing to address the need in resort communities, where workers cannot afford to live or live in great numbers in single room spaces.
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