With affordable housing on the minds of Renoites, the Northern Nevada Opportunity Zone Summit March 19-20, comes at the ideal time. The summit aims to educate investors and commercial real estate professionals about the vast potential of opportunity zones for the Northern Nevada market.

The Opportunity Zone Program is a tax incentive established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Its purpose is to foster investment into low-income and rural communities by allowing those who invest to defer and reduce their capital gains liability and potentially pay no tax on earnings from the investment.

There are 8,700 designated opportunity zones nationwide and analysts predict that billions (potentially trillions) of capital gains dollars will be invested into opportunity zones.

Reno is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation for job growth while Nevada is considered one of the most business friendly states in the country.  This why Tesla, Google, Switch, Apple and Blockchains now call Northern Nevada home. In 2018, 29 companies relocated and/or expanded their workforces into the greater Reno-Sparks area. All of this development and job growth has created a need for more housing, skilled workers, and industrial/flex space.

That’s why Opportunity Zones were created. This region was already ripe for development but now Northern Nevada is one of the hottest areas for development in the country.

Downtown Reno, Midtown, University of Nevada, Reno area, Park Lane area between Vassar Street and Gentry Way, and industrial sparks are all opportunity zones in Washoe County.

Washoe County Opportunity Zones. Click for an interactive map and zone data.

Downtown Reno Partnership board members Ken Krater and Par Tolles will be on one of the panels at the event being held at the Reno Ballroom in downtown. Executive Director Alex Stettinski is on the task force representing downtown.

Tolles and Krater will speak on the “Housing and State/Local Best Practices” panel to discuss:

  • Affordable Housing and Opportunity Zones
  • How some cities and states are layering incentive programs to support infrastructure and housing projects.
  • How municipalities are creating Opportunity Zone friendly entitlement processes (automated permitting).
  • Examples of public-private collaborations

Jacob LaRow of the Nevada Housing Division, will moderate. Other panelists include:

  • Derek Armstrong, GOED
  • Ken Krater, Krater Consulting Group
  • Sandy Moore, Advantage Capital
  • Brent Parker, Novogradac
  • Par Tolles, Tolles Development

“We’ve gathered the best of the best in this field,” said Kaya Bromley, Founder of the Reno-Sparks Opportunity Zone Task Force. “I have spoken at some of the largest opportunity zone conferences around the country, and what we’ve put together here in Reno is outstanding.”

The two-day summit begins March 19 with a day of panels and networking. Experts will cover the basics, Opportunity Zones 101, and move into sessions on real estate deals versus business deals, housing and state/local best practices and finally a master panel on what’s happening in Northern Nevada.

“Attendees will get the chance to watch these experts work through real deals right there at the summit – something that does not happen at other conferences,” Bromley said. “While most are talking in theory, we are giving real examples and real takeaways of how to structure deals.”

The packed speaker lineup features a keynote from Steve Glickman, co-founder of EIG. Known as the architect of opportunity zones, Glickman was instrumental in developing the program and will share critical insights to the inception of the tax incentive program from the ground up.  

Speakers include Lee Weiss, Executive Vice President of Blockchains, LLC, Chip Bowlby, President and CEO of Reno Land, Inc. who is developing Park Lane, Rancharrah and Inova, Mike Kazmierski, President and CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada and others.

Attendees will have the chance to network and meet speakers that evening at the VIP cocktail reception with special guests Steve Glickman and Lt. Governor Kate Marshall.

The second day of the summit, on March 20, will take attendees to the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, the largest industrial park in the world where they will tour Blockchains and Switch. Participants will also hear a presentation at Tesla as well as tour downtown Reno.

The Northern Nevada Opportunity Zone Summit will be held in Reno, Nev. at the Reno Ballroom on Fourth and Center streets on March 19, a separate ticket is available for the tours on March 20, a boxed lunch and snacks will be provided. Event details can be found online at BelieveinReno.com.