The new federal Opportunity Zones program created as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is meant to spur economic development and job creation in low-income areas.
But the head of a Chicago private equity real estate firm told the Morning Shift Monday that the program is more likely to help areas on the cusp of gentrification than it is to help low-income neighborhoods like Englewood, Austin or East Garfield Park.
As he put it, real estate developers only want to build new projects where they can get a significant return on their investment.
Meanwhile, a 2013 city ordinance that aims to bring so-called “transit oriented development” to the areas next to CTA “L” stops across the city is leading to a similar result.
Since the ordinance went into effect, neighborhoods like Logan Square have seen gleaming apartment towers built, while neighborhoods along the Green Line on Chicago’s South and West Sides have seen little-to-no real estate development.
Morning Shift talks with WBEZ’s Natalie Moore and Odette Yousef about why transit oriented development is not distributed equitably and evenly across the city and what’s being done to address the problem.
GUESTS: Natalie Moore, reporter on WBEZ’s Race, Class and Communities desk
Odette Yousef, reporter on WBEZ’s Race, Class and Communities desk
LEARN MORE: Chicago Has A Plan To Build Near CTA Trains. But Who Does It Help? (WBEZ 11/26)