Ron Beit, CEO of RBH Group, and developer of the Teachers Village project in Newark, NJ, has launched an investment fund dedicated to building housing for teachers.
With the intent of partnering with other Opportunity Zone Funds, the investment model is based on the Teachers Village Beit developed in Newark, with the support of Senator Cory Booker in his former role as Mayor of Newark.
Booker is the co-sponsor of the legislation that created the Federal Opportunity Zone program.
The Teachers Village Opportunity Zone Fund will kick off with a $40 million fund invested by David and Leila Centner and will leverage over $150 million of additional equity from various high-net worth and institutional investors to build housing for teachers and other social impact related projects.
This will spur investment in Opportunity Zones with over $700 million of total project costs for the complete program. The Fund was established in August and completed its first acquisition in September 2018
“The need to supply moderately priced housing for teachers, which helps to retain and recruit teachers and support revitalization efforts, is an issue of national concern in cities across the United States, from San Francisco to Miami,” said Beit.
“Our development is a model for success in garnering public and private support for a crucial social impact development.”
Leila Centner, founder and CEO of Centner Academy, added, “The Teachers Village projects dovetail perfectly with our mission to promote education, as when our teachers have an affordable, safe and beautiful place to live, it will ultimately enhance the learning environment for our children.”
According to Beit, it is estimated that up to $6 trillion in uninvested capital gains are sitting in Wall Street accounts. “What better way to support our teachers than by investing in our underserved cities and towns where teachers who are traditionally underpaid can benefit from more affordable housing,” he added.
The proposed program is to invest in Teachers Villages and other social impact related projects almost exclusively in Opportunity Zones.
The legislation has already generated a significant organic pipeline for the successful rollout of its Teachers Village projects and other RBH social impact projects across the country.
Teachers Village, Newark is a six-building development in downtown Newark that was recently completed. It contains 203 moderately priced apartments, with nearly 70 percent occupied by teachers; three schools with over 1,000 students; and 18 retail outlets. The $150 million public/private partnership was developed with investments from Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group and Prudential Financial.
RBH is currently Teachers Village is Hartford, and Chicago, is in pre-development for projects in Atlanta and Miami and is exploring opportunities in Los Angeles, Denver, Baltimore, and Boston.