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Crowdfunding to finance Opportunity Zone redevelopment in St. Louis

St. Louis, MO, USA
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Cost

Initial:
30 Million USD

Project Status

In Progress/Under Construction since 2019

Challenges Addressed

Economic Development
Redevelopment & Brownfields
Citizen Engagement
Workforce & Education

Motivation

Equitable city

Funding / Financing

Public Private Partnership
Innovative Finance
Tax Increment Financing (TIF)

Project Type

Project
Tool

At a Glance

The Gateway Opportunity Fund was structured to support development of the Gateway Marina & Resort at Lighthouse Landing, located in a Qualified Opportunity Zone on the banks of the Mississippi River in St. Louis. What makes this redevelopment particularly unique is that it's being funded in part with crowdfunding.

Problem Addressed

The site is already secured, zoned, entitled with multiple incentives, and ready for development. Plans for the approximately 70 acre site include a first class marina and boardwalk, multiple hotels and a conference center. The project will be enhanced with additional retail and entertainment attractions including a world class Indoor Water Park and Hotel, and multiple riverfront restaurants and storefronts. The first sale on the site consisting of a two acre tract, has been completed and site work has already begun. Now the developers are looking to secure funding for the remaining $400 million development.

The Gateway Opportunity Fund used/is using Infrashares crowdfunding platform to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

To maximize the benefit to individual community members and the community as a whole, The Gateway Opportunity Fund is working to raise a portion of the capital for the investment through a crowdfunding platform.

The InfraShares crowdfunding platform is uniquely built to pool investment from individuals into large sums of development capital for critical infrastructure projects - including roads, bridges, airports, mass transit, water systems, renewable energy, schools and in this case redevelopment.

Outcomes

  1. Anticipate the Lighthouse Landing project will create over 2,000 construction and 3,500 permanent jobs respectively.
  2. Using a crowdfunding platform as a part of their fundraising enables individual community members to actively participate in the economic and physical redevelopment of their city.

Something Unique

The project developers are in discussion with local trade unions and intend to partner with the St. Louis Job Corp. to provide job training, scholarships, and intern opportunities for students leading to opportunities in the future permanent jobs that will be created as a result of the development.

Who Should Consider?

Cities looking to increase access to the benefits of Opportunity Zone investments in their community for residents should consider incentivizing developers to use crowdfunding platforms.

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