17 Jul Every State, Every Opp Zone: A Look at 50+ Opportunity Zone Mapping Tools
This post originally appeared on Marketplace Advertiser, Reonomy and is republished with permission. Find out how to syndicate your content with theBrokerList.
If you’re unfamiliar with Opportunity Zones, you can visit our in-depth overview of the program. If you know what Opp Zones are, would like to invest, but aren’t sure how to find properties within those zones, read on—you’re in the right place.
Since becoming official in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Opportunity Zones program has continued to gain traction in the world of commercial real estate investing.
Over the course of 2018, that traction grew red hot as more and more investors and developers learned the full details and benefits of the program.
Investors are looking to jump ahead of the curve and make investments in these qualified zones while opportunity remains aplenty, but might be wondering what the best tools are for actually finding where the zones are.
Opportunity Zone Mapping Tool
With heightened interest in Qualified Opportunity Zone investment, there’s been a heightened need for Opportunity Zone maps as a tool for understanding the areas and the properties within them.
Opportunity Zones are census tracts that span the entire U.S., including Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. The best way to locate them is usually to use a source deliberately built for finding them—i.e. an Opportunity Zone map.
Luckily, there are a great deal of Opportunity Zone mapping tools across the country that allow you to search with varying levels of granularity.
Even more luckily, we’ve compiled more than 50 of those tools into a list for you to consult to find your next Opp Zone investment.
We’ll first look at a handful of tools with national map coverage, then show some examples of more local, state and city-focused tools (broken out by region). See our full list of Opportunity Zone mapping tools below.
Many Opportunity Zone maps are built using similar geographic information system (GIS) software, typically Esri, and can therefore look the same.
The mapping tools built for national use, specifically, are often more customized and branded. As is the case with Reonomy, national resources may also offer added value outside of just providing geographic information.
On that note, let’s dive into the tools that can be used to search Opportunity Zones on a national scale.
Opportunity Zone Mapping Tools with National Coverage
No matter where you’re looking to invest in the country, the following tools offer information and insights to help you dig further into Opp Zones once you’ve actually located them.
Reonomy serves as a great example of this, catering to the exact needs of investors searching for Opportunity Zone properties.
Reonomy’s Opportunity Zone property search tool was introduced in November of 2018.
It goes beyond Opportunity Zones as geographic areas and lets you search for individual properties within those qualified zones. You can find your next investment based on multiple layers of property and ownership filtering.
To start, in the Building and Lot tab on Reonomy’s search page, you’ll see an option to search only within Opportunity Zones.
While other tools allow you to search through the nation’s 8,700 Opportunity Zones, Reonomy lets you instead search through nearly 7 million properties located in Opportunity Zones.
There are a few different ways you can narrow down your search from there.
To scour the country for Opportunity Zone properties, you can start by adding extra layers of location filters and asset class filters.
Location filters include City, County, Zip Code, Street Name, and Street Address. Asset classes include anything larger than a single-family home, from multifamily, to industrial properties, to office buildings, apartment buildings, vacant land, and on.
You can then add filters for specific property and ownership characteristics. Filters include building and lot size, number of units, the year the asset was built, etc.
Search for Opportunity Zone properties based on sales and debt history, like recency of sale, sale price, most recent mortgage amount, lender, and more.
Ownership filters include the ability to search for the name of an owner or owning-LLC.
In lieu of using filters, you can also opt to run a map area search.
A map area search could mean roaming the map freely, drawing a radius around a designated point, or drawing a custom shape on the map to see properties in a confined area.
From there, you can thoroughly analyze Opportunity Zone properties to see their sales history, debt history, and owner details and contact information.
Economic Innovation Group (EIG) has been an Opportunity Zone thought-leader from the very beginning, as its Founder, Sean Parker (formerly a driver of companies like Napster and Facebook) served as one of the “primary architects” of the program.
EIG unveiled one of the first Opp Zone maps on the web. It is an easy-to-navigate overview of the entire country, where you can roam freely to see exactly where Opportunity Zones lie in every market in the U.S.
Using EIG’s Opportunity Zone map is an extremely helpful way to view a target OZ to better understand its layout and some of the general statistics tied to the area.
You can search the map by state, city, county, zip code, or street name. Once you do, the map will zoom into your searched area, with all Opportunity Zones highlighted in a translucent brownish-red.
Click any colored area on the map and a summary box will appear providing relevant information like the census tract number, county, total population, median household income, poverty level, number of jobs, and more.
For example, above is an Alameda County Opp Zone. With EIG’s map, you can see that the qualified zone spans from Adeline St to Market St horizontally, and from 14th St down to Interstate 80. You can also see the census tract number, and the rest of the above mentioned details.
PolicyMap also offers an in-depth tool for locating Qualified Opportunity Zones nationwide.
They offer a signup package for investors and developers to access their Opp Zone map alongside other data and tools to help bring ease to the decision-making process overall.
This map can also be accessed through Baker Tilly.
Baker Tilly International is a London-based accounting firm that has expanded its reach to the U.S., and across a number of industries, providing services well-beyond accounting.
For example, along with the PolicyMap Opportunity Zone mapping tool, they offer the ability to connect with their Opp Zone specialists.
Novogradac & Company LLP is a San Francisco-headquartered accounting firm that offers their very own Opportunity Zone mapping tool. It can be found in the Opportunity Zone Resource Center on their website.
Upon clicking any of the green-shaded Opp Zones on the map, Novogradac shows you the state, census tract number, and tract type of the zone.
Novogradac also offers a number of other resources including research reports, articles, podcasts, and Opp Zone-related news.
One of the resources offered by Opportunity360 is their “Opportunity Zone Explorer.”
Opportunity360 also offers a number of other filters that you can apply to the explorer to narrow down your search, including location-based filters, whether the zones are urban and rural and muchmore.
Smart Growth America is a nonprofit organization promoting the sustainable, socially-equitable growth of cities and towns across the country.
They offer an incredibly sleek and interactive, “Opportunity Zone Navigator.”
When roaming freely across the map, Opportunity Zone-specific statistics quickly update based only on the visible map area, including population, number of jobs, number of transit stops, and much more.
There are also selections to see averages for the visible map area, like average population density, affordability, number of brownfields, and more. Again, all of those averages only represent qualified Opp Zones.
Smart Growth America’s OZ mapping tool provides many layers of information, and a very digestible map design.
CDFI Fund has been another Opportunity Zone thought-leader over time. In searching the internet for other sources, you’ll likely come across CDFI’s Opportunity Zone Resources webpage (linked above) and the associated mapping tool.
While virtually every state has some version of their own Opp Zone mapping tool, many local government websites link to CDFI’s tool for visitors to reference for local searches.
Opportunity Zone Mapping Tools for Specific Regions
Most of the localized Opportunity Zone mapping tools are built using Esri, one of the world’s most prominent geographic information system (GIS) software providers. Many of them look and function the same way, merely for different areas of focus.
Below, while we have sections broken down by region, the examples included are for state and city-specific Opportunity Zone search tools.
All states except Idaho and West Virginia are included, as no current mapping tools were found specifically for those states.
In this part of the site, there’s a resource page specifically for the Opportunity Zone program. On that page, is a list of maps, broken down for every region of both New York City and New York State.
While these maps are not interactive like the national platforms mentioned above, they still provide a fairly clear layout of where Opp Zones lie.
New Jersey Community Asset Map
New Jersey’s mapping tool is for much more than just Opportunity Zones. It’s called the NJ Community Asset Map, and has information on transit locations, marinas, colleges, hospitals, stadiums, and much more.
To view Opportunity Zones on the map, you can click the left-aligned checkbox titled, “Opportunity Zones in NJ,” which will then highlight all qualified zones in pink.
Washington D.C. also has its own Opportunity Zone mapping tool, which, like New York’s, can be found on the official D.C. government website.
The interface for this mapping tool is smooth and quick, letting you search freely and select specific census tracts to find out a bit more information on them.
California offers a very straightforward but clean mapping tool. With it, you can highlight counties, assembly districts, senate districts, congressional districts, along with QOZs.
Each zone is highlighted in a bright, translucent green.
Colorado offers a full resource page for OZ’s, which includes a custom mapping tool that shows all of the state’s qualified zones highlighted in a light-yellow.
Luckily, given the size of the state, Texas also offers a very clean, sleek Opportunity Zone mapping tool.
This tool highlights the entire state of Texas in a very light shade of purple, with QOZs shaded as a darker, fuller shade of purple. Clicking on any of the zones shows you the tract number and county of that specific zone.
Florida’s Opp Zone mapping tool derives from a media market map tool, but does the trick just as well as any other in our list.
Florida Opportunity Zones span the entire state, and are highlighted in green when using this tool.
City of Chicago
Some U.S. major metro areas have their own OZ mapping tools, as we saw above with Washington D.C.
Chicago is another example, as they also wield their very own mapping tool to see where qualified zones lie across the city.
Each Opp Zone is highlighted in blue, and when clicked, includes information like tract number, unemployment rate, median family income, poverty rate, and so on.
Ohio’s Opportunity Zone mapping tool is very straightforward and simple, yet effective. Using a plain view map as the backdrop, QOZs are highlighted in what might be considered a Cavaliers shade of red.
There are even tools for non-contiguous American states. See the OZ mapping tools for those areas below:
No matter where you are in the contiguous or non-contiguous U.S., there are multiple options for your Opportunity Zone map searching.
For investors and developers interested Opportunity Zone properties, however, the only tool to that truly conforms to your needs in a search is Reonomy. Start your free trial today.
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