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9/27/2018 - Innovative Opportunity Zone Partnership

INNOVATIVE OPPORTUNITY ZONE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN UCONN, MANSFIELD, & CERC

The Town of Mansfield, University of Connecticut, and Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc. (CERC) will be working in partnership to educate potential developers and private investors about the federally-designated Opportunity Zone in Mansfield. 

“The Zone designation is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Town and we want to make sure we take every advantage to optimize our position,” stated Town Manager Derrik Kennedy.  “Our unique setting with a major anchor institution will hopefully bring smart, positive development into key areas of the zone. We are excited to work with the University in this area’s development; our success is their success, and vice-versa.”

According to the State of Connecticut, the program provides a federal tax incentive for investors to reinvest unrealized capital gains into opportunity zones through opportunity funds. Qualifying investments may include a broad range of commercial and residential investments, such as transit-oriented development, affordable housing and mixed-use development, and energy efficiency and renewable energy projects on public and private assets. In exchange for their investments, opportunity fund investors are able to decrease their federal tax burden through the preferential treatment of capital gains.

“CERC is excited to be supporting the Town of Mansfield and UCONN in a unique partnership to take advantage of the Opportunity Zone in Mansfield,” said Courtney Hendricson, Vice President of Municipal Services for CERC.  “The partners will be implementing several strategies to promote desired development and investment within the zone which is adjacent to UCONN and includes the major northern and western gateways into town. Engaging collaboratively with community and university leaders, CERC aims to provide strategic direction and help attract new business and capital investment.” 

The partnership, developed after Governor Malloy approved the zone designation in Mansfield in May of this year, was recently made official when the parties signed their partnership agreement.

“We are happy to be working with the town and CERC on this important effort,” said Scott Jordan, UConn’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “It is critical to the university that we develop a very thoughtful, strategic approach when it comes to the potential development or redevelopment of these UConn parcels, in partnership with the town.”

Four areas within the Opportunity Zone will be highlighted for development.  The four areas include: Four Corners, King Hill Road, the University Tech Park, and Depot Campus.  The development of these areas is consistent with the Town’s Plan of Conservation and Development.

Cynthia Van Zelm, Executive Director of the Mansfield Downtown Partnership also expressed support.  “We are looking forward to engaging in this exciting partnership with UConn and CERC to foster sustainable development in northern Mansfield,” stated Van Zelm.  “This area of town has been a priority area of focus for the Economic Development Commission over the last year, and the Commission will work closely with CERC to promote the area.  The collaboration with UConn further builds on Commission efforts to engage and partner with UConn on initiatives that support local business growth.”

Questions and requests for more information regarding this issue may be directed to the Town Manager’s Office at (860) 429-3336 or at townmngr@mansfieldct.org.

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