By Opportunity Zone Magazine Staff

UpperCross Development Group and Beucler Properties have closed on Michigan City, Indiana’s first Opportunity Zone project. The developers plan to completely rehab the interior and exterior of the former brewery bottling building at 113 York St. in the historic Zorn Brew Works complex.

“The redevelopment of this 1870s historic building is a tremendous value add to Elston Grove, an area that is desirable and becoming a vibrant place for people to come. With city incentives, coupled with newly attracted investor interest, we are able to bring this building back to life and meet current market demand for commercial and residential space,” says Mike Beucler of Beucler Properties.

The 12,000-square-foot building located in the historic Elston Grove District originally served as the bottling plant for the brewery but has for years been vacant. The redevelopment will include three residential units on the second floor and commercial use on the first floor. The property falls under the Historic Elston Grove Design Guidelines and Michigan City’s recently expanded Façade Improvement Program and Upper Story Residential Incentive Program.

Rob Harte of UpperCross Development Group says having been investing in the area before the announcement of the Opportunity Zones, they were already entrenched and focused on how to bring buildings back from despair and develop new projects when warranted.

“Having a new capital stack that is seeking experienced development partners means we have a wider, more diverse audience of investors now than a few years back,” Harte says.

Beucler says he views Opportunity Zones as potential for the capital stack rather than an investment strategy. He says many of the markets they have been focused on and have a long history of development happen to be in qualified opportunity zones. He says an iconic opportunity zone they are working on is The Odyssey in Texas.

“The Odyssey will be the centerpiece of South Dallas as this mixed-use development sits along the banks of the Trinity River and is a half mile from the Central Business District. The Odyssey is transformational,” says Beucler.