By Opportunity Zone Magazine Staff

Paperbox Lofts has become the state of Utah’s first development in a qualified opportunity zone. Utah-based ClearWater Homes and commercial real estate development firm PEG Development broke ground on the two-acre mixed-use development.

The project will consist of 195 apartment units divided between three buildings, retail and restaurant space, and a 10,000-square foot "pocket park" available to the public. The property will have 39 apartment units designated as affordable housing for people earning 60 percent or below the area's median income. 

PEG and Clearwater plan to also construct the first standalone mechanical car lift system in the state, a seven-level, 112-parking space system that will maximize space at Paperbox Lofts by stacking and organizing vehicles.


Jameson Haslam, chief operating officer at PEG Capital Partners, says the firm is focused on urban infill locations that are close to centers of energy. The Paperbox site is one block from the Vivint arena and near Salt Lake City’s public transit and restaurant district.

Haslam says the total deal capitalization will be around $43 million. He says PEG will be developing six to eight additional assets in Utah’s Opportunity Zones, located in Salt Lake, Ogden and Provo.  

“We are also developing in Opportunity Zones in Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota and California. Our total Opportunity Zone program totals more than $750 million in asset value,” says Haslam.

Haslam does have a word of warning to investors. He says with Qualified Opportunity Funds becoming a reality, investors are realizing that there are very few shovel-ready projects for them.

“To get the maximum benefit under the law, an investor needs to contribute their gains to a Qualified Opportunity Fund before the end of 2019,” says Haslam. “We have worked with leading law and tax experts to structure our offering and ultimately provide maximum benefits to investors, while also controlling for some of the major risks and potential pitfalls facing Opportunity Zone projects.”

Project leaders plan to begin preleasing Paperbox Lofts in late 2020. 

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