SAN JOSE, Calif., May 28, 2020 — Urban Catalyst, an Opportunity Zone Fund focused on ground-up development projects in Silicon Valley, announced today that its Chief Administrative Officer and Partner Sean Raft has been admitted as a member of the Opportunity Zones (OZ) Working Group, founded by Novogradac.
The OZ Working Group was founded in 2017 to develop consensus-based solutions to technical OZ incentive issues and provide recommendations to make the incentive more efficient in delivering benefits to low-income communities.
“We are pleased to welcome Sean and look forward to the contributions he will make to the working group,” said Michael J. Novogradac, CPA, managing partner of Novogradac & Company. “With his experience as a lawyer and work with Urban Catalyst, Sean is well-suited to join the working group’s efforts to ensure the right incentives are in place to foster projects that help revitalize distressed areas.”
Raft brings substantial experience in real estate, law and securities to the OZ Working Group. At Urban Catalyst, he advises on organizational, financial and legal strategies through management and oversight of outside vendor relationships. Prior to joining Urban Catalyst, Raft served as portfolio manager of a real estate trust with more than $100 million in assets. There, he directly managed business accounts and employees, provided regular financial analysis, pursued investment opportunities, and negotiated and drafted contracts and various other transactional documents.
“I am honored to join the Working Group,” Raft said. “I look forward to contributing first-hand insight from my work with Urban Catalyst and playing a role in addressing the emerging legislative and economic issues relevant to OZs.”
“Novogradac’s OZ Working Group provides industry stewardship and invaluable insight into how the Opportunity Zone program can best improve communities it serves,” said Kelsey Lemaster, Partner, Tax Practice at Goodwin Proctor, LLP. “Sean’s deep expertise, direct experience, and perspective will prove to be a tremendous asset to the Working Group and its important mission.”
About The Opportunity Zones (OZ) Working Group
The Opportunity Zones (OZ) Working Group was established to provide a platform for community development industry participants who wished to be on the leading edge. Members of the group discuss practical applications for using the incentive in various business models, recommended practices for compliance, and issues needing further guidance–and–based on those discussions–provide comments and suggestions that are submitted in writing to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, members of Congress and other federal and state agencies.
About Urban Catalyst
Urban Catalyst Opportunity Fund I LLC (“Urban Catalyst”) is a nationally recognized real estate equity fund focused on ground-up development projects in downtown San Jose. Structured as Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund, Urban Catalyst provides investors potential tax benefits associated with the Opportunity Zone legislation. Urban Catalyst offers a diverse portfolio of assets through investments in seven projects that include office, multi-family, student housing, senior housing (assisted living and memory care), and a hotel. In 2020, Forbes and the Sorenson Impact Center recognized Urban Catalyst as one of the top 10 Opportunity Zone Funds in the inaugural Forbes OZ 20. Learn more at https://www.urbancatalyst.com/.