Bloomberg Businessweek

Tax Breaklandia

Large swaths of Portland now qualify for a suite of federal incentives. Developers are circling
Portland’s Central Eastside is one of several neighborhoods designated as an opportunity zone

On a wet December evening, Mark Goodman steers a black Mercedes SUV into an open-air parking lot, one of dozens of development sites his family owns across downtown Portland, Ore. This one, he says, will be a $206 million tower with ground-floor retail, six floors of offices, and more than 200 luxury apartments. Amenities will include a yoga studio and roof deck. But the centerpiece will be a swimming pool that cantilevers out of the eighth floor. “The one thing I can say absolutely with certainty—it’ll be the finest forrent product in the city,” Goodman says. It’s also eligible for a U.S. tax break meant to help the poor.

Portland is about to see a flurry of construction because of a provision in the 2017 tax overhaul that led to the creation of more than 8,700 “opportunity zones” across the country—areas that, in theory, have been ignored by investors and need generous tax breaks to catch up. But Oregon did an audacious thing: It selected the entire

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