One of the first opportunity zone projects in Santa Ana is underway, headed by Diamond Bar investment firm Primior.
The developer recently started construction on the first of two planned projects it is working on in the city, a 40,000-square-foot mixed-use development at the intersection of North Harbor Boulevard and West First Street.
It’s already inked deals for two tenants at the two-building office and retail property called First Harbor Plaza: Chase Bank and Optima Salon Suites.
The site previously held a 67,953-square-foot commercial building.
A second Primior project in Santa Ana, called Westfair Plaza, calls for a new office and retail building at 2530 Westminster Ave.
Primior acquired the land for the two projects in 2017 after the Opportunity Zone program was created by the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, which is designed to revitalize economically distressed communities through private investment, allowing investors to defer and avoid capital gains taxes on funds invested in designated communities.
Some $5 billion in zone-related funds were invested last year; this year, the figure is projected to run close to $100 billion.
“We are very pleased to be developing one of the first properties of this type in Santa Ana under this important program,” said Primior Chief Executive Johnney Zhang in a statement. “The positive impact this innovative financing model will have on the local community in terms of strong economic opportunities and an enhanced quality of life has led us to seek out areas where we can make a contribution.”