Caliber, a fully integrated alternative asset manager and Opportunity Zone investor today announced the purchase of the lease rights for 100 acres of land to begin developing The Riverwalk Development project, located in the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC).

The proposed Riverwalk property is located alongside the 101 Freeway from Talking Stick Way on the south to Via de Ventura on the north in a Qualified Opportunity Zone. Current plans include splitting the almost 100 acres into seven parcels where mixed-use entertainment, retail, restaurants, hotels, event venues and immersive art attractions will be featured. The land lease includes the underlying leases for the existing Hampton Inn and Topgolf entertainment venue.

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Approximately 78 acres of the project will be one of the first investments by Caliber’s Tax Advantaged Opportunity Zone Fund II, LLC, a $250 million equity fund targeted to invest in a diversified portfolio of real estate properties and real estate-related equity investments in select opportunity zones located in high-growth markets across the Southwest U.S.  This fund also seeks to provide equity for vertical development on this site, in partnership with developers or for Caliber sponsored developments.

“This is a terrific opportunity to develop a premier entertainment and multi-use destination in Scottsdale, working closely with the SRPMIC,” said Chris Loeffler, Chief Executive Officer of Caliber. “Investing in opportunity zones enables us to create compelling community impact while also delivering attractive returns and tax savings for our investors.”

Jim Riggs, partner at Platinum Advisors, LLC, worked for four years to obtain the right to purchase the land lease.  Riggs saw Caliber as an investor and potential partner because of its expertise in developing projects within qualified opportunity zones as well as its extensive experience with mixed-use projects.  Platinum Advisors, LLC and Caliber Realty Group, LLC represented Caliber as the buyers’ broker on the project.

“Caliber was my first call when the land was secured because of their experience and reputation,” said Riggs.

“This area will become the epicenter of entertainment for all age groups in Scottsdale and one of the top visited areas in the state once this development is complete,” said Chris Camacho, President of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC). 

In addition to the Talking Stick Casino and the Topgolf venue, The Riverwalk development is located near the Talking Stick Fields and Pavilions retail shopping center. With easy accessibility from the entire Valley as well as local resorts, Camacho believes this Development will become a prime location for people seeking a variety of fun experiences.

Caliber was one of the first firms in the country to create a Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund (QOF) and, today, is among the top 7% of QOF managers ranked by equity amounts raised according to Novogradac Opportunity Zones Investment Report. QOFs offer investors the ability to reduce and eliminate short and long-term capital gains tax liabilities by investing in a professionally managed real estate fund and completing new developments that are impactful to the designated communities within each zone.

Created in late 2017 as part of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, these funds help stimulate economic growth in distressed communities across the country. Investors who hold the fund longer than 10 years will receive their capital gains from the growth of their QOF investment tax-free.