First Financial Northwest Bank announced that it is providing construction financing for the first Qualified Opportunity Zone project to break ground in Seattle. Affordable housing project Canton Lofts is a multifamily development that will deliver 80 units of LEED Silver workforce housing and a 2,400 square foot ground floor retail space in the Pioneer Square neighborhood in late 2020. The Opportunity Zone program was included in the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 signed into law on December 22, 2017, and is designed to provide tax incentives to investors who fund businesses in underserved communities. The construction funding may qualify for consideration under the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 in meeting the credit needs of the community serviced by the Bank, including low and moderate income neighborhoods.
“We are very pleased to participate in the first opportunity zone project to break ground in Seattle,” said Kiley. “The project combines our expertise in construction/land lending in the region with our interest in bringing additional socially responsible, affordable housing to markets where there is a clear demonstrated need.” Kiley continued, “This project, which we hope is the first of many, complements our long history of working directly and with specific organizations to provide funding for affordable housing to low- to moderate-income individuals and families.”