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Student Housing Property First to Break Ground on Opportunity Zone Program

With all eyes this month on The Kentucky Derby, the executive team at Aptitude Development has found a winning bet.

The Marshall student housing community in Louisville broke ground Oct. 18 to reportedly be the first property to take advantage of the Opportunity Zones program. The 10-story, 231-unit community sits on a 1.5-acre lot near the University of Louisville, offering a unique, unobstructed view of race track Churchill Downs.

As groundbreaking approached, its Principal and Co-Founder Jared Hutter restructured the deal to leverage the program’s valuable tax benefits, Student Housing Business first reported.

“No one has been able to show us a project that broke ground earlier,” Hutter says. “We planned to build at University of Louisville, anyway, and this financing certainly made that decision even easier. Opportunity Zones is great because it encourages development, and given the tax break’s 10-year horizon, it encourages a higher-quality product. More care is taken in the entire construction decision-making when you plan to hold the property because it’s not a build-and-flip project.”

Hutter is positioning the $40 million, 591-bed community’s 8,000 square feet of amenity space on the penthouse floor, facing south, to take advantage of the view of the track. The Marshall also will have a 2,500-square-foot outdoor terrace.

“We wanted to try something new and exciting in how we designed this community,” he says. “There’s nothing else like it in this market.”