“Meet the OZ Webinar Speakers – Seth Dunlap”
This week in “Meet the OZ Webinar Speakers,” we’ll be speaking with Seth Dunlap, Founding Partner at Hotbed Entertainment Group, during our previous Opportunity Zones webinar on August 14. Hotbed Entertainment Group, which includes key players behind Blue Man Group and other now-iconic stage productions, is developing new music and theater venues in New Orleans and three other cities in the U.S.
The Hotbed Music Hall businesses will all be located within the cities’ Opportunity Zones (OZs) and will each house a restaurant, bar and “unique, hybrid live music immersive theater show.”
This is the first Opportunity Zone Fund for Hotbed Entertainment Group, and we asked Seth a few questions about the OZ program and why it’s important to Hotbed Entertainment Group.
How does the OZ program align with Hotbed’s vision and values? Social impact? Arts?
The program naturally aligns with our vision — we are a company built on creative collaboration that creates economic and social impact by providing long term investment and sustainable job creation in the communities we serve. This means high quality, well-paying jobs that last long after a construction project has been completed and the initial benefits of the opportunity zone program have been realized.
We will create lasting impact by delivering, on average, 100 high-quality jobs at each property with career development opportunities for a diverse workforce of local residents. Many of these jobs will go to artists and performers, supporting the cultural framework of these communities. We will prioritize the adaptive reuse of historic buildings, so the fabric of the neighborhoods will be maintained and improved.
How much has Hotbed learned about the OZ program since signing up to watch one of our webinars to now being a guest speaker in one of our webinars?
After hearing about the OZ program in 2018 from one of our initial investor prospects, founding partner, Todd Perlmutter signed up for an NESF | JTC webinar to learn more about opportunity zones. That webinar kick-started the idea of restructuring our approach to raising capital and we created the Omni Impact Opportunity Fund. NESF | JTC’s OZ webinar provided a solid foundation for understanding the possibilities of the program and the compatibility of the Hotbed Entertainment Group’s business. In our initial real estate search, all the buildings we were considering were in OZ’s. Our process was specific and required historic structures that we could restore, fully build-out, and load in a destination entertainment business. With the NESF | JTC webinar, we learned that our project was a perfect match for the opportunity zone program and would provide the support we needed to fully execute our long-term vision and plan.
What is the single most difficult part of putting an OZ fund?
Educating investors about the benefits of combining the real estate with the qualified opportunity zone business (QOZB). This is a new program for everyone and naturally, people gravitate to where their expertise lies. Very few investors have experience investing in both real estate and an entertainment business. Now that more guidance has been provided, excitement is building for the long-term value creation potential of QOZB’s. We believe the biggest upside of the entire OZ program is the open-ended growth opportunity of these operating businesses. We have combined owning the real estate and an operating business into one fund for a more balanced, diversified, long-term investment offering. NESF | JTC continues to be a meaningful partner in our effort to seek like-minded investors who will find value in what we have structured. Omni Impact Opportunity Fund is ready to deploy capital gains immediately.
To find out more of what Seth has to say about Opportunity Zones, attend our webinar and register below.
Meet the OZ Webinar Speakers