3/13/19 8:55 AM 4 min read

Opportunity Zones Can Be a Win/Win for Commercial Builders and Investors


As a company providing services to customers in the Northeast Ohio region since 1981, Roberts Roofing Company is invested in improving the communities we serve. That’s why we’re particularly interested in a provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that allows for opportunity zones.

What Are Opportunity Zones?

Simply put, opportunity zones are an economic development tool meant to encourage investment in low-income communities in exchange for tax advantages. Benefits include tax deferral and permanent exclusion from taxable income of capital gains. The longer the property is held, the greater the tax break. In fact, there would be no capital gains on qualified investments held for 10 years or longer.

The Advantage to Commercial Builders and Developers

In addition to improving distressed communities, commercial builders, in particular, have an outstanding opportunity to benefit from newly created qualified opportunity zones (QOZs). The QOZ property must be acquired after December 31, 2017. If it’s an existing property, the fund must substantially improve the property by at least the purchase price within 30 months following the acquisition. The “property” does not have to be real estate necessarily and could be a business interest.

How Do Roofs Help a Property Qualify?

QOZs in Northeast Ohio are located in commercial districts and include industrial land in economically distressed areas. Those investing in existing commercial properties within a QOZ that substantially improve a building will have a good chance of qualifying for the tax incentive. In most cases, structural improvements will include a new roof. Replacing a commercial roof with the right waterproofing system will help improve the property’s value and meet QOZ qualifications.

It will be important for developers to partner with a qualified commercial roofer with experience in working with complex building projects in Cleveland, including those requiring special equipment to work in tight spaces. You will also want to hire a roofer with experience in working with multiple roofing systems and structural challenges. Our professionals can help those investing in QOZs determine the need for repairs, partial or total roof replacement.

The first step for developers and other investors is to have the roof evaluated to determine the scope of work needed to increase the property value within federal QOZ guidelines. Remember, the longer the investment is held, the better the tax benefits. A sound, high-quality roof protecting your investment will go a long way in securing your full value, and that of the community you are improving.

Roberts Roofing Company has been a leading provider of innovative commercial and industrial roofing solutions in Cleveland, Ohio since 1981. We provide commercial repair, replacement and maintenance to serve companies of all sizes in Ohio and the surrounding region, offering a combination of technical expertise, custom solutions and quality workmanship for every project.

To find out more about selecting a commercial roofer in Cleveland, Ohio, simply fill out the form on this page and a member of our team will be in touch. Or, you may call us at (440) 946-2233.