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Silverstein, Cantor Fitzgerald Launch Opportunity Zone Joint Venture

Larry Silverstein speaks to media at the opening of 3 World Trade Center.

Two institutions in New York real estate are joining forces to get into opportunity zone investing.

Cantor Fitzgerald and Silverstein Properties announced Friday they are forming a qualified opportunity fund together that will invest in properties by third-party developers and fund ground-up developments by Silverstein. The JV will attempt to raise $1.8B in capital, The Real Deal reports.

“We have a unique, long-standing connection with Silverstein Properties and a shared commitment to investing in communities and improving lives,” Cantor Fitzgerald founder and CEO Howard Lutnick said in the announcement. “Silverstein Properties is one of the country’s leading developers, and this joint venture enables us to quickly grow our opportunity zone investments to the benefit of the local communities.”

The JV's $1.8B target is one of the highest numbers put forth among major announced opportunity funds, and like CIM Group's $5B fund and SkyBridge Capital's $3B fund, it plans to focus on zones in major metropolitan areas.

Silverstein and Cantor Fitzgerald's common history goes back to the World Trade Center and the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Silverstein had acquired most of the site's buildings in the preceding months, and Cantor Fitzgerald was headquartered in five floors above where a hijacked plane crashed into Tower 1 — Cantor Fitzgerald lost 68% of its workforce in one day.

Nearly 20 years later, both remain active and prominent in the New York real estate market, though Cantor Fitzgerald spinoff Newmark Group has struggled in the year after its initial public offering. Silverstein delivered the massive Three World Trade Center in 2018.