Opportunity Zones Offer Attractive Option for the Right Investor

by Johnney Zhang, CEO, Primior

Featured in Orange County Business Journal 


The Opportunity Zone program was created by the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act to revitalize economically distressed communities through long-term private investment as opposed to taxpayer dollars. Opportunity Zones have now been designated in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. possessions.

Currently, there are 879 Opportunity Zones in the state of California. A study by CA FWD and Golden State Opportunity indicates a potential for $745 million to $1.2 billion in new economic activity in Opportunity Zones this year.

Investors in a Qualified Opportunity Zone can benefit from substantial federal capital gains tax incentives available exclusively through the program. Moreover, in comparison to other programs that encourage private investment in low-income areas through tax advantages, the Opportunity Zone program is less restrictive, costly or reliant upon government agencies.

Regulations and Guidelines Continue to Emerge

Although the program has been in place for about two years, regulations and guidelines have emerged over the course of that period and continue to do so. That’s one reason it is important to work with a knowledgeable partner when it comes to evaluating and investing in an Opportunity Zone fund. At Primior, we are closely monitoring the progress of these regulations and guidelines in order to provide the best counsel to potential investors.

Currently, the tax benefits of such investments apply to federal capital gains tax obligations only. However, many states (including California) are debating the potential for applying these incentives at the state level as well.

“Opportunity Zones provide an excellent opportunity to revitalize low-income areas in California,” said Lenny Mendonca, chief economic and business advisor to Governor Newsom. “In order to move the economic needle for millions of Californians who are struggling, attracting investment in areas where they live is sound policy that can help us meet our objective of making California’s economy more sustainable and inclusive.”

Momentum Builds with Clear Advantages

As the program has become clarified, it has gained strong momentum in recent months with attention from investment managers and individual investors looking for a reliable means of sheltering previous capital gains as well as taxes on real estate investment income.

The bottom line is that taxes on capital gains invested in an Opportunity Zone fund are progressively reduced by a total of 15% over a 7-year period, while taxes on gains from earnings associated with the fund are not taxed at all if the investment stays in place for a10-year period.

Is an Opportunity Fund the Right Fit?

While the fundamental benefits of Opportunity Zone investing are fairly straightforward, the next question is whether the program makes good sense for all investors. The answer to that query, as with any potential investment, is “it depends.”

Opportunity Zones may not be the best option for traditional real estate investors who are used to investing in projects with a three- to five-year horizon or who typically plan to reinvest gains from a property sale into another or additional properties via something like a 1031 exchange.

The fundamental consideration here is that Opportunity Zone investments must remain in place for a span of 10 years in order to derive the full tax advantages. In other words, it is akin to a 401(k) or a “buy and hold” strategy where the investor should be prepared for the time commitment required.

That said, of course, earnings from the investment will accrue on a regular basis. But, again, the investment must endure over the 10 years for gains tax on those earnings to be waived.

Another aspect to consider is the requirement that the rollover of gains into an Opportunity Zone fund must be made within six months. That can be a challenge for many investors. Primior addresses this issue by being the developer of properties that are then ready for Opportunity Zone fund investment.

Our approach also helps address another consideration, which is the requirement that existing properties in an Opportunity Zone must be substantially improved within 30 months or have their original use commence with the opportunity fund in the opportunity zone.

If these parameters are a good fit for an investor’s strategy and needs, an Opportunity Zone fund can be a solid option for deferring and reducing capital gains taxes from the sale of a range of assets including real estate, a business, artwork and so on.

Localized Expertise and Community Involvement

It is also very important that the developer be knowledgeable and experienced in collaborating with local governmental entities to help ensure that projects are located and designed in ways that benefit the community.

Primior currently has two Opportunity Zone projects underway in Santa Ana:

First Harbor Plaza. Mix of retail, dining and office use in 40,129 sq. ft. in a pedestrian friendly design consistent with the goals of the North Harbor Specific Plan. Groundbreaking is set for June 26, 2019.

Westfair Plaza. Within walking distance to Santa Ana College, a 10-minute driving from Orange County Outlets, and 6.5 miles from Disneyland.

An Integrated Approach

As we’ve noted, the investment in an Opportunity Zone fund requires a 10-year commitment to derive its full tax benefits. In addition, the potential ongoing earnings from the fund investment should also be an important criteria.

Primior develops its own Opportunity Zone projects with a uniquely integrated suite of services tailored to expedite the process and reduce costs. Our experience in real estate finance and management, coupled with our development knowledge and experience, gives us a deep understanding of what it takes to make projects successful.

Our in-house services include architecture and design, development management, construction management, asset management, property management, leasing, acquisition and sales, and financing. This strategy enables us to maximize returns while minimizing risk.

Plus, we also offer other investment programs such as traditional real estate development projects, REITs, and EB-5 projects for foreign investors.

Johnney Zhang

Primior Founder and CEO Johnney Zhang focuses on maximizing the income potential of real estate properties to grow the firm’s client portfolios quickly and with minimal risk. Zhang’s unique expertise in real estate development and investment management spans high-end commercial properties, luxury custom homes and multi-family properties. He leverages that expertise to formulate a distinctive portfolio for each client.


About Primior

Primior is a strategic real estate development firm offering a uniquely integrated suite of services and resources to maximize returns for its investors. The full-service firm with a uniquely integrated suite of capabilities is focused on generating attractive, risk-adjusted returns for investors over the long term. Its deep expertise, professional team and cutting-edge technology combine to deliver superior levels of value, income generation and return on investment. www.primior.com

Studies in Business Transformation: Sinan Kanatsiz

By Mark Samuel, featured in Thrive Global

Joining me today is Sinan Kanatsiz, the CEO of both KCOMM, a PR & Marketing firm as well as the IMA (Internet Marketing Association) – of which IMPAQ and my wife Kamin & I are members.

Sinan Kanatsiz has effectively made his mark as an entrepreneur in the United States. His parents migrated from Turkey in the late 1960’s. In 1998, while studying for a master’s degree at Chapman University, Kanatsiz followed his entrepreneurial spirit and formalized his first company, KCOMM, a Public Relations and Internet marketing agency. The company quickly evolved into a full-service marketing, government affairs and event marketing firm known for its Internet expertise and results-oriented approach.

Thank you for connecting with us for this conversation!  Please share with us the story of how you decided to pursue your businesses.

My father thought I was very good at selling lasagna because I was a waiter at the Olive Garden. That became a career in public relations. It was just as simple as that!  My dad thought since I had really good communication skills, I can persuade, and am very good at marketing so therefore I should go into P.R.

That really was a home run, because it was a perfect match for the degree that I wanted and it was a natural ability of mine, so the two coming together were great. One of the inter-term courses I took was on how to build a web page, back when the internet was just evolving. I mixed my communication skills, a degree in PR and learning how to code basic html into a business and  became the chairman and founder of the Internet Marketing Association. The IMA is a worldwide professional association with a very extensive and international membership. (The only prerequisite is having a college degree.)

This all evolved around things that I was already good at naturally – and the timing of the internet as a whole new industry and a whole new marketplace was great.


Read the full article here 


Industry 4.0 – The Future of Humanity in the Smart Machine Age

“Industry 4.0: The Future of Humanity in the Smart Machine Age” is the pinnacle academic conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School and exploring its vision for the future. You won’t want to miss this extraordinary day exploring the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the competencies required to thrive in a new business landscape shaped by powerful advances in technologies like automation, AI, and machine learning.

Featured Speakers

  • Steve Wozniak, Co-founder, Apple Computer
  • Salim Ismail, Founding Executive Director, Singularity University
  • Alison Lewis, Chief Marketing Officer, Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc.
  • Alex Grimwade, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Twentieth Century Fox Television
  • Dalana Brand, Vice President of People Rewards and Experience, Twitter
  • Bob Johansen, Distinguished Fellow and Past President, Institute for the Future
  • John Figueroa, Former CEO, Genoa Healthcare
  • Denise Roberson, CEO, Jadi Communications

As a valued partner of the Graziadio Business School, the IMA has secured a discounted rate of just $99 ($155 value), which also includes complimentary admission to a special networking event immediately following the conference. Space is limited and tickets are available on a first come first served basis.

Please select the Pepperdine Partner ticket type and use the following code at checkout: PEPPFRIENDS 


30 Behaviors That Will Make You Unstoppable in 2019

Written by Benjamin Hardy  

How different is your life, right now, from where you were 12 months ago?

If it’s quite similar, then you haven’t been learning very much. To learn, by nature, is to change and evolve.

In order to change and evolve, you need to regularly create peak experiences — those moments which create deep awe, gratitude, and a shift in how you see yourself and the world.

When was your last peak experience?

What was the last time you flexed your courage muscles?

When was the last time you tried something that might not work?

If you’re ready to make wild progress during 2019, you need to make some tweaks.

This isn’t anything to be upset, distraught, or frustrated about. Life is, inherently, a learning experience.

Life is beautiful.

You get to have fun with it.

One thing that is really beautiful about moving forward intensely in your future is that, simultaneously, you change your memory about the past.

The past, regardless of what it has been — great or disappointing — will change in meaning as you make new decisions in your future.

Your future is flexible. Your past is also flexible. What you have is now.

You get to decide what you’re going to do. You get to decide how you’re going to live.

Look around… No one is stopping you. Want to make a shift?

Here are 30 behaviors to get you started:


Job Opportunity – Pretend City Children’s Museum

Social Media Coordinator wanted!

Are you a storyteller with marketing experience? At Pretend City we are looking for someone to take our social media presence to the next level. We are looking for someone with a proven track record as a social media specialist and capable of managing multiple social media platforms with the most up-to-date trends and tactics for social engagement.

You must be comfortable with the major social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.) and possess a basic understanding of social media marketing best practices.  A background in SEO and Google Adwords are a plus!


  • Manage, organize and maintain editorial/paid calendar campaigns, with post drafted and schedule for future publications
  • Monitor & track performance of posts and update strategy to optimize future posts.
  • Write copy and press releases for events and special programs.
  • Develop new content, implement new strategy, and monitor all social media platforms, (ex, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
  • Monitor and track performance of posts and constantly update social media strategy to optimize future posts.
  • Set up email newsletters.
  • Develop and implement a social media strategy.
  • Provides reports and feedback about posts/campaigns.

Qualifications for Position

Ideal applicants have:

  • A positive, flexible attitude.
  • Pursuing or completed a degree in English, Communications, Marketing, Graphic Design, or a related field.
  • Social media expertise 2 or more years in a similar role.
  • Experience with MailChimp or similar program.
  • Exceptional customer service.
  • Experience in social media management tools.
  • An exceptional ability to convey a story both written/verbally that encourages interaction and social sharing.
  • Strong editing and proofreading skills.
  • Knowledge of web writing tactics and how to optimize content for SEO.
  • Have excellent time management skills and able to meet time sensitive deadlines.
  • Ability to work independently and in a team environment.
  • Familiar with Microsoft Office suite and Adobe Creative Cloud.
  • Skill/interest in video, photography or graphic design is considered a plus.

Full Benefits including medical, dental, vision, and vacation.

Job Type: Full-time


Social Media Marketing: 2 years

Marketing: 2 years


If Interested, please contact:

Leslie Perovich

Sr. Director of Development & Marketing

949-428-3900 x 224

www.pretendcity.org      leslie.perovich@pretendcity.org

Evite Launches New Premium Product Offerings

Evite, the world’s leading online and text invitation service, today announced the company has launched an array of enhanced Evite® Premium product offerings, including a new Annual Premium Pass option available to its 100+ million annual users.

The Evite Premium experience includes fully customizable digital invitations, envelopes, stamps and inserts. It provides the flexibility and ease of digital invitations with the look and feel of printed invitations, all in an advertisement-free experience. Evite Premium is ideal for professional use, corporate events, office holiday parties, open houses, and party hosts who simply want to set their events apart.

Evite’s first-ever Annual Premium Pass allows customers to access unlimited Evite Premium digital invitations for a period of 12 months for one low annual price. While Evite will also continue to offer ‘per event’ pricing for its Premium products, the Annual Premium Pass will save money for most customers who host more than two events per year.

“Our Evite Premium invitation service caters to event hosts who want to treat their guests to the utmost in design and functionality in an ad-free environment,” said Victor Cho, Chief Executive Officer of Evite. “Customer feedback on our new Evite Premium product offerings and pricing has been extremely positive, and we look forward to continuing to grow this important segment of our business.”

“As the world’s leading digital invitation service, Evite continues to enhance our customer experience with new features and functionality including text invitations, charitable donations, and more,” continued Cho. “Evite makes it effortless to get together with friends and family for any occasion.”

View Evite’s new video here and visit https://www.evite.com/premium-invitations for more information.

About Evite (www.evite.com)

For 20 years, Evite has been the world’s leading digital platform for bringing people together. With free, easy-to-use invitation designs, inspirational video content, and a private sharing feed for photos and conversations, Evite makes coming together face-to-face effortless and more memorable for its 100+ million annual users. The company has sent over 2 billion event invitations in its history and currently handles hundreds of millions of RSVPs every year. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Evite is a subsidiary of GCI Liberty, Inc. (NASDAQ: GLIBA, GLIBP). Launched in 1998, the company is celebrating its 20th birthday at evite.com/birthday.


IEC Summer Event Accomplishes Thought Leadership of Wellness in the Workplace

July 20th, 2018


On a July summer night filled with over 200+ CEOs and leaders throughout Southern California, the IEC hosted a magical evening that blended thought leaders around the topic of “Wellness in the Workplace” with great experiences and warm executive networking.


The night included an atmosphere of elegance that started with tray passed gourmet appetizers and ended with synchronized swimmers performing in a crystal blue pool framed above the Pacific Ocean.

A detailed photo and video gallery can be found here.

  John Cain speaks

The topic was, “The Cost of Waiving Wellness: Building Health and Wellbeing into Workplace Design,” at the Lozowski home in Crystal Cove, Newport Coast.

Workspaces have a significant yet often unseen impact on mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. These environments are being transformed through innovations in design thinking, ergonomic furniture and technology integration. The results include healthier and happier employees, a more motivated and productive workforce, and reductions in absenteeism.

Providing their unique insights on the importance of this topic and the latest trends were:

  • Joe Lozowski, CEO and President, Tangram Interiors
  • Nick Payzant, CEO, Cerna Healthcare
  • Ashley Gilliam, Regional Healthcare Manager, Steelcase (supported by two Steelcase executives)
  • John Cain, Principal, CAIN Group at Pacific Sothebys International Reality

New approaches to workplace design address physical factors such as improving posture and movement along with reducing eye strain and stress. In addition, progressive workplaces are incorporating options for collaborative and private work as well as lifestyle amenities such as cafes with healthy foods, fitness centers and recreation spaces.

 Crystal Cove Home

In addition to its core furniture offering, Tangram operates five business units for a comprehensive approach to workplace design and installation that encompasses custom furniture, technology, flooring, walls, lighting, noise cancellation, furniture and facility revitalization, and move management.

We welcome you or your associates to join the IEC. For membership, please contact Liz Mirand, Team Leader at liz@iecnetwork.org


Nationally Recognized, Latham and Watkins IP Leader, Perry Viscounty, joins IEC as founding member

Written by Sinan Kanatsiz, Founder, International Executive Council (IEC)

The International Executive Council is a business leadership organization focused on innovation, growth, and impacting the next generation. 

July 18, 2018 

Dear IEC Member and Friends, 

Please help me welcome my good friend, Perry Viscounty, Attorney at Latham and Watkins LLP, as our next confirmed founding member of the International Executive Council (IEC). We have included his bio and LinkedIn profile below for your review.   He has been a long-time contributor to the industry on all matters related to Intellectual Property and has spoken at various IMA Conferences over the past two decades.

Perry brings extensive experience to the IEC. Mr. Viscounty has handled a variety of matters throughout the world including trademark, patent, copyright, trade secret, domain name, right of publicity, unfair competition, false advertising and defamation cases, as well as internet related issues.

Mr. Viscounty is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a member of the International Trademark Association and an arbitrator for the World Intellectual Property Organization. Mr. Viscounty graduated from USC with his B.S. in Business Administration and then continued to USC’s Law School where he is now on the Board of Councilors at the USC Gould School of Law.

He has spoken on topics including trademarks, social media and IP licensing disputes; and has written extensively on intellectual property and technology issues. 

IEC is the Place to Be – Member Installation Highlights

Written by Sinan Kanatsiz, Chairman, IMA, Co-founder, IEC

IEC is where you need to be – from politicians to stylists… the International Executive Council has it all! Whether you are looking to share your expertise or in need of some new connections there are endless possibilities within our group that continues to grow in both quantity and quality.

We saw this yesterday afternoon in a room full of new IEC members at our bi-annual installation meeting at our offices in the Irvine Spectrum. They each shared their passions in life and how they could benefit each other. When looking around the room, impressions were made from all the exciting stories being told. The comfortable environment allowed members to reconnect with each other and also introduce new members.  What moved me was our member’s combined stories about their children, travels, charitable contributions and talents (we’ve got a singer, a long-distance driver, magician, golf professional and UFC fighter among them!) – only a fraction of time was spent talking about business. As my good friend and mentor Jim Doti always says – people like to work with people, not companies. By unmasking the human behind the brand, we are onto some unbelievable magic!

There aren’t two members of the IEC that are the same, but sure do find things in common, FAST! At this event, an accounting professional could bond with a lawyer as well as a professional golfer with a real estate investor. All members bring something unique to the table. This is why we focus on bespoke level events that continue to strengthen the relationships and bonds being built. We also celebrated together over $11,000 in non-profit giving to over 10 charities by our organization in just 8 short months of being established.

I’d love for you to join the IEC and be part of our ever-growing family. If interested, shoot me an email at sinan@iecnetwork.org – and I’ll put you in touch with Liz Mirand our team leader. We have a series of signature events, conferences, trips and life experiences planned through 2020 as together, we flip through the first few chapters of a bucket-list novel that continues to grow in interest and diversity. Hats off to our administrative leaders, Liz Mirand, Brady Lastinger, Britt Armstrong, Shaye McClory and Hall Roosevelt for their invaluable event coordination and assistance.

Full photo gallery at: https://www.facebook.com/pg/IMAnetwork/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1967409909944664

Tangram Interiors Hosts Panel on the Evolution of Technology in the Workplace at its Downtown Los Angeles Showroom

Tangram Interiors, a curator of highly creative commercial interior environments and workspaces, yesterday (June 6, 2018) held a special event addressing “The Evolution of Technology in the Workplace.” The event was held at the Tangram office and showroom in downtown Los Angeles.

Panelists sharing their expertise and thought leadership were Joe Lozowski, CEO of Tangram Interiors; Ted Heisler, Vice President of Ware Malcomb; Sean Spear, Associate with Hughes Marino LA; and Victor Cho, CEO of Evite. The discussion covered the balance between space and culture, the harmonious integration of technology into the workplace and the benefits of a collaborative environment.

The following questions were posed to the distinguished panelists:

•             What is your perspective on interior work environments?

•             How important is a good workspace and how do you define that?

•             What is the future of technology integration with furniture into the workspace?

•             How do you think technology has changed the way we work today?

•             Have you measured work efficiency, outputs and productivity in your workplace?

•             What trends do you see happening in the interior markets with design and tech infusion?


Among the key points made by the group were:

•             Low unemployment is driving companies to be more purposeful.

•             Creative workspaces are now a given in the competition for attracting talent.

•             An inspiring workplace increases productivity, profitability and creativity.

•             Technology needs to look like it belongs in the space.

•             Productivity in meetings has gone down, technology is an answer.

•             Organizations can leverage technology to support their brand.

•             Millennials will make up half the workforce by 2020, the first generation to grow up with technology.

•             Younger generations expect a work environment that is different, non-traditional.


“The first impression has to be, ‘I can work here.’ That’s the foundation of an effective and attractive workplace, a place where people want to go vs. having to go,” said Lozowski. “Everything we do today is designed around technology. And everything we do must support technology.”

The Tangram Interiors DTLA facility is located in the historic Collection Building in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. It features an array of custom workstations and furniture, artisanal lighting fixtures, origami acoustic felt, graphic window displays, a seamlessly integrated conference table, and technology integrations from the latest innovations in large-scale displays to the Microsoft Surface Hub for collaboration.

In addition to its core furniture offering, Tangram Interiors operates five business units for a complete approach to workplace design and installation: flooring, architecture walls, custom furniture, move management and technology. The Tangram Studio division is focused on custom and co-designed workplaces, while Tangram Technology creates unified ecosystems incorporating audiovisual, acoustics, lighting and sound masking. This range of services allows for a top-to-bottom approach that places each aspect of office planning, design and installation under careful consideration to maximize utility and comfort for the people who make organizations run.


For information on Tangram Interiors and its full capabilities, go to www.tangraminteriors.com.