At least some struggling neighborhoods are starting to receive investment.
In Birmingham, for example, a developer uses opportunity zone funds to convert a ten-year vacant building into 140 apartments primarily aimed at the local work force.
"We are seeing projects being announced here in Alabama that would not have happened otherwise," said Alex Flachsbart, founder of Opportunity Alabama, which is trying to steer investors into neighborhood financial hardship.
Similar projects are underway in Erie, Cleveland and Charlottesville, Va. Goldman Sachs is using some of its capital gains ̵
Mr. Case, the AOL founder, and Derrick Morgan, a former professional footballer, are among those who have announced that they will invest in opportunity zone projects designed to solve clear social and financial problems.
As he announced when he retired from the Tennessee Titans in July, Morgan wrote on Instagram that his goal would be to "create more opportunities for those who are undervalued and overlooked" in communities like Coatesville, Pa. attended high school.  Emanuel J. Friedman, a hedge fund manager, is using some of his capital gains and money he has raised from others to build 11 warehouses in rural Jasper County, SC, near the port city of Savannah. The warehouses will not employ many people, but he said the jobs will offer higher salaries than hotel cleaning positions at the nearby Hilton Head resort, where many residents of the area now work.
"Of course it will make a difference," Mr. … said Friedman. “It's overwhelming. It's the best thing I've ever done. "