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Zions Bank Public Asset Initiative

Zions Bank (Honorable Mention) - Salt Lake City, Utah

2021 Community Commitment Awards Submission

  • Entry Category: Affordable Housing
  • Asset Size: Medium

Smart public asset management is the concept behind a statewide initiative championed by Zions Bank to help public entities in Utah inventory the real estate they own, understand its current and potential value, and eventually partner with the private sector to unlock that value to generate new public revenue and land uses. As an approach to addressing the housing crisis, the public asset initiative at Zions Bank leverages public assets to benefit taxpayers and communities.

Many public entities — the state, cities, counties, school districts, transportation agencies, special districts, etc. — own billions of dollars in real estate assets, including land, buildings and other real asset types. But they often don’t know it. The Zions Bank initiative assumes that smart public asset identification and management involves more than identifying surplus public land to sell or donate for a one-time financial or social benefit; it can also align financial and social incentives through carefully designed commercial endeavors. These projects allow the public to retain the land but partner with the private sector to develop it, generating returns that flow back to public budgets to be invested in infrastructure, education, public services, and other neighborhood, community, and regional development priorities. Smart public asset management can also make land available for affordable housing, new economic development projects, infrastructure improvements and other critical needs. The Zions Bank initiative helps communities define how affordable housing can be a critical part of smart asset management in tandem with a range of other public benefits.