NFL player LeSean McCoy wants to use opportunity zones to build a real estate empire
LeSean McCoy (25) of the Buccaneers plays the ball during the regular season game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 13, 2020 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Cliff Welch | Icon Sportswire | Getty Images
LeSean McCoy admitted that early in his career he had no idea how to handle finances. McCoy didn’t know how to make money on his big NFL paychecks, and saving up wasn’t an option either.
“Now that I’m in my twelfth year in the league and look at all the investments I’ve made from good to bad, I think I’ve learned,” McCoy told CNBC.
It’s National Financial Literacy Month, and McCoy says he’s more motivated to “generate finance not just for myself but for my family as well.”
Months after his second Super Bowl ring when McCoy was on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster, the 32-year-old player takes advantage of off-season downtime to complete property developments. McCoy and his brother LeRon run real estate company Vice Capital. After McCoy’s game days are almost over, he is taking advantage of the real estate investment route to continue building wealth after the NFL.
“We’re still getting started, but that’s the main goal,” said LeSean. He added that another mission is to help NFL players “learn how to make other money than just play football”.
Use the opportunity zones
Vice Capital invests in distressed real estate in low-income communities and renovates buildings to create new residential units and commercial space.
The McCoy brothers are taking advantage of opportunity zones to develop some properties. The territories were created under the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and offer developers tax incentives for capital gains. They are designed to channel investment into underdeveloped neighborhoods and help increase neighborhood values without triggering rents in rents that would drive residents out of the rebuilt communities.
LeSean’s brother told him about the zones in 2017. However, LeSean said he was skeptical when he learned that the laws were passed under the administration of President Donald Trump. “Who is this really for?” he asked his brother.
Before it became official, the legislation received support from US Senators, including Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). After examining the legislation and determining the tax exemptions, LeSean found it to be a “win-win” situation.
“On the flip side, as a humanitarian worker, you can influence certain communities in need of this change,” added LeRon. “These are usually inner-city areas.”
Former NBA player David Robinson also uses opportunity zones for development.
The McCoy brothers own 60 properties, some of which are run under Vice, including buildings in their hometown of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and in Philadelphia, where he played with the Eagles for six seasons.
“We want to build this empire in real estate,” said LeSean.
LeSean McCoy and his family (Brother LeRon is right).
Source: EAG Sports Management
All about trust
LeRon played in the NFL for the 2005 season with the Arizona Cardinals. LeSean played 12 seasons, was selected for six Pro Bowls, and was a member of the Kansas City Chiefs team that won Super Bowl LIV. According to Spotrac, LeSean made $ 63 million in his career.
LeSean asked his brother to help run Vice, which he launched in 2018, while maintaining his NFL career.
“The hard part for the players is trust,” said LeSean. “My brother is a guy I trust like no other, that’s probably why it works so well with real estate. He’s always teaching me.”
During Covid-19, LeSean trusted LeRon to handle the losses it had suffered as construction halted and residents occupying units were on eviction protection. LeRon didn’t release financial data to CNBC, but said Vice’s losses were less than $ 2 million.
“We’re brothers, but he would fire me,” joked LeRon. “The biggest loss I can see is not the dollars, but the opportunity.”
Prior to the pandemic, LeRon said Vice Capital was negotiating to buy a property near La Salle University in Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood. The property fell in value, but when Covid-19 drove property prices soaring, the owner took it off the market and listed it at twice the previous price, putting it out of Vice’s reach.
LeRon said the pandemic “weighed on things” as materials like wood soared and construction costs soared. “But I would also say that it will also increase the seller’s market,” he added. “Interest rates are cheap and everyone wants to buy.”
Here LeSean trusts his brother again. LeSean advocates selling some properties at high prices in a glowing real estate market. LeRon is against the idea.
“Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don’t,” added LeSean. “But the good thing about our bond is that I can trust him with business.”
However, the McCoy brothers cannot unload the Opportunity Zone properties. Investors receive tax breaks on their capital gains if they keep their money in a selected municipality for at least 10 years.
LeSean McCoy (25) walks the field during Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp on September 3, 2020 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Cliff Welch | Icon Sportswire | Getty Images
What’s next on the field?
Though LeSean relies on his brother for business advice, he has yet to choose his career as the 2021 season approaches. LeSean says he wants to play but wasn’t sure about a team’s interest.
“There are some teams that I probably won’t play for,” he said. “Hopefully other teams can come to an agreement on some things. That has to make sense.”
LeSean recapitulated its 2020 season and said it was “a great experience” playing with Bucs quarterback Tom Brady.
“The whole trip to see him and play with him … I played him when I was playing in Philadelphia (Brady was with New England then). He was like a drill sergeant, and then I actually did Played with him, I could see He’s so intense and smart, “LeSean said. “I’ve never played with a quarterback like that where he’s 43. It was cool to see.”
With retirement near, LeSean said he has options and real estate is the main game. When asked about stocks or investments in Bitcoin, LeSean said he had tried the investments but was no longer interested.
“My thing is real estate,” said LeSean. “That’s something I understand. I don’t have to take someone else’s word for it and the ups and downs – it’s just a lot. With real estate, I can see what’s going on; I can see my money, touch it, and feel it it.”