NFL player LeSean McCoy wants to build real estate empire using Opportunity Zones


LeSean McCoy (25) of the Buccaneers kicks 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

National Football League running back LeSean McCoy admitted he had no idea how to handle finances earlier in his career. McCoy didn’t know how to make money with his big NFL paychecks, and saving wasn’t an option either.

“Now that I’m in my 12th year in the league, looking at all the investments I’ve made from good to bad, I think I’ve learned,” McCoy told TBEN.

It’s National Financial Literacy Month, and McCoy says he’s more motivated to “generate money not just for myself but also for my family.”

Months after getting his second Super Bowl ring, when McCoy was on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster, the 32-year-old is using the off-season downtime to complete real estate developments. McCoy and his brother LeRon run real estate company Vice Capital. With McCoy’s playing days almost over, he uses the real estate investing route to continue building wealth after the NFL.

“We’re still in the start-up phase, but that’s the main focus,” said LeSean. He added that another mission is to help NFL players learn “how to make money other than playing football.”

Using Opportunity Zones

Vice Capital invests in distressed properties in low income communities, renovating buildings to create new housing units and commercial space.

The McCoy brothers use areas of opportunity to develop certain properties. The zones were created as part of the 2017 Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and provide developers with tax incentives for capital gains. They are designed to direct investment to underdeveloped sections of cities and help increase the value of neighborhoods without triggering a rent increase that would drive out residents of reconstructed communities.

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LeSean’s brother told him about the zones in 2017. But LeSean said he was skeptical when he learned the legislation was passed under President Donald Trump’s administration. “Who is this really for?” he asked his brother.

Before becoming official, the legislation was supported by U.S. Senators, including Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). After researching the legislation and identifying the tax exemptions, LeSean determined it was a “win-win”.

“And on the other hand, as a humanitarian you are able to affect certain communities that need this change,” LeRon added. “These are generally downtown neighborhoods.”

Former NBA player David Robinson is also using development opportunity zones.

The McCoy brothers have 60 properties, some of which operate under Vice, including buildings in the hometown of Harrisburg, Pa., And Philadelphia and where he played with the Eagles for six seasons.

“We want to build this empire in real estate,” LeSean said.

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 part of the Kansas City Chiefs team that won Super Bowl LIV. LeSean has earned $ 63 million in his career, according to Spotrac.

LeSean asked his brother to help run Vice, which he launched in 2018, while continuing his NFL career.

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“The hardest part for players is to trust,” said LeSean. “My brother is a guy I don’t trust like everyone else, which is probably why it works so well with real estate. He’s constantly teaching me.”

During Covid-19, LeSean trusted LeRon to handle the accumulated losses for the company as construction was halted and residents occupying the units were provided with eviction protection. LeRon did not disclose the financial data to TBEN, but said Vice’s losses were less than $ 2 million.

“We’re brothers, but he would fire me,” LeRon joked. “The biggest loss I can identify is not the money but the opportunity.”

Prior to the pandemic, LeRon said Vice Capital was in negotiations to buy a property near La Salle University in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. The property’s value declined, but when Covid-19 drove up real estate prices, the owner took it off the market and then put it back on sale at double the previous price, putting it out of the market. scope of Vice.

LeRon said the pandemic “has put a strain on things” as materials like wood have skyrocketed, driving up construction costs. “But I would also say that it made the seller’s market more amplified,” he added. “The interest levels are cheap and everyone wants to buy.”

This is where LeSean trusts his brother again. LeSean is in favor of selling some properties at high prices in a hot real estate market. LeRon is against the idea.

“Sometimes we agree on things, and sometimes we don’t,” LeSean added. “But the good thing about our bond is that I can trust him with business.”

However, the McCoy brothers cannot offload the properties of the Zone of Opportunity. Investors get tax breaks on their capital gains if they leave their money in a selected community for at least 10 years.

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LeSean McCoy (25) crosses 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 the next step in the field?

Although LeSean relies on his brother for business advice, he has yet to decide his career as the 2021 season approaches. LeSean says he wants to play but remains uncertain of a team’s interest.

“There are teams I probably won’t play for who have reached out,” he said. “Other teams, I hope we can come to an agreement on some things. It must make sense.”

Recapping his 2020 season, LeSean said playing with Bucs quarterback Tom Brady was a “great experience.”

“The whole trip, to see him and play with him… I clashed against him when I played in Philadelphia (Brady was with New England then). He was like a drill sergeant, then playing with him, I could see him. He’s so intense and smart, “said LeSean.” I’ve never played with a quarterback like this where he’s 43. It was cool to see. “

If retirement is near, LeSean said he has options and real estate is the main game. Asked about stocks or investing in bitcoin, LeSean said he had tried investing but was no longer interested.

“My thing is real estate,” LeSean said. “It’s something I understand. I don’t need to take someone else’s word and the ups and downs – it’s just a lot. With real estate, I can see what happening; I can see my money, touch it and smell it. “