Low Income Census Tracts To Be Named “Opportunity Zones”

Twenty-seven (27) of these tracts will be located within the City of St. Louis

April 13, 2018 | 2 min reading time

This article is 6 years old. It was published on April 13, 2018.

St. Louis, MO- Governor Eric Grietens and the Missouri Department of Economic Development (MODED) have issued their recommended list of 161 low-income census tracts to be named as Opportunity Zones by the U.S. Department of Treasury. Twenty-seven (27) of these tracts will be located within the City of St. Louis. 

The Opportunity Zone program came to fruition through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and is a new tax incentive intended to help distressed urban and rural communities in the State of Missouri and across the country. The aim of Opportunity Zones is to improve economic outcomes of distressed communities by incentivizing investors through the temporary deferral of capital gains taxes. Individuals and corporations with capital gains can reinvest these gains in investment funds that will focus investments within Opportunity Zones to receive these tax benefits. Investment decisions are made solely at the discretion of the investors, and will focus primarily on income-generating investment projects and businesses. 

The Governor’s nominated Opportunity Zones include neighborhoods in North St. Louis, South St. Louis and the Central Corridor. There is a particular focus in areas along the riverfront, north side of Delmar Boulevard, Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard and the Natural Bridge Avenue commercial corridor. The Dutchtown, Bevo, Carondelet and Patch neighborhoods are areas of concentration in South St. Louis, as well as Downtown and Midtown in the Central Corridor. It is anticipated that new Opportunity Zone investments in these areas can provide an added boost to projects and businesses that otherwise might not have been funded. It should be noted that this tool is not well-suited for residential housing but generally for larger scale commercial, manufacturing and industrial developments

The federal government identified 692 eligible low-income census tracts in Missouri, including 84 within the City. Of these, the Governor could nominate 161 tracts statewide to receive Opportunity Zone designations. Input for designations within the City of St. Louis were provided to the Governor and MODED by a working group that included representatives from the Mayor’s Office, Board of Aldermen and St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC). Neighborhood stakeholders were invited to an informational meeting hosted by SLDC, which was attended by over 50 participants from across the city. The stakeholders learned more about the Opportunity Zone program and were invited to provide their input into the decision making process by submitting proposals for eligible low-income census tracts. 

“The City of St. Louis and SLDC look forward to working with community leaders, developers, entrepreneurs and investors to attract new funding for projects and businesses in within these newly designated Opportunity Zones,” Stated Otis Williams, Executive Director of SLDC.

If you would like more information about the Opportunity Zone program or investment opportunities within the City of St. Louis’ Opportunity Zones, please contact Matt Bauer at bauerm@stlouis-mo.gov. More information will be available on the SLDC website in the near future-please check www.stlouis-mo.gov/sldc/

About the St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC)

St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) is an umbrella, not-for-profit corporation organized under Chapter 355 of the Missouri State Statutes with the mission of fostering economic development and growth in the City of St. Louis by stimulating the market for private investment in City real estate and business development and improve the quality of life for everyone who lives in, works in, and visits the City.  The mission of the SLDC is to stimulate the market for private investment in City real estate and business development and improve the quality of life for everyone who lives in, works in, and visits the City of St. Louis. If there are questions, please contact John Parker, Director of Corporate Communications and Media at 314-363-1102 or email him at parkerj@stlouis-mo.gov

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