Could downtown Fort Dodge be the next Opportunity Zone?

Could downtown Fort Dodge be the next Opportunity Zone? Main Photo

27 Apr 2018

Bill Shea

Investors in downtown Fort Dodge properties may be able to benefit from a provision of the federal tax cut signed into law late last year by President Donald Trump.

That law created Opportunity Zones, and downtown Fort Dodge has been nominated to become one of them.

Gov. Kim Reynolds submitted downtown Fort Dodge and 61 other areas in the state to the U.S. Department of the Treasury for desigination as Opportunity Zones. State and local officials are waiting to see if the federal agency will grant that status.

If the Department of the Treasury OKs the Fort Dodge designation, investors will be able to receive a federal capital gains tax deferral.

”This could really be catalytic,” said Kris Patrick, executive director of Main Street Fort Dodge. ”This could be the catalyst for business people and entrepreneurs to invest so we can really continue to build this culture that will make downtown an attraction that people will want to go to.”

Vickie Reeck, the city’s community and economic development director, said the federal incentive could only help with projects like the planned remodeling of the Warden Plaza at 908 First Ave. S. to house businesses on the lower floors and apartments on the upper levels.

”It just opens up the pool of investors,” she said.

The potential Opportunity Zone extends from the Des Moines River on the west to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks near North 22nd Street on the east. Its southern border is formed by Fifth Avenue South at its western end. That border than goes north on South 12th Street to First Avenue South and then east to 22nd Street. Second Avenue North is the northern boundary of the zone.

To be considered for Opportunity Zone status, a location must consist of U.S. Census tracts in which the poverty rate is 20 percent or greater, or family income is less then 80 percent of the area’s median income.

Full article.

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