The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) announced the locations of 161 “Opportunity Zones” in Missouri – low-income areas that will see added incentives for investment – including zones in downtown, central and north Springfield.
The locations of the Opportunity Zones in Springfield, which include 10 census tracts, were determined by the state, and made possible by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
The Opportunity Zone program incentivizes private investment in projects such as new and expanding businesses, infrastructure, real estate and housing located within the approved census tracts. Opportunity Zone investors receive capital-gains tax deferral and other tax incentives.
The program seeks to revitalize communities and create jobs in areas that otherwise may not be considered by investors.
“The Opportunity Zones program will help spur new investments in communities where they’re needed most. By bringing investment incentives to underserved areas, the program will help create more jobs, drive economic growth, and improve the quality of life for families across our state. The Opportunity Zones program is another example of how tax reform is directly benefitting Missourians, and turning the page on years of slow growth and stagnant wages. I’m proud to support this program … ,” stated Sen. Roy Blunt, in a release from the governor’s office.
To determine which zones were nominated, the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) relied extensively on local input. Local governments were asked to nominate areas for inclusion in the program by sending written proposals.
In February, Springfield City Council approved a request for 15 census tracts in Springfield to be nominated. The application to DED included information about anticipated developments in the area, and descriptions of recent and future investments. In addition to local recommendations, the state considered the Opportunity Zone’s potential to address need and generate investment impact.
“Because the greatest tax benefit to investors results from a long-term investment (seven years or longer) and the zone designation is only valid for 10 years, the most effective way to attract new private investment to our community using this program is to designate tracts where investment is anticipated within the next one to three years,” said City of Springfield Economic Development Director Sarah Kerner.
Under the law, each state could nominate up to 25 percent of census tracts that met the eligibility requirements for the program, to be designated by the Secretary of the Treasury. In Missouri, the state could nominate up to 161 census tracks to be designated as Opportunity Zones.
In addition to Springfield, Opportunity Zones are located in Bolivar, Branson, Butler County, Cameron, Cape Girardeau, Columbia, Dallas County, Excelsior Springs, Hannibal, Independence, Jackson County, Jefferson City, Jennings, Joplin, Kansas City, Kennett, Kirksville, Laclede County, Lafayette County, Lebanon, Maryville, Mexico, Monett, Montgomery County, Neosho, New Madrid County, Newton County, Pemiscot County, Potosi, Pulaski County, Randolph County, Ripley County, Saline County, Sikeston, Springfield, St. Joseph, St. Louis, St. Louis County, Sugar Creek, Sullivan County, Sunrise Beach, Warren County, Warrensburg, Warsaw, Wayne County, and West Plains. For a full list of Missouri’s opportunity zones, click here.
North Springfield Opportunity Zone
Starting at corner of North Farm Road 103 and West Farm Road 94, east on West Farm Road 94, which turns into West Farm Road 92 where it crosses Highway 13, then following the South Dry Sac River to State Highway H, South on Highway H to Interstate Highway 44; West on Interstate 44 to U.S. Highway 65; south on Highway 65 to East Chestnut Expressway; west on Chestnut to North Glenstone Avenue; north on Glenstone to East Kearney Street; west on Kearney to North West Bypass; south on West Bypass to West Chestnut Expressway; west on Chestnut to North Airport Boulevard which turns into State Highway EE; North on Highway EE to North Farm Road 103 to West Farm Road 94.
Downtown Springfield Opportunity Zone
Starting at the intersection of North Broadway Avenue and the BNSF rail line just north of Commercial Street, east along BNSF rail line to North National Avenue, south on National to East Trafficway Street, west on Trafficway to John Q. Hammons Parkway, south on Hammons to East Cherry Street, west on Cherry to South Jefferson Avenue, south on Jefferson to East Harrison Street, west on Harrison to South Avenue, north on South to West Mt. Vernon Street, west on Mt. Vernon to South Grant Avenue, north on Grant to West College Street, west on College to North Kansas Expressway, north on Kansas to the BNSF rail line just north of West Water Street, east along BNSF rail line to North Fort Avenue, north on Fort to West Phelps Street, east on Phelps to North Weaver Avenue, north on Weaver to West Chestnut Expressway, east on Chestnut to North Broadway Avenue, north on Broadway to BNSF rail line just north of West Commercial Street.
Central Springfield Opportunity Zone
Starting at corner of South Kansas Expressway and West Sunshine Street, east on Sunshine to South National Avenue, south on National to East Sunset Street, west on Sunset to South Kansas Expressway, north on Kansas to West Sunshine Street.