New program aims to boost low economic areas in Wilmington

A meeting is held on 7/18/19 to discuss Opportunity Zones in Wilmington. (Photo: Matt Bennett/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A new program aims to attract investment capital into low-income areas of North Carolina, and today a meeting took place at city hall to discuss it.

Opportunity Zones are part of the tax cut and jobs act that passed back in December of 2017. A private investor creates an opportunity fund, and that fund can invest in real estate or businesses in a designated zone. Those investors can get a series of different tax benefits depending how long they invest.

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Discussion moderator Jeanne Milliken Bonds says one example is bringing in a grocery store to an area that’s a food desert.

“The conversation is really about what is needed in those areas and are there investors that would be interested in investing in priorities in those areas. And also what other tools do we have that you can use with opportunity zones to make some of those projects happen,” Bonds said.

Bonds says in Wilmington, there are three zones below Market Street bordered by 3rd Street, and a fourth off South College Road near UNCW.

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