Opportunity Zone Overview

Opportunity Zones were created in 2017 by Congress to encourage long-term investments in low income urban and rural communities nationwide. A Memphis/Shelby County Opportunity Zone is a low-income US Census tract that encourages individuals and corporations to invest in a variety of economic development projects through Opportunity Funds.

In Memphis and Shelby County, four sites comprised of 32 census tracts have been designated as Opportunity Zones.  The City of Memphis and Shelby County based its elections of Opportunity Zones to address four key goals:

  • BUILD UP in the heart of two municipalities, Memphis and Millington, across diverse, low to moderate income communities.
  • ANCHOR ON STRENGTHS by targeting areas where markets are poised to grow and additional incentives are available to further that growth.
  • CONNECT disinvested places to opportunity by drawing zones to include historically disinvested communities near areas primed for growth.
  • DIVERSIFY OPPORTUNITY by designating zones across urban, suburban, rural, and industrial areas.

Learn more about the benefits of Opportunity Zones below.

Opportunity Zone Background

The Opportunity Zones program was established in December 2017 by Congress in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act as an innovative approach to sparking long term private sector investments in targeted urban and rural communities nationwide through investment vehicles called Opportunity Funds.

Opportunity Zones are census tracts with a poverty rate of at least 20 percent, nominated by governors and certified by the US Department of the Treasury, into which investors can make equity investments in businesses and real estate in exchange for certain federal tax benefits.

A qualified Opportunity Fund is an investment vehicle that is set up as either a partnership or corporation for investing in eligible property that is in an Opportunity Zone and that utilizes the investor’s gains from a prior investment.  The fund invests at least 90% of its assets in Opportunity Zone properties, either directly or through qualifying corporations or partnerships.

OpportunityMEM Prospectus

To learn more about Memphis & Shelby County’s Opportunity Zones in more detail, please download our prospectus.