Development & Redevelopment

​Opportunity Zones

What are Opportunity Zones?

An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new, long-term investment in property or businesses may qualify to receive tax incentives. U.S. Congress created the Opportunity Zone program in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Where are the Opportunity Zones?

The U.S. Department of Treasury certified 252 census tracts* in North Carolina. Seventeen of those census tracts are in Charlotte. The Enterprise Opportunity 360 Measurement Reports​ provide more in-depth information about each Opportunity Zone in Charlotte.

View the Opportunity Zones map in a new window or on your mobile device.

(*Census tracts are small, statistical subdivisions of a county or similar entity created to help provide a stable set of geographic units for the presentation of statistical data.)​​​​

How are Opportunity Zones useful?

Investors with recently realized capital gains invest in local businesses, real estate, or development projects through Qualified Opportunity Funds** in exchange for a reduction in their tax obligations. At least 90 percent of the investments must be spent on an operating business, equipment, or real estate within an Opportunity Zone.

The funds do not provide direct grants but could provide repayable loans or equity investments. Funds have the potential to direct financing to areas of Charlotte where access to traditional capital is difficult.

Opportunity Zones can help promote inclusive and equitable economic development, affordable housing and job creation. The city's role is to:

  • Provide information about Opportunity Funds to developers, business owners and residents
  • Connect Opportunity Zone Funds with businesses or developments in targeted Opportunity Zones
  • Use existing city programs and incentives to support Opportunity Zone projects that align with community goals and values.
  • Target strategic projects that create new opportunities to promote economic mobility.
  • Reduce the potential negative impact of Opportunity Fund investments.

(**A Qualified Opportunity Fund is an investment vehicle that is set up as either a partnership or corporation for investing in eligible property located in an Opportunity Zone. Investors can defer tax on any prior gains invested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund until the earlier of the date on which the investment in a QOF is sold or exchanged, or Dec. 31, 2026.)

Key Opportunity Zones in Charlotte include:

East Charlotte

The Eastland Area Planestablished a vision for Eastland Mall and the surrounding area defined by a unique town center, attractive mixed-use corridors and distinct gateways. A new development plan is underway for the mall site which will transform the site into a more vibrant destination that spurs economic activity and acts as a community hub that serves East Charlotte and beyond.

North End and North Tryon

North Tryon connectsUptown Charlotte to the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and includes established neighborhoods such as Druid Hills, Lockwood, Sugar Creek and Tryon Hills. The area bound by Statesville, North Tryon, I-85 and Sugar Creek, also includes major initiatives like the North End Smart District and Camp North End. The area's proximity to the LYNX Blue Linealso creates transit-oriented development opportunities along North Tryon Street. There are multiple infrastructure and transportation initiatives underway in the North Tryon Area including the Cross Charlotte Trail​, Applied Innovation Corridor and the Northeast Corridor Infrastructure. These projects represent a total of $173 million in public investment.

Wilkinson/Airport/Future Silver Line

Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) is a major economic engine contributing $23 billion in annual economic output, $1.1 billion in state/local taxes and 132,330 jobs for N.C. residents. With major planned development surrounding CLT's gateway entrance on Wilkinson and the future Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) Silver Line, this area is set to transform with opportunities for community-driven investment in aviation, logistics, retail, hospitality and office.

Freedom Drive

Freedom Drive is a major transportation corridor from Uptown to I-85. The area has seen an increase in commercial redevelopment activity, and investment in the established neighborhoods - such as Wesley Heights, Bryant Park, Enderly Park and Ashley Park - that line the corridor. Current infrastructure investmentsunderway in this area include Ashley Rd sidewalks and the Tuckaseegee/Berryhill/Thrift Rd roundabout.

West Trade/Beatties Ford​

West Trade/Beatties Ford Road is a historic corridor that includes several established communities, educational anchor institutions such as Johnson C Smith University, Northwest School of the Arts and West Charlotte High School, and prominent cultural and civic assets. The corridor is poised for high growth with the constructionof Phase II of the LYNX Gold Line, a $150m streetcar investment. West Trade/Rozzelles Ferry CNIP will also bring $20m in public investment in new streets, infrastructure and a new plaza at the Five Points intersection.

Rozzelles Ferry

Rozzelles Ferry is located just northwest of Uptown, close to the West Trade/Beatties Ford Road corridor. The area has seen recent investment in office, neighborhood-serving retail, streetscapeand greenway connections. As part of the West Trade/Rozzelles Ferry CNIP, Rozzelles Ferry Road will be improved to provide a pedestrian-friendly streetscape and a safe connection to the CityLYNX Gold Line station.

How can business owners use the program?

Existing business owners can benefit from being in an Opportunity Zone in two ways:

  • Attract new capital: potential investors can take advantage of the Opportunity Zone tax incentives by investing in your business through a Qualified Opportunity Fund.
  • Self-investment: A business' own capital gains can earn Opportunity Zone tax incentives if the owner invests it back into the business.

How can property owners benefit?

Property owners in Opportunity Zones can benefit by attracting new investors or tenants. Property owners who own land within an Opportunity Zone and are willing to sell may find their property to be highly sought after by investors or potential buyers. Property owners may also benefit through businesses that rent space on their property and can attract and acquire investments from Qualified Opportunity Funds.

How can I find more information about Opportunity Zones?

Several partners and government agencies have additional information related to Opportunity Zones. Those agencies include:

Does the city offer other programs to support economic development?

Charlotte is committed to building great places that strengthen neighborhoods and provide economic opportunity for all. The city makes strategic capital investments in its transportation and transit systems to ensure the long-term success of our region. The city also strategically invests in affordable housing and talent development to foster upward mobility and create vibrant communities. Additional City of Charlotte investment/growth programs and initiatives include:

  • Business Matching Grants: Companies located in Business Redevelopment Corridors, can apply for a variety of City programs that provide innovative tools for small businesses, property owners and developers. Business and commercial property owners can apply for matching grants to assist with the cost of improving their properties.
  • Business Investment Grants: The Business Investment Program (BIP) seeks to encourage the creation, retention and/or expansion of new or existing businesses and jobs in identified Investment Zones within the community. The program provides grants to companies based upon the amount of property tax generated by the​ private business investment.
  • Tax Increment Grant: The city uses Tax Increment Grants as a public-private partnership tool to advance economic growth and land use planning goals. The grants are provided on a reimbursement basis only to projects that demonstrate its benefit to the public.
  • Housing Trust Fund: The Housing Trust Fund investments help provides financing for affordable housing developments. Since 2001, the Housing Trust Fund has financed 7,278 new and rehabilitated affordable housing units. Of that total, 3,227 were for households earning less than 30 percent of the area median income, or under $22,250 per year, making Charlotte more affordable for pre-school teachers, health care aides, and workers in hospitality, retail, and emergency services. The City of Charlotte has committed $136 million to the fund.
  • Enhanced Review: City of Charlotte Development Services offers an Enhanced Review option that provides a shortened timeframe for certain types of development projects. This option offers project teams overall predictability and coordination of comments and revisions between staff.

How can I stay connected?​

The city will update this page as new information becomes available.​​

West End Convening

Historic West End community leaders, residents and business owners met in May to discuss their vision for Opportunity Zones. A summary of the event and a handout presented at the event can be found below.​

Charlotte’s West End Convening for Opportunity   ​​

Opportunity Zones in the news​

Can opportunity zones drive investment, development in Charlotte?​

White House official to visit Charlotte as part of forum on opportunity zones​

How the city is working to make the most of Opportunity Zone development in Charlotte​​

Charlotte leaders grapple with limited options to exert control in opportunity zone development​


Share your Opportunity Zone listing

The Opportunity Zone directory is a compilation of funding opportunities, projects, businesses and nonprofit partners in Opportunity Zones. Complete the Charlotte Opportunity Zone listing entry form to have your listing added to the Opportunity Zones map/directory. 


​Enterprise Opportunity 360 Measurement Reports​

Statistics for each Opportunity Zone in Charlotte.