The City of Des Moines has two federally-designated Opportunity Zones, located near Drake University. This recently-adopted federal tax incentive allows investors to defer or avoid capital gains taxes if they invest money in these designated Zones. This new community development program will promote economic stability, job growth, and improved housing conditions in disadvantaged areas that have traditionally been overlooked by the private sector.
Nationwide, more than 8,700 Opportunity Zones have been designated. Following a competitive application process, a total of 62 zones were designated across Iowa. Nine eligible census tracts in Des Moines were submitted to the state for consideration. Two tracts in the Drake neighborhood were nominated. Census Tract 11 is roughly bound by Hickman Road to the north, University Avenue to the south, 30th Street to the west, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway to the east. Census tract 26 extends from University Avenue south to I-235, from 28th Street to Keosauqua Way.
Federal regulations are still being finalized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, who will administer the program. The Drake Opportunity Zones will remain in place for 10 years.