In the zone: New rules could spur new investment in low-income Magic Valley areas | Business


But there wasn’t a flurry of investment following the creation of opportunity zones in 2017. That’s because the rules weren’t finalized until December 2019. Now that the rules are clear, there could be more projects coming.

Fran Florence of Westerra Real Estate Group in Twin Falls said he’s certain that more investors will start taking advantage of Magic Valley opportunity zones, and noted that there are two unannounced projects being considered right now.

Getting money in the zone

In most cases, communities have to work to attract investment. There are opportunity zones throughout the country, with hundreds of cities competing for investor dollars.

Magic Valley communities with opportunity zones have similar pitches for investors. There’s nearby rail and interstate access. The region’s an agricultural hub. Housing needs are strong — that’s a common theme throughout the state.

Twin Falls, as the Magic Valley’s biggest city, offers investors several advantages. It might take a bit longer for the Magic Valley’s other opportunity zones to see new development.

“The first projects are being announced in more urban settings,” said Jerry Miller, business retention and expansion specialist at the Idaho Department of Commerce. “As those projects take off, I think the investors are going to be looking at smaller to mid-sized communities.”


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