Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and the mayors of Charleston, South Charleston and Huntington promoted the Advantage Valley regional pitch book, which showcases 13 Opportunity Zones and 20 investment opportunities in the region, during an event Friday in Charleston.
The pitch book describes the region and its economic opportunities, highlights the competitive advantages of its key localities and their Opportunity Zones and identifies 20-plus development projects ready for investment.
It can be used by communities, community and economic development organizations, property owners, businesses and others seeking to attract investment to federally designated Opportunity Zones in the region, according to an Advantage Valley news release.
“Not only can Opportunity Zones drive development and create jobs in communities that need them most, but they can help those communities build a foundation for prosperity and economic growth for years to come,” Capito said.
Advantage Valley is an economic development organization representing the Huntington and Charleston metropolitan areas — with a population of 600,000 people — and has worked with the Charleston, South Charleston, Huntington, Boone County, Mason County and Jackson County communities to develop these new Opportunity Zone projects in the pitch book.
“The regional pitch book will enable these communities to work together to attract new investment to our region,” Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin said.
Frank Mullens, mayor of South Charleston, said the benefits of the Opportunity Zone will make various potential projects in South Charleston attractive economically.
“By working together, we are letting investors from all across the nation know the quality investments in our region,” Mullens said.
Huntington Mayor Steve Williams said his city is primed for the most significant economic development transformation of its time.
“The three Opportunity Zones in our community hold the investment gems that will drive it,” Williams said. “Our efforts will be further propelled with this strong, coordinated economic region.”
The Opportunity Zone program, established as part of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, offers significant tax incentives for investing in low-income communities through a qualified fund. The three incentives are a temporary deferral of capital gains, a step up in basis for capital gains or permanent exclusion from taxable income on the original investment, according to the Advantage Valley release.
“The Opportunity Zone program will drive much-needed capital into our state’s struggling communities,” said Terrell Ellis, Advantage Valley’s executive director. “Advantage Valley is poised and ready to help make as many investments happen as possible.”
Ellis said a task force of local professionals is being established to assist projects under consideration. That group will include representatives from each of the six local jurisdictions, officials from the West Virginia Development Office, and other technical advisers all ready to help local developers and external investors conduct tasks they need to make the Opportunity Zone project work.
“The Advantage Valley pitch book is a great example of one of the things our communities can do to drive investment in the area,” Capito said, “and I’m excited to continue working with state, local and business leaders to encourage revitalization and build a brighter economic future for West Virginia.”
To see an online version of the pitch book, visit www.AdvantageValley.com/Pitchbook.