Hoping to encourage economic activity, Commerce and its downtown development authority plan to create up to six more sections of town that qualify for local and state development incentives.
A large swath of Commerce is already both an “enterprise zone” and an “opportunity zone,” but the plan is to make virtually all of the city’s commercial and industrial areas into similar zones.
The city council can declare property to be in an enterprise zone, which gives the city the ability to waive or reduce fees such as occupational taxes or utility tap fees. The Department of Community Affairs must approve opportunity zone status, which offers significant state income tax credits based on the number of employees.
The city got DCA approval for its first opportunity zone in January. It stretches from B. Wilson Road on the north to Hwy. 334 on the south, and goes north on Homer Road to the property formerly known as Twin Tanks.
To qualify, the property must be declared blighted and poverty-stricken.
Pyrzenski wanted to look at the areas of the Commerce 85 Business Park, a tract inside the city along Interstate 85 just south of the Tanger Outlets, a section of North Broad Street near James Brooks Automotive, a section of Maysville Road at Bouchard Farms (if Bouchard Farms agrees to the idea), the undeveloped tract north of I-85 on Maysville Road formerly known as the Bana Road area, and the East Jackson Industrial Park.
For the complete story, see the April 3 edition of The Commerce News.