Public meetings on opportunity zones, River District this week

Map provided This map shows opportunity zones and tax increment finance districts within Elkhart. TIF districts are filled out with color, while the three opportunity zones are outlined with bold lines. This week, the public is invited to meetings on opportunity zones and public amenities in the River District.

ELKHART — The City of Elkhart will host two public meetings this week, giving the public new insight to opportunity zones in the city and public amenities in the River District.

The public is invited to attend an open session about selected opportunity zones projects and why investors and owners within an established opportunity zone may want to consider creating an opportunity fund for investments and specific projects in order to take advantage of the federal tax incentive projects.

Elkhart has three opportunity zones, located along Cassopolis Street, downtown and east along the St. Joseph River, and in a southwestern part of the city between Mishawaka Road and the St. Joseph River. Opportunity zones are designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities throughout the country and U.S. possessions by providing tax benefits to investors who invest eligible capital into these communities. They are a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

The meeting is Wednesday from 4-5:30 p.m. at the Elkhart Health and Aquatics Center, 200 E. Jackson Boulevard. Thomas P. Miller & Associates and Insight Strategic Concepts will present.

“This session will convene Elkhart’s visionary investors and leaders in government, finance, real estate, economic development, and philanthropy to explore and accelerate the implementation of OZ best practices and strategies to unlock transformative economic potential and create lasting change in Elkhart’s overlooked communities,” a press release said.

On Thursday, the public is invited to the same location from 5-6:30 p.m. for review of the public amenities that will be provided in the final phase of the River District Revitalization.

While these public features have been presented in the past, the near-complete designs offer the public a final preview of the features before they go to bid, a press release said. The presentation will outline projects aimed at creating a more walkable, residential downtown destination with river access and outdoor enjoyment for the public.

The public is asked to provide feedback at the session, which will have presentations from the City of Elkhart, Jones Petrie Rafinskie and Insight Strategic Concepts.

Follow Rasmus S. Jorgensen on Twitter @ReadRasmus

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