Indiana Continues to Push 'Opportunity Zones'

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The panel included (L-R) Kostas Poulakidas of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, Bedel, Tom Peck of Hageman Group and Laurie Schultz of Avenue Development. (Picture: Adam Campagna) The panel included (L-R) Kostas Poulakidas of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, Bedel, Tom Peck of Hageman Group and Laurie Schultz of Avenue Development. (Picture: Adam Campagna)

The president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the organization continues to educate investors, developers and regional leaders about the Opportunity Zone program that she says is "moving very quickly." Indiana has been approved for 156 designations throughout the state for the program, which provides tax incentives to attract private investment to low-income communities. Elaine Bedel says many of Indiana's Opportunity Zones are "primed" for development, and the additional incentives could push them over the edge for private investment.

The federal program was created with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. At the time, Governor Eric Holcomb called the program "one more tool to attract investment and help more of our Hoosier communities succeed." Indiana's tracts cover all or portions of 83 cities in 58 counties throughout Indiana. You can connect to the full list by clicking here.

Bedel says the Opportunity Zone incentives come on top of state incentives already offered by the IEDC. However, she says investors still need to do their homework.

"It has to be a good project," says Bedel. "It has to be a good business that you want to put your money into, because you now are an equity owner."

Bedel took part in an event organized by the Indiana Construction Roundtable Thursday in Indianapolis. The panel, titled Jumpstarting Communities With Investment - A Detailed Discussion About Opportunity Zones" also included Laurie Schultz of Avenue Development, Tom Peck of Hageman Group and Kostas Poulakidas of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP.

Speaking to Inside INdiana Business after an Indiana Construction Roundtable event, Bedel says investors need to do their homework about the program.
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