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What are Opportunity Zones?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 grants significant tax benefits to investors who reinvest their capital gains in Opportunity Zone Funds which invests in eligible businesses and properties located in federally designated “Opportunity Zones.”  An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed census tract where Opportunity Zone Funds may invest.

Where are the Opportunity Zones?

The U.S. Department of Treasury certified 252 census tracts* in North Carolina. Zoom into the map above to explore two census tracts in Catawba County and another census tract in adjacent Burke County which contains the Hickory Regional Airport. 

(*Census tracts are small, statistical subdivisions of a county or similar entity created to help provide a stable set of geographic units for the presentation of statistical data.)​​​​

How are Opportunity Zones useful?

Investors with recently realized capital gains invest in local businesses, real estate, or development projects through Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOF)** in exchange for a reduction in their tax obligations. At least 90 percent of the QOF investments must be spent on an operating business, equipment, or real estate within an Opportunity Zone that double the value of the project within 180 days of the investment. The funds do not provide direct grants but could provide equity investments in vetted projects that show a significant return on investment.

(**A Qualified Opportunity Fund is an investment vehicle that is set up as either a partnership or corporation for investing in eligible property located in an Opportunity Zone. Investors can defer tax on any prior gains invested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund until the earlier of the date on which the investment in a QOF is sold or exchanged, or Dec. 31, 2026.)

Available Properties located in Catawba County's Opportunity Zones include:

1650 East P Street
8.28 acres in Newton
Burris Rd McCombs
46.3 acres in Newton
Danner Ind Park Lot 1
16.10 acres in Newton
Danner Ind Park Lot 4
18.10 Acres in Newton
Danner Ind Park Lot 6
12 Acres in Newton
Danner Ind Park Lot 7
12.5 Acres in Newton
Danner Ind Park Lots 6 & 7
24.5 Acres in Newton
Fox Property
18.4 Acres in Conover
Hickory Airport
Multiple site options in Hickory
Isaac Property
28.5 Acres in Catawba County
McCombs Investments 20th St E
20.5 Acres in Conover
N/S Southern Region
35.8 Acres in Conover
Oakmont Business Park
65 Acres in Newton
Signet Land
11.32 Acres in Newton
Silver/Long Keisler Rd
5.8 Acres in Conover
Thornburg Estates
16.11 Acres in Conover

How can I find more information about Catawba County's Opportunity Zones?

For Office and Industrial properties throughout Catawba County and the Hickory Regional Airport, contact:
Julie Pruett, Catawba County EDC, 828-267-1564,

For Mixed-Use, Retail, and Residential, contact the appropriate municipality:
City of Conover:  Alan Glines, 828-464-1191,
City of Hickory:  Dave Leonetti, 828-455-1305,
City of Newton:  Randy Williams, 828-695-4277, 

How can I find more information about Opportunity Zones?

Several partners and government agencies have additional information related to Opportunity Zones. Those agencies include:

Opportunity Zone Fund Directories