AURORA, Colo. – The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) and the Aurora Economic Development Council (Aurora EDC) brought together nearly 200 stakeholders at the Hyatt Regency Aurora-Denver Conference Center on August 22 to learn and discuss Colorado’s opportunity zones and how they can benefit communities. Opportunity zones, a part of the 2017 tax reform package, seek to promote economic vitality by incentivizing new development with favorable treatment of reinvested capital gains and forgiveness of tax on new capital gains. This provides a new impetus for private investors to support communities through private equity investments in business and real estate ventures.
The Aurora EDC partnered with OEDIT earlier this year to identify and prioritize census tracts in the City of Aurora that represented the best opportunity for economic development. These nominated tracts were then submitted to the U.S. Treasury for formal approval. Of note, two of Aurora’s approved opportunity zones include land along East Colfax Avenue and the Fitzsimmons Innovation Community west of I-225, as well as a large area of land between I-70 and Denver International Airport.
“Opportunity zones and funds are powerful assets in our economic development toolkit. We wanted to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders, including business leaders, developers, real estate brokers, and elected officials to show them how this innovative program can be implemented to shape projects and investment that can catalyze our community,” said Yuriy Gorlov, Vice President of the Aurora Economic Development Council. Gorlov added, “We appreciate the ongoing partnership and collaboration with OEDIT to follow through and really take advantage of the opportunity that’s in front of us in real world scenarios.”
“This has been a collaborative effort with economic development partners throughout the state to identify areas that had the necessary foundation of assets and infrastructure to attract investment, but lacked meaningful investment activity to impact communities” said OEDIT Executive Director Stephanie Copeland. “To best serve the State, our goal was to identify places where Opportunity Zone investments would bring catalytic change.”
The conference, sponsored by Xcel Energy, included presentations on opportunity zone fundamentals, recommendations on how to engage investors, and tools for communities.
“We’ve seen significant interest in leveraging the opportunity zone designation and investment model, and we expect that to grow as more people learn about the opportunities these represent. It certainly is something that we think is a game changer for Aurora,” added Gorlov.
About Aurora Economic Development Council
A partnership between business and government for more than three decades, the Aurora Economic Development Council champions Colorado’s most promising growth industries including aerospace and defense, bioscience, transportation logistics and energy, positioning Aurora and Colorado to win new jobs in an intensely competitive market. We create new primary jobs through innovative deal creation, strategic partnerships, and by advocating for economically sustainable public policy. The Aurora Economic Development Council is a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(6) corporation comprised of the leading 100 companies in the Aurora/Denver metro area, the city of Aurora, and Adams and Arapahoe Counties. A-List, Colorado’s premier business event of the metro area that brings together 2,000 regional business, political and civic leaders to celebrate the economic successes of the region, is produced by the Aurora Economic Development Council. For more information on the Aurora Economic Development Council, visit www.auroraedc.com.
About Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade
The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) works with partners to create a positive business climate that encourages dynamic economic development and sustainable job growth. Under the leadership of Governor John Hickenlooper, we strive to advance the State’s economy through financial and technical assistance that fosters local and regional economic development activities throughout Colorado. OEDIT offers a host of programs and services tailored to support business development at every level including business retention services, business relocation services, and business funding and incentives. Our office includes the Global Business Development division; Colorado Tourism Office; Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office; Colorado Creative Industries; Business Financing & Incentives division; the Colorado Small Business Development Network; Colorado Office of Film, TV & Media; the Minority Business Office; and the Colorado Innovation Network. Learn more at www.choosecolorado.com.