• Opportunity Zones represent the next wave of investment for our region


Opportunity Zones are a New Tax-Advantaged Way to Invest

An Opportunity Zone (OZ) is an economically-distressed community where federal tax incentives may be available for new investments.


Established by Congress as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Opportunity Zone Program aims to increase investment and revitalize communities. Since most of this program is in private hands, the program offers a simple way to reinvest capital gains into distressed communities through Opportunity Funds.


How does Opportunity Fund investing work?

An investor who has triggered a capital gain by selling an asset like stocks or real estate can receive special tax benefits if they roll that gain into an Opportunity Fund within 180 days. There are three primary advantages to rolling over a capital gain into an Opportunity fund:

Opportunity Zones in Southeast Louisiana

The Opportunity Zone Program could be transformative for areas of southeast Louisiana. By leveraging our existing anchors and current momentum, we can drive outside investment into our entire region. There are 150 federally designated OZs in Louisiana – 44 of them are in our 10-parish region, extending from Convent to Destrehan and Metairie as well as the Northshore.


They include major points of interest such as Lakeside Shopping Center, the Naval Support Activity in Algiers and the census tracts adjoining Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Catalytic opportunities also exist near major employment hubs in New Orleans’ BioDistrict and Central Business District.

Interactive Map of Opportunity Zones in Greater New Orleans

Dozens of Opportunity Zones are located in the Greater New Orleans region. As you consider investment and growth projects, we encourage you to take a look at which areas are marked with this federal designation by using this interactive map. You can also search by address to see if a particular property is located within or near an Opportunity Zone.

Spirit of Charity Innovation District

Strategically positioned between New Orleans’ downtown and newly constructed medical complexes, the Spirit of Charity Innovation District is a historic area, with its roots in healthcare, poised for the next generation of innovation.

A recent community planning and engagement process created a new vision for the District – one built upon principles that include goals to become a mixed income community, with economic development driven by job creation; an area that experiences equitable development and economic inclusion through small business development and local hiring/training, creating a live and work environment that is accessible across all income levels. Learn more about the project.

Fat City Development Opportunity

Fat City is a neighborhood in the Greater New Orleans region that is ripe for further development. Located within Metairie’s central business district and retail heart of Jefferson Parish, the second-most populated parish in Louisiana, Fat City has seen tremendous growth and stability, with one of the top-performing malls in the country and perhaps the highest-traffic intersection in the state (Veterans Boulevard and N. Causeway Boulevard).

GNO, Inc., in partnership with Jefferson Parish, JEDCO, and the Metairie Business Development District, issued an RFI to solicit feedback from respondents regarding innovative development ideas for an area within the Fat City neighborhood located in Metairie, LA.  Click here for the official Request for Information – Fat City Development Opportunity document.

Responses Due: February 22, 2021

Opportunity Zones Timeline

  • Opportunity Zones were added to the Tax Cuts and Job Acts of 2017.

    December 2017

  • The deadline for states to submit nominations for Qualified Opportunity Zones.

    March 2018

  • The first set of Opportunity Zones, covering 18 states, was designated by The U. S. Department of Treasury and the International Revenue Service (IRS).

    April 2018

  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS announced the final round of Opportunity Zone designations. The program designated areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories.

    June 2018

  • U.S. Treasury Releases Guidance for Qualified Opportunity Funds

    October 2018

Frequently Asked Questions

Zone Basics

An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new investments, made through Qualified Opportunity Funds, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.

You can get the tax benefits even if you don’t live, work, or have a business in an Opportunity Zone. The tax benefits come from investing in a Qualified Opportunity Fund that is investing in an Opportunity Zone.

There are 150 federally designated Opportunity Zones in Louisiana. Our region has 44 Opportunity Zones in the following parishes:

  • Jefferson: 7
  • Orleans: 25
  • St. Bernard: 3
  • St. Charles: 1
  • St. James: 2
  • St. John: 1
  • St. Tammany: 1
  • Tangipahoa: 2
  • Washington: 2

Zones include the Poydras Street Corridor, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, LSU School of Medicine, the Naval Support Activity, NASA Michoud Facility and Lakeside Shopping Center. A map of the Opportunity Zones can be viewed here. A list of Opportunity Zones in Louisiana can be accessed here.

Eligible census tracts were those with poverty rates of at least 20 percent or those areas with median family incomes of no more than 80 percent of statewide or metro area family income. With public input, Gov. John Bel Edwards nominated 150 census tracts in Louisiana.

To qualify as an eligible Opportunity Zone Business, a business must demonstrate that substantially all its tangible business property is located within a Qualified Opportunity Zone.

About the Funds

A Qualified Opportunity Fund is a private sector investment vehicle that invests at least 90 percent of its capital in an eligible property that is located in an Opportunity Zone.

Opportunity funds can invest in any qualified Opportunity Zone property, including stocks, partnership interest or business property.

Yes. As long as an Opportunity Fund has at least 90 percent of its assets in qualified Opportunity Zone property, the fund may invest in as many tracts as desired.

There are no minimum or maximum investments required by Opportunity Zone legislation.

Once an Opportunity Fund has been established, 90 percent of its capital must be invested in the Opportunity Zone Property within 180 days of the taxable year of the Opportunity Fund.

Opportunity Fund investments can be invested directly in qualifying property, as long as the original use of the property commences with the fund or the fund significantly improved the property.

Both the New Market Tax Credits Program and the Opportunity Zone Program offer tax credits for participating investors. However with the Opportunity Zone program, there is no need for annual Congressional approval or allocation of limited tax credits, unlike the New Market Tax Credits program which does require annual Congressional approval.