The Wood County Economic Development Office and Downtown PKB, Parkersburg’s Main Street Community, recently completed a marketing prospectus booklet, the first in the state of West Virginia, highlighting the two Opportunity Zones in Wood County.

In 2018, the City of Parkersburg was awarded two Opportunity Zone designations out of 55 statewide. The City’s Downtown Central Business District and the area going east along 7th Street to West Virginia 47 comprise the two zones.

According to the Economic Innovation Group, Opportunity Zone incentives include a temporary deferral, a step-up basis or a permanent exclusion from taxable income of capital gains depending on how long the property is held by an investor.

Several Opportunity Zone meetings were recently offered by West Virginia Forward across the state of West Virginia and Wood County was applauded for taking the initiative to be ahead of the game to get potential Opportunity Fund investors to look at investing in our community.

Lindsey Piersol with Wood County Economic Development is thrilled with how the prospectus turned out and shared, “We wanted to take projects that someone at some point had put time and money into for drawings, studies, etc. and try to bring them to fruition. Wendy and I thought hard about the prospectus but ultimately, no one had the funds to hire a large firm to create one… so we decided to do it ourselves with the help of our colleagues throughout the community.”

Wendy Shriver with Downtown PKB stated, “We are hopeful that the Opportunity Zone designation in the Downtown Central Business District will serve as another tool in our toolbox to stack capital to make rehabbing old properties lucrative for investors and the community.”

Piersol and Shriver are working with the City of Parkersburg staff, notably Mayor Tom Joyce, to get the Opportunity Zone prospectus into the hands of the managers of opportunity funds.

“We are incredibly thankful for Mayor Joyce and his staff who are as interested in attracting businesses into these zones as Wendy and I are and took the initiative to help us get this booklet in the hands of people who can make projects happen. We are competing with zones nationwide and I think it’s important for potential developers to know they have support at the local level,” Piersol said.