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Investment Resources for Development and Redevelopment in Charlotte

We take great pride in our success in bringing together public and private resources to create a quality of life in which residents and businesses thrive. We are driven to make Charlotte competitive in the global market and facilitate an environment through which all residents have opportunities for economic success.

Through matching grant programs, we have invested significant effort and resources into revitalizing distressed commercial corridors.

We also enjoy a strong reputation for creating effective public-private partnerships and collaboration with a variety of nonprofit agencies to enhance the business climate and support existing Charlotte businesses.

Corridor Revitalization Through Investing Resources Wisely

Strong and vibrant business corridors are the cornerstones of healthy communities. They strengthen surrounding residential neighborhoods and provide employment opportunities and goods and services to neighborhood residents and commuters.
The Economic Development Department is a leader in the City of Charlotte’s efforts to revitalize local corridors.
Our Charlotte business investment resource programs include:

  • Corridors of Opportunity
  • Business Matching Grants
  • Public-Private Partnerships
  • Capital Investment Plan
  • Tax Increment Grants
  • Opportunity Zone

Corridors of Opportunity

The city’s Corridors of Opportunity program supports equitable investment and holistic neighborhood revitalization to help businesses thrive and long-time residents stay in place in six key corridors:

  • Beatties Ford Road/Rozzelles Ferry Road
  • Albemarle Road/Central Avenue
  • Freedom Drive/Wilkinson Boulevard
  • Graham Street/North Tryon Street
  • Sugar Creek Road/I-85
  • West Boulevard

With $38.5 million in funding since fiscal year 2021, the City of Charlotte is prioritizing economic development, affordable housing, community safety, infrastructure and beautification in these corridors. The Economic Development Department is specifically focused on addressing barriers to employment and coordinating with local workforce organizations and private businesses to train and match residents’ skills with growing Charlotte industries.

Grants & Opportunities

Business Matching Grants

Small businesses, property owners and developers located in the city’s Business Corridor Revitalization Geography can apply for a variety of programs and grants that assist with the cost of improving their properties. Learn more about Business Matching Grants here.

Small business owners may also find useful services provided by the Entrepreneur and Small Business Development Team.

Public-Private Partnerships

Successful public-private partnerships allow the City of Charlotte to influence key elements of a development project, and enhance the benefits and amenities enjoyed by the whole community.

The Economic Development Department has a strong track record of leveraging private investment to facilitate economic growth and help shape Charlotte. The staff collaborates with a variety of nonprofit agencies to enhance Charlotte’s business climate and support existing businesses.

Capital Investment Plan

The city’s Capital Investment Plan (CIP) is a five-year infrastructure plan and a public-private partnership tool that funds the city’s highest priority projects – those that generate the most benefit and impact to the entire community. Projects funded by the Capital Investment Plan improve streets, enhance transportation options and integrate neighborhoods, while creating jobs and growing the city’s tax base.

As partners with the city in making these infrastructure improvements, private developers may be reimbursed monthly during construction, or after the project is completed in a lump sum payment or multiple payments. The CIP utilizes bond funding approved by voters every two years.


Tax Increment Grants

Tax Increment Grants (TIG) are reimbursed ad valorem property taxes awarded to projects that advance economic growth and the city’s land use goals.

Grant applicants must demonstrate a but-for need for the funding, and the project’s benefit to the general public. Generally, public benefits include, but are not limited to, upgrades to water and sewer lines, new roads streetscape infrastructure and public parking decks. Tax Increment Grants are provided on a reimbursement basis only and are only reimbursed once the entire project is complete.

A TIG may also provide gap funding for developments that achieve city goals and objectives, such as affordable and workforce housing, and job creation, but would not be financially feasible without assistance from the city.

Through the use of TIGs, the city has leveraged private investment successfully throughout our community.


Opportunity Zones

An Opportunity Zone is an area that has historically lacked investment and where new investors in property or businesses may qualify to receive tax incentives.

The U.S. Department of Treasury has certified 252 Opportunity Zones in North Carolina and 17 zones in Charlotte. The zones are based on census tracts: small subdivisions of a county or similar entity that act as stable geographic units for presenting statistical data.

Opportunity Zones can help promote inclusive and equitable economic development, affordable housing and job creation.

The City of Charlotte’s role is to:

Provide information about Opportunity Zone funds to developers, business owners and residents.

Connect businesses or developments in targeted Opportunity Zones with the investment funds.

Use existing city programs and incentives to support Opportunity Zone projects that align with community goals and values.

Target strategic projects in Opportunity Zones that promote economic mobility.

Reduce the potential negative impact of Opportunity Fund investments.

How are Opportunity Zones a Useful Investment Resource?

Investors with recently realized capital gains invest in local businesses, real estate or development projects through Qualified Opportunity Funds, in exchange for a reduction in their tax obligations.

A Qualified Opportunity Fund is 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 date on which the investment in a fund is sold or exchanged, or Dec. 31, 2026, whichever is earlier.

At least 90% of the investments must be spent on an operating business, equipment or real estate within an Opportunity Zone.

The funds do not provide direct grants, but can provide repayable loans or equity investments. Funds have the potential to direct financing to areas of Charlotte where access to traditional capital is difficult.


How Can Business Owners Use the Opportunity Zone Program?

Existing business owners can benefit from being in an Opportunity Zone in two ways:

Attract new capital: Potential investors can take advantage of the Opportunity Zone tax incentives by investing in a business through a Qualified Opportunity Fund.

Self-investment: A business owner’s capital gains can earn Opportunity Zone tax incentives if the owner invests it back into the business.

How can Property Owners Benefit from Opportunity Zones?

Property owners in Opportunity Zones can benefit by attracting new investors or tenants. Property owners who own land within an Opportunity Zone and are willing to sell may find their property is highly sought by investors or potential buyers. Property owners may also benefit through businesses that rent space on their property and can attract and acquire investment resources from Qualified Opportunity Funds.

Key Opportunity Zones in Charlotte

East Charlotte

The Eastland Area Plan established a vision for the former Eastland Mall site and the surrounding area. The plan is defined by a unique town center, attractive mixed-use corridors and distinct gateways. A new development plan is underway for the mall site which will transform the site into a more vibrant destination that spurs economic activity and acts as a community hub that serves East Charlotte and beyond.

North End and North Tryon

The North End and North Tryon Opportunity Zone connects uptown Charlotte to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and is bounded by Statesville Avenue, North Tryon Street, Interstate85 and Sugar Creek Road. It includes established neighborhoods such as Druid Hills, Lockwood, Sugar Creek and Tryon Hills, and major developments such as the North End Smart District and Camp North End.

The area’s proximity to the Charlotte Area Transit System’s LYNX Blue Line also creates transit-oriented development opportunities along North Tryon Street. There are multiple infrastructure and transportation initiatives underway in the area, including the Cross Charlotte Trail, the Applied Innovation Corridor and the Northeast Corridor Infrastructure Program. These projects represent $173 million in public investment.

Wilkinson Boulevard, Charlotte Douglas International Airport and LYNX Silver Line

The Charlotte Douglas International Airport is a major economic engine contributing $23 billion in annual economic output, $1.1 billion in state and local taxes, and 132,330 jobs for North Carolina residents. With major development planned for the area surrounding the airport’s entrance on Wilkinson Boulevard, and the future LYNX Silver Line, this Opportunity Zone is set to transform with opportunities for community-driven investment in aviation, logistics, retail, hospitality and offices.

Freedom Drive

Freedom Drive is a major transportation corridor from Uptown to Interstate85. The area has seen an increase in commercial redevelopment activity, and investment in its established neighborhoods, such as Wesley Heights, Bryant Park, Enderly Park and Ashley Park. Current infrastructure investments underway in this area include Ashley Road sidewalks and the Tuckaseegee Road, Berryhill Road and Thrift Road roundabout.

West Trade Street and Beatties Ford

West Trade Street and Beatties Ford Road is a historic corridor that includes several established communities, educational institutions such as Johnson C. Smith University, Northwest School of the Arts and West Charlotte High School, and prominent cultural and civic assets.

The corridor is poised for high growth with phase 2 of the CityLYNX Gold Line complete — a $150 million streetcar investment. The West Trade/Rozzelles Ferry Comprehensive Neighborhood Investment Program (CNIP) project will also bring $20 million in public investment in new streets, infrastructure and a new plaza at the Five Points intersection.

Rozzelles Ferry

Rozzelles Ferry is located just northwest of Uptown, close to West Trade Street and Beatties Ford Road. The area has seen recent investment in office, neighborhood-serving retail, streetscape and greenways. As part of the West Trade/Rozzelles Ferry CNIP, Rozzelles Ferry Road will provide a pedestrian-friendly streetscape and a safe connection to the CityLYNX Gold Line station.

Learn More About Opportunity Zones

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

Other Economic Development Programs

Additional City of Charlotte investment resources, growth programs and initiatives include:

Business Matching Grants: Small businesses, property owners and developers located in the City of Charlotte’s Business Corridor Revitalization Geography can apply for Business Matching Grants, which assist owners with the cost of improving their properties.

Business Investment Grants: Business Investment Grants are reimbursements of incremental ad valorem property taxes paid to eligible businesses based upon the amount of property tax generated by the investment and the number of jobs created when the company moves or expands in Charlotte.

Tax Increment Grant: Tax Increment Grants (TIG) are reimbursed ad valorem property taxes awarded to projects that advance economic growth and the city’s land use goals.

Housing Trust Fund: The Housing Trust Fund provides financing to developers for affordable housing. The fund utilizes voter-approved housing bonds and is administered by the city’s Housing & Neighborhood Services Department.

Enhanced Review: The city’s Planning, Design & Development Department offers enhanced review, a shortened timeframe for certain types of development projects. This option offers project teams overall predictability and coordination of comments and revisions between staffs.