Grinnell Chamber

Opportunity Zones

What is an opportunity zone? 
An Opportunity Zone is an economically distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Theres sites have been certified by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury via his delegation of authority to the internal Revenue Service.

Grinnell's Opportunity Zone is an expansive area that includes Grinnell's central business district, agricultural area and residential opportunities for investors. Zone assets include a total of $155 million worth of investment committed to improving the area in and around the central business district ($18 million in public infrastructure projects, $7.5 million rehab of former school into a boutique hotel/event center, $30 million mixed-use area at the confluence of Grinnell's historic downtown and Grinnell College's campus, $110 million for Grinnell college campus improvements). Since it's 2016 $3.5 million upgrade, Central Park has been embraced by the community and the visitors alike. Usage of the park has increased 700% since its reopening and reinvigorated the area creating a community epicenter. 

Zone Opportunities include:

  • Redevelopment of historic building which have recently received facade improvements that could include office, retail, restaurant, mixed-use and multi-family units. Grinnell's Beyer building provides an opportunity for mixed-use development utilizing state/federal historic tax credits, workforce housing tax credits, grants and additional investment
  • Partner with the City of Grinnell, Grinnell College and others on two mixed use developments in the area between downtown Grinnell and Grinnell College's campus. 
  • Redevelopment opportunity on the eastern edge of the central business district and Central Park which could include destination-based businesses, mixed-use, and multi-family units.

Grinnell Statistics:
Top 3 Industries:
Professional Services, Retail, Restaurant/Hospitality/Food Services

Major Employers: Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, Grinnell College, Brownells, JELD-WEN
Median Household Income: $43,791
Median age: 43.2
Vacant Residential Properties: Number: 306 - Percentage: 14.2%
Local Incentives: Tax Increment Financing, Tax Abatement
New Market Tax Credits: Yet - Qualified Severely Distressed Zone
USDA Programs: Available, project specific
Zone Area: 6.1 square miles - Typology: residential, mixed-use, agricultural


For more information:
Rachael Kinnick | President & CEO, Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce - 641-236-6555


Des Moines Metro Information, courtesy of the Greater Des Moines Partnership:

Des Moines area has outgrown its' Midwestern peers in terms of percentage of population growth, and is expected to near 1 million in population by 2040 according to a American City Business Journals analysis. 

  • Des Moines - 15.1%, Omaha - 8.9%, Minneapolis - 8.4%, Kansas City - 6.7%, Milwaukee - 1.3%, and Chicago - 0.4%

Total employment in DSM continues to grow and outpace surrounding metros, signaling a healthy workforce

  • Des Moines - 21%, Minneapolis 20%, Kansas City - 16%, Chicago - 12%, Omaha 12%, St. Louis - 8%, and Milwaukee - 7%

Top 10 Industries expected to experience growth: Construction, Professional, scientific and technical services, Health care and social assistance, Admin and support and waste management and remediation services, retail trade, finance and insurance, educational services, accommodation and food services, wholesale trade, and manufacturing.

Gross Domestic Product Total - All Industries

  • 2012 - 45.4 billion
  • 2013 - 45.8 billion
  • 2014 - 50.2 billion
  • 2015 - 55.2 billion
  • 2016 - 59.1 billion
  • 2017 - 61.5 billion

National Recognition:

  • #5 Best Place to Live in the U.S. - U.S. News & World Report, 2019
  • Top 10 Best Places for Business and Careers - Forbes, 2018
  • #3 Up-and-Coming Tech Hotspot - Livability, 2018
  • #3 Best Affordable Place to Live in the U.S. - U.S. News & World Report, 2019
  • #4 Top City for Real Estate in the Midwest - PwC, 2017
  • #7 Best City for Living the American Dream - SmartAsset, 2019
  • #3 Metro for Number of Economic Development Projects - Site Selection, 2019
  • Top 10 Best State Capital to Live in - WalletHub, 2019
  • #8 Best City to Find Small Business jobs - ZipRecruiter, 2018
  • #1 Best Place for Millennials to Live in the Midwest - Growella, 2017




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