Stephen Turner
Mar 23, 2018

Big New Incentive for Investments in Knowledge Park

1 comment

The City today issued the press release below, following an announcement this morning by Governor McMaster. What does it mean? It means that new investments in Knowledge Park and surrounding areas will become more rewarding for developers and investors. It's just the boost we need to keep and accelerate the great momentum that Knowledge Park has achieved over the past 3 years. Here's a map of the designated census tracts:



News Release

March 23, 2018

Rock Hill Census Tracts Recommended for Opportunity Zone Designation

Governor Henry McMaster today announced he has recommended, at the request of the City, four census tracts be designated as Opportunity Zones. Census tracts in Rock Hill designated as Opportunity Zones include areas comprising Knowledge Park, the Saluda Street corridor and the Albright Road corridor. These designations, after their finalization, are designed to jumpstart investment and spur economic development in Rock Hill. This program will provide a valuable financing tool to encourage significant economic development in the urban core.

Mayor John Gettys commented, “With the designation of these tracts, we are confident that development activity will quickly follow, proving to developers and others around the nation that Rock Hill is open and ready for business. Sen. Tim Scott’s vision can and will be a reality here in our City. We feel confident the attention today’s designations will bring these distressed areas will result in new development within 2 years, bringing an estimated $400 million in private investment.”

According to SC Commerce, the Opportunity Zone program in SC intends to focus on five areas:

· Promoting economic vitality parts of the state that have not shared in the general prosperity over the past few years

· Funding the development of workforce and affordable housing in areas with escalating prices and inventory shortages


  • Funding new infrastructure to support population and economic growth

  • Investing in startup businesses who have potential for rapid increases in scale

  • Upgrading the capability of existing underutilized assets through capital improvement investments

Opportunity Zones are made possible by the tax reform legislation passed by Congress in December of 2017. A part of the Investing in Opportunity Act, originally proposed by Senator Scott, the program allows investors to defer paying tax on capital gains if those gains are invested in Opportunity Zones.

While the tax deferral on the original investment is temporary, no taxes will be paid on new gains from the investment. Ten percent of the deferred gain is forgiven for Opportunity Fund investments held for 5 years, and 15% is forgiven if the investment is held for 7 years. Opportunity Zone investments held for a period of at least 10 years are exempt from taxation on gains beyond what was originally deferred.

For more information, including a map of designated tracts, visit


Mar 26, 2018

Another great example of how Rock Hill pursues strategic opportunity and creates even more opportunity by leveraging resources--smart!

New Posts
  • Rock Hill Econ Dev
    Jun 19

    Checkout to see what's coming! Try the interactive 3D map that showcases several development sites in the Knowledge Park area. Click on the blinking plus signs to see concept art and renderings of future development plans for that site.
  • Stephen Turner
    May 21, 2018

    The Development Action Team has now reviewed eight of ten development opportunities in Knowledge Park (see earlier post showing map of development opportunities). Following the review and discussion of each development opportunity, the team completes a survey designed to prioritize each project based on factors like: 1) How important is the particular development project to the overall success of Knowledge Park? 2) Are the necessary ingredients in place for the project to be successful (i.e. are there environmental issues? Is the property in the ownership/control of a motivated owner/developer? Is there a clear plan? etc.) 3) Can significant development progress be achieved within the next 5 years? (Remember, this is an ACTION plan!) 4) Is it likely that this project will happen without assistance from the City or RHEDC? (If so, that's great. However, we want to focus the community's attention on high value projects that need some extra support to become successful.) This survey process has resulted in the following rankings thus far: 1. Towncenter sites (City-owned land at the corners of Main/Dave Lyle and White/Dave Lyle) 2. (Tie) Good Motors site and The Herald site 4. Fountain Park area 5. University Center 6. West Main-West Black corridors 7. Oakland Avenue 8. Saluda/Johnston Streets These rankings may not reflect the final recommendations of the Development Action Team. They do provide a snapshot of the projects that the Team found compelling. It's interesting that a number the highly ranked opportunities have not previously been included in conversations about important economic development priorities in Rock Hill. Change is coming!
  • Rock Hill Econ Dev
    Apr 12, 2018

    The Development Action Team is reviewing development opportunities within 10 different sites in the Knowledge Park area.  The goal is to position the Knowledge Park area for continued development/redevelopment by focusing planning and attention in areas that may be difficult for private developers to attack without some assistance.  A map of these targeted areas is below. The Development Action Team will prioritize these development areas by looking at factors like: The potential for new investment and the importance of that new investment to the success of Knowledge Park (are the opportunities obvious and clearly supportive of current Knowledge Park projects and investments?) How quickly new investment could be realized within the area (sooner is better) Whether private developers would be likely to make future investments in the area without support from the City or RHEDC (we place a higher priority on areas where conditions are not ripe for developers to invest immediately) Some areas, like University Center and Fountain Park, have clear development plans, committed developers, initial successes and strong momentum for future growth.  Other areas, like The Herald site, the West Main/West Black corridors, and the Saluda/Johnston area, are not well understood, do not have development plans and have no interest at present from developers.  How do we strike an appropriate balance between supporting the success of current projects and beginning the challenge of spreading that success to nearby sites?  Stay tuned: the Development Action Team clearly has some hard decisions to make.