Qualified Opportunity Funds Could Bring Millions in Investment to Kentucky.


In Kentucky, 144 sites in 84 counties have been designated as Opportunity Zones. The state is the ideal location for Opportunity Zone investments because of its central location, affordable real estate, and the highest concentration of available skilled workers in the country.

Northeast Kentucky, in particular, is ripe for investment. With Braidy Industries investing $1.6 billion in their aluminum rolling mill, the area around Ashland, Kentucky is on the verge of explosive growth and a monumental transformation. This creates unparalleled opportunities for investors and businesses looking to capitalize on regional growth while taking advantage of Opportunity Zone legislation.

Think Kentucky

There are many reasons to ‘think Kentucky’ when evaluating Opportunity Zones, including the record-breaking trends in investment and business growth throughout the state. Since Governor Bevin took office, $19.4 billion in new investment has come into the state and 51,000 new jobs have been created! This includes the $1.6  billion investment by Braidy Industries and expansions by companies like Nucor Corp. who is building a $1.35 billion steel plate manufacturing mill and Toyota who recently announced a $238 million investment in new manufacturing lines.

Investors and businesses have identified Kentucky as the perfect location because it is within a day’s drive of 2/3rds of the US population, has three global air shipping hubs, and excellent rail, water, air and highway logistical options.

Fast Facts

  • Kentucky is the #1 state in projects per capita, according to Site Selector Magazine, and winner of their Governor’s Cup·      
  • #2 in U.S. employment in motor vehicle manufacturing
  • #2 in U.S. in aerospace exports
  • #3 in U.S. in air cargo shipments
  • #6 in U.S. in top manufacturing states
  • #8 in U.S. among top business climates
  • 4.4 million people call Kentucky home
  • $19.4 billion in new investment
  • 1,117 new and expanded facilities
  • 51,000 new jobs created
  • $91.2 billion in exports
  • Financial incentives available

Economic Factors

Our People

The Bluegrass State is home to passionate people who love living in Kentucky. Generations are tied to the land and so while Kentucky has a current population of 4.4 million, millions more are looking to come home for the right work opportunities. This creates opportunities in all business and real estate sectors as the state continues to attract new investment.


Kentucky is home to the highest concentration of engineers and welders in the country. Our available skilled workforce makes Kentucky an ideal destination for companies in the manufacturing sector. This is leading to significant growth in the demand for industrial property.

State Support

The state of Kentucky is pro-business and has made great strides to cut red tape, offer financial and tax incentives and make it easy for businesses to operate here.

“I will not be outworked as a governor.  My cabinet for Economic Development will not be outworked… we will never give less than 100% to accomplish the task.” – Gov. Matt Bevin

This support has been evident in the increased investment into Kentucky and the many businesses who are locating or expanding in the state.  

Real Estate Market

Real Estate in Kentucky is affordable, with industrial property costing less per square foot than in nearby states. Businesses moving into Kentucky benefit from reduced real estate costs while investors benefit from healthy profit margins. Commercial real estate in Opportunity Zones, like the South Shore Industrial Park , presents unique opportunities for investors looking to take advantage of Kentucky’s growth and the increased demand, while also reducing their capital gains exposure.

Opportunity Zones

Investors and businesses looking to limit capital gain taxes can do so by utilizing Opportunity Zone legislation. Investors and businesses have an unprecedented opportunity to grow capital and increase their portfolio by investing in a Qualified Opportunity Fund within the state and avoid paying capital gains tax in the process*.


The Tax Cut and Jobs Act, along with the Investing in Opportunity Act, established a mechanism for investors with capital gains tax liabilities to defer current capital gain tax and eliminate their future capital gains tax by investing their gains in projects based within an Opportunity Zone*. These investments can be made in businesses and real estate development projects through a Qualified Opportunity Fund, located within a federally designated zone**.

More Information

There are strategic reasons for businesses to operate out of Kentucky that go beyond the tax advantages offered by participation in a QOF. Locating in Kentucky provides businesses with access to a highly trained workforce, additional workforce development programs and financial incentives. More information on these incentives can be found here, http://www.thinkkentucky.com. For more information on

Opportunity Zone legislation, contact Sam Howard, Northeast Kentucky Development at samhoward@nekyd.com.



Opportunity Zone Information - In the News 

To read more about Northeast Kentucky and our opportunity zone's you can find informaiton below to various articles and publications that relate to expaning business and opportunity zones. 

Northeast Kentucky OZ Fund Completed its Acquisition of the 385-acre South Shore Property


Opportunity Zone Resources 

Below is a compiling of resources for Opportunity Zones and Opportunity Zone Funds. The informaiton will be updated regularly with new information that would be of use. 

Opportunity Zones Frequently Asked Questions


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