SoDo District Opportunity Zone
The Opportunity Zone Program is a federal program that provides tax incentives, including temporary deferrals on capital gains taxes when investors reinvest those gains in qualified Opportunity Funds. These funds are in turn invested in communities from designated census tracts (Opportunity Zones).
The city's role in the Opportunity Zone Program is to connect funding with projects, develop an investable pipeline of projects and to leverage these projects to create new opportunities for residents and encourage upward mobility.
The SoDo District is an innovative community with a strong workforce, otherwise known as “The Urban Lab.” Neighborhoods and property owners have been joining together to revitalize the Orange Avenue and Michigan Street corridors in order to create a more vibrant community where residents can live, shop, work and play.
The district also falls within an Orlando Main Street Program, with the vision focused on embracing the history of the district while keeping an eye toward the area’s diversity and growth as an economic engine in the region. The future plan of the SoDo District includes creating and preserving retail opportunities, walkable destinations, civic spaces, streetscape improvements, business facade enhancements and overall design and development guidelines.
Current funding opportunities within SoDo District include:
- Downtown South Neighborhood Improvement District (DSNID) - special purpose local government that supports the redevelopment and improvement within the downtown district.
HUBZone Program - the U.S. Small Business Administration limits competition for contracts to businesses in historically underutilized business zones.
Urban Job Tax Credit Program (UJTCP) - endorsed by the Florida Legislature to encourage the creation of jobs in urban areas of the state.
The Orlando Economic Enhancement District Program (OEED) - a Brownfield Designation; utilizing an economic development tool engaging redevelopment of properties by businesses and property owners.
This business district is surrounded by many of Orlando’s historic neighborhoods known for their lakes, walkable paths and streets. Many large retail chains have recently invested in the SoDo District, through a generous amount of boutique-style shops and diverse restaurants, such as: Orlando Brewing Company, Swirlery Wine Bar, Tin & Taco Sodo, SoDo Sushi Bar & Grill and the Local Varkers Market.
The SoDo District is also home to Orlando Health, Orlando’s most established hospital and Central Florida region’s only level 1 trauma center. One of Orlando’s historic railroad stations is also nestled within this community. The utilization of the SunRail Stations and Mears Transportation are a major source of public transit within this district.