Opportunity Zones/Locations in CWC

What are Qualified Opportunity Zones?

Opportunity Zones were created by Congress in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to stimulate investment in low-income communities throughout the United States. Investments in Opportunity Zones must be made through a partnership or corporation, commonly known as Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF).

Federal Tax Incentives include capital gain deferral and partial gain exclusion on realized gains reinvested in Opportunity Funds as well as full gain exclusion on appreciation of the Opportunity Fund itself – if the investment is held for 10 years.

Our Area

The Brainerd/ Baxter Lakes Area is located in Crow Wing County in central Minnesota. The lakes area boasts more than 400 lakes in a 30-mile radius approximately 120 miles north of the Minnesapolis/ St. Paul area. The community has a year-round population of nearly 70,000 people and grows to more than 200,000 in the summer tourism season.

The Brainerd Lakes area has a diverse economy with a significant government center, regional healthcare services, a robust educational sector, manufacturing and back office operations. The tourism economy has been growing with Paul Bunyan Trail system, the 5,000- acre Cuyuna Range Recreational facilities including state of the art mountain biking and man-made lakes that were former mining operations. In addition, historical downtowns and Northern Pacific Railroad facilities are being renovated into destinations for individuals looking for unique experiences or wedding venues.

Recent projects in the area include a multi-year $200 million school renovation project that was approved by the voters in 2018, plans for a multi-million-dollar Children’s Museum facility, a $2+ million dollar expansion project of offices by an area telecommunications’ company and more.


Recent growth and redevelopment have led to numerous housing and commercial opportunities, in addition to manufacturing and office locations. The Brainerd Baxter Opportunity Zones include a small portion of east Baxter, and a significant portion of Brainerd, including:

Downtown Brainerd Redevelopment Opportunities

Brainerd Industrial Center (Former Paper Plant and Surrounding Acreage)

City Owned Thiesse/ Isebrand Industrial Park

Lots and Available Facilities in Phase I & II Brainerd

Rolling Riverfront Commercial and/ or Housing Acreage