Fort McPherson gets "opportunity zone" designation

Fort McPherson, the former military base on Atlanta's Southside that closed last month, has been approved as Georgia’s third “opportunity zone” in the city's limits.

Redevelopers of the site hope the designation will help attract businesses to the 130-year-old, 488-acre site former garrison with historic buildings and a parade ground.

Plans created by the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority call for a technology park, large green space and a Veterans Affairs clinic.

Opportunity zone tax credits are popular with economic developers because they can apply to any industry. A minimum of two jobs must be created to qualify for the credit, which amounts to $3,500 per worker for up to five years, or a total of $17,500 for every net new job created.

Union City used opportunity zone tax credits to attract pharmaceutical-maker Dendreon Corp., though that company recently laid workers off after the launch of its prostate cancer drug had slower than expected sales. The former City Hall East, now Ponce City Market, also has been approved as an opportunity zone.