Senators visit Huntington ‘Opportunity Zones’ as part of national tour

HUNTINGTON – In May, it was announced that portions of Huntington, including the downtown and West End areas, had been certified as Opportunity Zones by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

On Friday, U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., hosted U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., in Huntington for a number of visits focused on economic development and Opportunity Zones, a federal program that offers tax incentives to promote private investment in economically distressed areas.

“It was so great to hear directly from city leaders how Opportunity Zones can shape growth in Huntington, across West Virginia and around the country,” Capito said in a news release. “I’m grateful to Senator Scott for making this trip, and excited West Virginia community leaders are ready to get moving with Opportunity Zones in their hometowns.”

To highlight the Investing in Opportunity Act (IIOA), which was included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Scott has been conducting a nationwide “Opportunity Tour,” according to the release. Huntington, which is home to three of these Opportunity Zones, marked the eighth stop on the tour.

“West Virginia truly is ripe for opportunity. Today’s four stops in Huntington with Senator Capito brought to life so much of what my Investing in Opportunity Act can do,” Scott said in the release.

“People are finding purpose, jobs are being produced and ideas are becoming reality. I can’t wait to see how this community continues to fulfill their potential through the Opportunity Zones, and look forward to seeing it prosper.”

Capito and Scott’s first stop was with Core10, a software development firm located in one of Huntington’s Opportunity Zones, followed by a tour of downtown Huntington with Mayor Steve Williams, Director of Planning and Development Scott Lemley and Fire Chief Jan Rader that included The Market on 3rd Avenue, where they had lunch with regional mayors.

The final stop was a tour of Coalfield Development, West Edge Factory and a meeting with local leaders.

Huntington city officials said the West End census tract that was selected is a fairly large area.

“It includes the Westmoreland area and a portion of Wayne County at the Coalfield Development property as well as 14th Street West,” Cathy Burns, city manager, said in May. “All three census tracts are positioned for economic development.”

The other tract covers the Riverfront and Old Main Corridor that connects downtown Huntington and Marshall University.

A full list of West Virginia’s 55 Opportunity Zone designations can be found at