There is a government-sponsored program whereby you can get tax credits for making investments in commercial projects in low-income areas.
Enacted in December 2000, the new-market tax credit program is helping to create jobs and revitalize streets and even entire downtowns. Projects large and small that most financial specialists agree would never come to fruition otherwise are taking shape because of tax credits worth $500,000 to $150 million and even more.
Tax credits make riskier projects more viable by reducing the debt associated with development costs. Private investors pay less in taxes and the developer passes the savings on to the community by, for example, lowering rent per square foot.
The federal program will allocate up to $15 billion in tax credits to community development groups over seven years to make businesses or commercial real estate projects in low-income areas more attractive to private investors … Though the tax credits can be used for business development, the majority are used for commercial real estate because of the way the program is structured.
Complete article: Luring Business Developers Into Low-Income Areas – by Lisa Chamberlain, The New York Times