The Renaissance Zone Program works to encourage reinvestment and redevelopment in downtown areas to enhance business and improve housing.

WHO QUALIFIES: Any taxpaying entity in good standing with the State and the City who owns property in the zone and is interested in making improvements could qualify for tax incentives. A 9-member Authority reviews applications and makes recommendations to the City Commission for formal approval and then forwards to the State Department of Commerce-Division of Community Services for initial approval so the project may begin.

HOW DO I APPLY: Before you purchase a property in the zone, rehabilitate a building or make major improvements, or lease to a tenant, please submit an application and get approval. Applications and information needed to apply as a zone project are available in the Building Department at City Hall.

WHERE IS THE ZONE: Devils Lake has 34 blocks included in their zone: the central downtown and outlying residential areas, a large commercial area south of the downtown, and a block on the south side of Hwy 2.


  • Current Commercial Property: Owners must make capital improvements equal to 50% or more of the true and full value prior to improvements.
  • New Commercial Property: The owner builds a new commercial structure or adds on to an existing commercial building.
  • Current Residential Property: The owner makes all the necessary improvements to eliminate poor conditions and the improvements need to be at least 20% of true and full value prior to improvements.
  • New Residential Property: New construction of a residential property.
  • Commercial Leases: Continued leases in buildings being rehabilitated as a zone project will be considered as new leases and are eligible.


  • Renovations
  • Rehabilitation
  • Lease hold improvements
  • Purchase
  • Lease


  • Up to $500k of income exempted annually on income derived at an approved zone business project (5 year maximum)
  • Property tax exemptions for commercial and residential properties for up to five years
  • Up to a $10k income tax credit per year for five years on qualified single-family homes (maximum $50k)
  • 25% tax credit available for historic property on the amount invested (maximum $250k)
  • Transferable credits upon selling a single-family home
  • Transferable exemptions upon selling or leasing a business