The Benefits and Application Process
The application process to become a Designated 2019 Texas Main Street community is now open. Please use this link to access the application. Applications to become a designated Main Street community are accepted once each year on the last working day of July. Please review the Main Street sections of this website or contact the Texas Main Street State Coordinator for information on the program or pertaining to completion of the application.
Important dates for 2019 entrance:
- April 27, 2018: Optional Intent to Apply due
- July 31, 2018: Application due
- October 23-24, 2018: Quarterly Commission meeting, new Main Street Programs accepted
- November 7-9, 2018: Main Street communities are formally announced at the state downtown revitalization conference co-hosted by the Texas Downtown Association and Texas Main Street in Corpus Christi
- November-December, 2018: State office consults with local program on hiring and program creation
- January 1, 2019: Official entrance into the program
Information about current participants can be found here on this website.
You are invited to learn more about the application process and local requirements by reviewing this slide presentation on Becoming a Designated Main Street Community. The presentation describes the history of Main Street in Texas; explains the process for applying and creating a local program; and the benefits of participation.
Each year, the Texas Historical Commission may select up to five Texas cities for official Main Street designation. Historic neighborhood commercial districts are also eligible to apply. There is no application fee. With this designation, communities become part of a powerful statewide and national network. Designated communities receive a range of services from the Texas Main Street Program (TMSP) staff. This includes professional expertise provided to the program, and downtown property and business owners in the areas of design, preservation, downtown-specific economic development, organizational management and small business development.
There are currently 89 officially designated Main Street communities in Texas. They are communities of all sizes across the state of Texas.
Programs pay a nominal annual fee to participate and receive a continual range of services from the TMSP and additional benefits, which includes:
- A full range of design services from a professionally-trained TMSP staff that includes licensed architects to help downtown property owners undertake effective rehabilitation, restoration and adaptive re-use projects
- Additional, as-needed technical consultation with business and property owners on a variety of topics
- Strategic planning, program capacity building and organizational management for the Main Street organization
- Individualized, on-site training for Main Street managers, boards and other Main Street participants
- Two statewide, Main Street-specific trainings/professional development opportunities annually for any volunteers or staff of participant communities, plus an annual downtown revitalization conference in partnerships with the Texas Downtown Association.
- Product development, such as design reports for specific properties, strategic planning reports to help drive the Plan of Work and other technical reports based upon the community’s individual needs
- Comprehensive city planning and economic development technical assistance through Main Street and its affiliated Town Square Initiative.
- Participation in a Main Street listserv and online resource library for professional development and assistance with downtown issues
- Technical assistance on resources for funding projects and furthering economic development in the Main Street district
- Comprehensive resource reports for new programs to drive a multi-year plan of action
- Access for non-entitlement communities to a Main Street-specific pool of improvement funds through the Texas Capital Fund of the Texas Department of Agriculture.
To apply, a community must agree to hire a full-time Main Street Director, adequately budget for the local program, and show the following:
I. Historic commercial fabric and historic character—The historic significance/fabric of the proposed Main Street area and the interest in and commitment to historic preservation. (Questions 18-27 and images, 35 points)
II. Community and private sector support and organizational capacity—Demonstrates community and private sector support for the program as well as the capability of the applicant to successfully implement the Main Street Program. (Questions 28-34 and letters of support, 25 points)
III. Support and financial capacity—Demonstrates the financial capability to employ a full-time manager, fund a local Main Street Program and support downtown-related projects. (Questions 35-38, resolution and proposed budget, 24 points)
IV. Physical capacity and business environment—The cohesiveness, distinctiveness and variety of business activity conducted in the proposed Main Street Program area. (Questions 39-59 and images, 10 points)
V. Demonstrated need—The need for the Main Street Program. (Questions 60-63 and images, 10 points)
VI.Geographic distribution and discretionary— (no specific application section or questions, 6 points total.)
An applicant from a community of less than 50,000 in population applies as a small-city program through city government. An urban program with more than 50,000 population may choose to apply either under state government or through a stand-alone non-profit.