The Benefits and Application Process
The application process to become a Designated 2018 Texas Main Street community is now open. The Application is here. 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 and information:
Friday, June 2: Optional Letters of Intent to Apply due (Does not obligate an application.)
Monday, July 31: Applications due, 5 pm
Sept-Oct: application review by Interagency Council
October: Commission votes on acceptance of incoming Main Street programs.
Nov. 8: Incoming Main Street communities are announced and welcomed at the annual statewide downtown revitalization conference hosted by the Texas Downtown Association and Texas Main Street Program. The conference will be held Nov. 7-10, 2017 in McKinney, Texas, a 12-year urban Main Street community.
Nov. and Dec.: Incoming programs go through staff hiring and board selection process (assistance provided by TMSP)
Jan. 1, 2018: Official entrance
Mid-January, 2018: New manager orientation
Information about current participants can be found here on this website.
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 a licensed architect 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:
- Historic commercial fabric and historic identity—The historic significance of the proposed Main Street area and the interest in and commitment to historic preservation.
- Community and private sector support and organizational capacity—Demonstrates community and private sector support for the program. (The capability of the applicant to successfully implement the Main Street Program.)
- Support and financial capacity—Demonstrates the public sector support and the financial capability to employ a full-time manager, fund a local Main Street Program and support downtown-related projects.
- Physical capacity—The cohesiveness, distinctiveness and variety of business activity conducted in the proposed Main Street Program area.
- Demonstrated need—The need for the Main Street Program and its expected impact on the city.
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.
Two application workshops have been held, one in Bastrop and one in Mount Vernon. An application webinar was also conducted. Click below to view the one-hour recorded webinar.