The Town Square Initiative

The Town Square Initiative (TSI) is a program at the THC that provides more advanced and specialized services to help revitalize historic downtowns. Working as an affiliate of the Texas Main Street Program, an interdisciplinary team (architecture, planning and economic development) focuses on the challenge of unoccupied and underutilized historic buildings primarily by reshaping the conditions around the building through design, planning, placemaking, market analysis, and more. 

Described as Main Street 2.0, TSI's projects range from holistic downtown action plans to building-specific feasibility studies. TSI’s work is guided by a place-driven and market-informed philosophy meaning that we prioritize viable redevelopment projects in communities that are strongly motivated by enhancing the quality of place in their downtowns. We work with our local project partners long-term and focus on implementation. Our technical assistance includes:

  • Conceptual design and financial feasibility studies for vacant buildings that are place-driven and market-informed.
  • Downtown strategic planning to address development barriers in order to make it easier for local property owners and entrepreneurs to invest in their downtowns.TSI assisting a property owner on a possible loft conversion in Harlingen, 2016.
  • Efforts to increase and influence the market exposure of available properties in downtowns across Texas including strategies to attract investors and new building stewards who value historic architecture and the special qualities of each community.
  • Advanced research and collaborative problem-solving for priority downtown topics in order to develop best practices, policy statements and shared education materials that can have a broad positive impact on local policy and decision-making.

More About the Town Square Initiative

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  • Community meetings in Alpine while working on a downtown inventory to populate