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 tackling code challenges preventing second story re-occupation to feasibility studies demonstrating that a historic rehabilitation will cash flow. 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. Our technical assistance includes:

  • Conceptual design and financial feasibility studies for vacant buildings that are place-driven and
  • Coordinated downtown planning strategies 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.
  • Increasing and influencing the market exposure of available properties in downtowns across Texas including attracting investors who value historic architecture and the special qualities of each community.
  • Providing information, education, and resources on best practices that have a positive impact on local policy and decision-making.

More About the Town Square Initiative

Photo Gallery

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