As part of National Preservation Month, the THC's Texas Main Street Program and Town Square Initiative will host the 2018 Imagine the Possibilities Tours in May and June. The tours will showcase available properties in over 20 cities across Texas as a way to engage potential investors, entrepreneurs, developers, residents, and anyone else who has imagined themselves running a business, owning a building, or living downtown.
The Imagine the Possibilities Tours bring to life one of the THC’s initiatives, DowntownTX.org. Launched last year with four pilot cities, DowntownTX.org connects interested investors with properties that are listed or potentially eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
“The launch of DowntownTX.org was the culmination of our team’s concerted effort to create a platform for showcasing investment opportunities in our historic downtowns. Through DowntownTX.org, we can spotlight opportunity to anyone, anywhere, interested in a downtown property—whether from a development perspective or an entrepreneur looking for a business location,” said Debra Drescher, state coordinator of the Texas Main Street Program. “We are excited to once again coordinate ‘Imagine the Possibilities’ events across the state. These tours give our communities yet another way to put the potential of historic downtowns in the public eye.”
Many local governments also offer historic preservation-based tax incentives as well, and those are all identified on each community’s Main Street page. The concentrated statewide effort creates excitement for Texas' historic downtowns and DowntownTX.org provides the perfect matchmaking platform.
“DowntownTx.org is the first tool of its kind to compile building data that provides local communities with tools to track vacancies and leverage resources to reach a broader audience by telling the important story of how vacant properties effect a downtown’s bottom line,” said Bastrop Main Street Program Director Sarah O’Brien. “The Imagine the Possibilities Tour and DowntownTX.org allow us to allocate additional resources on targeting brokers, developers, and entrepreneurs who see the value of historic properties so that we can tell our story and see additional investment in our downtown.”
Selected properties featured on each city’s DowntownTX.org page will be open and accessible to the public during their Imagine the Possibilites event, and tour attendees can obtain additional information on downtown development and business resources.
“We are so excited to be part of DowntownTX.org. We have received interest from people throughout the state in investing in our community because of what they saw on the site,” said Kim Newton, La Grange Main Street and Tourism assistant manager. “Being part of the Imagine the Possibilities Tour will show the local community and realtors how this partnership is beneficial to our community and all we have to offer.”
Besides featuring investment opportunities in the context of the community, DowntownTX.org also highlights incentives, provides a direct connection to the correct local contacts, and clarifies the local development process. As a complete inventory with historic building information, history lovers and old building enthusiasts are welcome to browse as well.
For a full list of cities and dates for this year’s Imagine the Possibilities Tours, visit the DowntownTX.org program page.