95 directors from communities in Texas gather in San Antonio to learn about downtown vacant property revitalization prospects


San Antonio, TX: A gathering of 95 Main Street directors occurred from Feb. 10 – 13 to learn and address concerns regarding vacant property registration and downtown beautification programs.


As basically all cities in Texas, be those small or large, utilize their downtown or “Main Street” areas as a hub from which the rest of the community can turn to and emulate, the Main Street conference focused on what methods could be utilized to revitalize and set in place a sustaining systems for prosperous downtowns.


One topic of focus came from decreasing numbers of residents in rural areas and increasing numbers of residents in urban areas. At the conference, it was advised that owners of downtown properties left to sit vacant without any efforts in place to occupy or keep the property in prime and presentable condition should be met with fines and fees from the city in order to assist the rest of the properties trying to draw in the community to help it prosper.


That notion is backed by a 25 percent state franchise tax credit with the apparent intent of inspiring investment into structures where commercial potential resides, as well as helping older structures with some historical value from being leveled and instead rejuvenated and/or repurposed.


From registry programs to community outreach and partnerships to repurposing for residential and new commercial prospects, the Main Street conference offered an example of how communities are turning to each other for ideas to combat blight, discourage or mitigate population exodus, and even encourage expansion for communities large to small, urban to rural.


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