Downtown in Action

On February 15, 2017, the Main Street Advisory Board adopted its first Annual Action Plan—Downtown in Action (DIA), a comprehensive work plan that provides a detailed blueprint for activities, reinforcing the program’s accountability and providing measurable objectives by which the program and its stakeholders can track progress.  Click on the link below to view DIA in its entirety.  

City-Led Downtown Projects

Since 2009, the City of Brownsville, in partnership with various federal, state and local entities, has invested over $55 million in Downtown Brownsville. Click on the link below for a complete list of projects.


Downtown Overlay District Incentives for New Businesses
On August 1, 2017 the City of Brownsville adopted the Downtown Overlay District Ordinance (DOD) to stimulate economic development in Downtown Brownsville by incentivizing new businesses that will augment the City's downtown revitalization efforts and will transform downtown into a vibrant hub for working, living, shopping, and entertainment.

New businesses applying for a Certificate of Occupancy may qualify to have applicable building and zoning fees waived.  In order to qualify for this incentive, new businesses must meet on of the following permitted uses:
  1. Retail and service uses
  2. Art and arts-related businesses
  3. Entertainment businesses
For additional information, please refer to:

Downtown Beautification Program
Funded in part by the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC), the Downtown Beautification Program aims to encourage quality redevelopment in Downtown Brownsville by providing small grants not to exceed $5,000 to property owners seeking to improve the facades of vacant commercial buildings located within the Main Street District in Downtown Brownsville.

The Downtown Beautification Program’s primary focus is on vacant commercial buildings surrounding Market Square.

A cash match of $500 and an in-kind contribution of $500 is required. Acceptable in-kind contributions may include additional rehabilitation work, cleaning of the interior building and/or exterior property, and connecting utilities.

Eligible activities for the Downtown Beautification Program include:
  • Painting of the façade;
  • Cleaning of the exterior building;
  • Removal of debris/awnings; and
  • Artistic renderings that highlight the building’s historical significance or illustrate the building’s potential commercial use.
All applications must be submitted to the Planning & Development Services Department located at:
1034 E. Levee Street, Brownsville, Texas 78520, ATTN: Main Street Brownsville.

Intensive Block Facade Improvement Program
The City of Brownsville has established an Intensive Block Facade Improvement Program (FIP) that provides grants to property and business owners seeking to rehabilitate commercial buildings located within the Main Street District.   For more information about the FIP, please see the program guidelines below.
Olvera Building Poster

Design and Economic Development Assistance through the Texas Historical Commission

The Texas Main Street Program provides design and economic development assistance to participating Main Street cities. These services are offered to individual property and business owners within the designated Main Street District at no charge. Economic development assistance is also offered to developers exploring investment opportunities within the designated Main Street District.

Services provided include facade renderings, SWOT analysis, Economic Impact studies and Tax Credit Assistance. Interested parties may contact the Main Street Brownsville program office at 956-548-6156 or email to apply.