Main Street Program


As part of the Full-Strength Fort Worth revitalization strategy, the City of Fort Worth has kicked off a new pilot program in partnership with Main Street America- a proven national leader in grassroot, commercial district revitalization in many cities across the country.

Two pilot commercial districts in Fort Worth and their managing organizations have been selected through a competitive Request for Applications (RFA) process to pilot Main Street America’s community transformation framework with the goals of positively transforming their commercial district and building capacity of community stakeholders (residents, small businesses, property owners, etc.). As recipients of the program, they and those organizations that supported their application will do this in the following ways:

  • Facilitating and leading community stakeholders through a series of community economic development trainings from Main Street America.
  • Help capture the vision and desires of the community in a customized transformation strategy and workplan for their district to be enacted by a new district organization created by the managing organization, its director, the board, and the community committees – creating a vision and place for stakeholders to come together around actionable goals to spark economic growth in their district.
  • Help to strategically spend the $270,000 of grant funding in support of the commercial district and the identified community priorities in alignment with the four-point approach.
  • Hire a “community quarterback” (full-time staffer) to help them spearhead this process and work throughout the three years and beyond.
  • Leverage the city funding to fundraise additional dollars to support the commercial district priorities.
  • Work towards the Main Street America accreditation standards (standards developed over 40 years that help speak to strong community commercial district organizations) in order to continue the work in a support network that gives them access to ongoing trainings and best practices for the community, peer-to-peer learning and grant opportunities for the district and its small businesses.

Fort Worth is the first city in Texas to partner with Main Street America on a coordination program that spans multiple corridors across the city. The two pilot corridors will lay the groundwork for Fort Worth to become Texas' first Main Street Coordination City, joining other major cities across the country like Washington D.C., Boston, Baltimore, Chicago and Orlando.

Current Main Street Corridors

In August 2022, the Historic Northside and Polytechnic were named Fort Worth's first two Main Street pilot program corridors. Their managing organizations are the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Southeast Fort Worth Inc., respectively.

Information for Historic Northside

(Managing Organization: Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce)


Information for Polytechnic Heights

(Managing Organization: Southeast Fort Worth Inc.)

Contact: Dee Lara O'Neal


Contact: Sandrea Shields

Boundaries: View Historic Northside boundary map(PDF, 1MB)

  Boundaries: View Polytechnic Heights boundary map(PDF, 1MB)




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Curious how these boundaries and districts were chosen? Check out the FAQ section below.

Program goals

  • The goal of the Main Street America pilot program is to give community stakeholders the proven tools to understand and influence their own economic future, and drive positive change in the district.
  • Each of the pilot communities will create or strengthen a district-focused managing organization, as well as a full-time community quarterback (hired district staffer) who will take on the role of implementing the community transformation strategy, organizing and training stakeholders, and moving the district towards its long-term goals.
  • The community quarterback will collaborate with district stakeholders to create strong and diverse boards and community volunteers to represent different aspects of the district (neighborhoods, business owners, etc.) and will work with them to develop actionable goals, paths to achieving those goals, and additional metrics to inform their success.
  • Together, these stakeholders will utilize Main Street's Four-Point framework to organize their work and their communities to create a strong district organization and vision:
    • Economic vitality: Inspiring new investment and jobs in the district, and cultivating an entrepreneurial ecosystem.
    • Organization: Build strong leadership and organizational capacity while ensuring broad community engagement and forging partnerships across sectors.
    • Design: Create an inviting and inclusive atmosphere by celebrating the historic character of the area and fostering people-centered public spaces.
    • Promotion: Communicate and market the district's defining assets and unique voice. 



As part of this initiative, the Main Street America technical services team and the City will provide direct support to grant recipients over a three-year timeframe. The two pilot communities will receive the following:

  • Training and technical support from Main Street America for the chosen managing organization, as well as the community, its board, and partners to help build a robust revitalization knowledge base and to help inform future strategies and work.
  • A customized transformation strategy for their district, which includes a work plan and metrics to put the strategy into action while providing tangible goals to measure progress.
  • Direct support from City staff to assist with training and facilitate projects within the district.
  • Up to $120,000 in operational support funding over three years for a full-time staff person/community quarterback, dedicated to implementing the Main Street programming and working with community stakeholders.  
  • Up to $150,000 in project implementation grants over three years to support the overall strategy, which will be awarded on a project-by-project basis. The goal for these funds is to energize the community through visible projects, and help the managing organization build the capacity to fundraise on their own for the long-term sustainability of both the organization and the district.

These funds and training are meant to catalyze the program and community through partnership.

Timeline and Training

Following the City of Fort Worth’s fiscal calendar year, the pilot program runs from October 1, 2022 – September 30, 2025. The trainings will be scheduled at the community’s pace, as identified by the managing organization, but the general timeline for implementation and primary activities will include:

  • Year One (October 1, 2022 – September 30, 2023): Start-up program (hire manager and work with launch committee), kickstart community education, trust building, and begin organizational development.
  • Year Two (October 1, 2023 – September 30, 2024): Continued community education and organizational development, committee development, and transformation strategy development.
  • Year Three (October 1, 2024 – September 30, 2025): Transformation strategy refinement and implementation.

Over the course of three years, the Main Street District Organization will work to organize their local stakeholders and/or boards and committees for the following trainings and activities in each community:

  • Main St. 101 Basics – foundations of revitalization and organizing revitalization work through the 4-Point Approach for neighborhood commercial districts.
  • Community Asset Mapping – process of identifying the unique and valuable assets that exist in each district and are important to the community that lives and works in the district with the purpose of identifying strategies for preserving, enhancing, creating, supporting activities and promoting the district in an authentic way.
  • Board Roles & Responsibilities – building a strong organization and board is key to a lasting effort and organization; this training helps to set expectations and a framework to creating a strong board.
  • Volunteer Recruitment & Retention – as a grassroots approach to revitalization, volunteers are at the core of the framework’s success. This training will discuss and explore proven strategies to both recruit and retain volunteers who believe in the district and mission.
  • Business Mix & Trade Analysis – what are the market realities of the district and how to they correlate with the community’s desires and needs? Session participants will understand the role that community engagement, market analysis and development of metrics play in developing and evaluating transformation strategies.
  • The creation of a Transformation Strategy & Workplan – this includes surveying the community, building off the previous trainings and community engagement, interviews with key stakeholders and analyzing the market and data to workshop a personalized and effective strategy and approach for the Main Street District and its board, volunteers, committees, and manager to focus their work.
  • Yearly Assessments – This is an opportunity for different stakeholder groups to give feedback to the managing organization, the City of Fort Worth, and Main Street America on what is working well and what can be improved for the following year.
  • Yearly Attendance at the Main Street Now Conference – This conference, usually held each spring, is an opportunity to learn from the successes and failures of other districts and communities around the country and share best practices. The program manager will attend alongside Main Street America & City of Fort Worth staff each year, but the community, board and committee members, and anyone interested, are all encouraged to attend. Find out about this year’s conference at

Overall, during the program period, the managing organization will be working to build a strong organization, build the community’s capacity by bringing together community stakeholders for trainings, strategy, board meetings, committee meetings, projects, volunteering, etc.

They will be able to utilize the funding to begin transforming the commercial district through low-cost, high impact, community supported projects that align with the Four-point Approach and community priorities. They will be able to connect with other Main Street districts around the country to compare notes and best practices and have access to national funding and other opportunities through Main Street America.

If the pilot program is successful, the City of Fort Worth will look to expand the framework to other corridors and areas, and consider ongoing support for current district organization(s) to continue to lead community economic development work in the chosen districts long term.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can my organization apply?

Currently, applications are closed and the City of Fort Worth is evaluating the current active programs.

If you are an organization located in a historic commercial district in the City of Fort Worth and interested in the Main Street Program for your district, please reach out to the City of Fort Worth’s Economic Development Department to express your interest and find out about gearing up for potential future rounds.

You are also invited to join the training sessions in either community, and if feasible, we recommend you joining our team at the National Main Street Now Conference – which both communities and City staff attend for training each year. We also recommend you check the Main Street America website for free tools and trainings, or join as a general member.

To find out more about the Main Street initiative in Fort Worth, you can view the workshop presentation(PPTX, 11MB) given during the application period.

Thank you for your commitment to your neighborhood commercial districts, and for building a Full-Strength Fort Worth.

How were the organizations and districts chosen?

These requirements applied to the original applications for Fort Worth's first two pilot programs.

Applications for Fort Worth's Main Street Pilot Program closed at 8 p.m. on Monday, June 6, 2022. The winning districts were announced in early August 2022.

Applicants for the Main Street pilot program had to meet the following criteria:

  • Eligible areas must have the majority of their commercial district in a Neighborhood Empowerment Zone, with special consideration given to those that include an Urban Village or a Revitalization Target Area. (View these areas on an interactive map.)
  • Eligible areas should have significant historical or cultural assets, and a desire to preserve them.
  • Eligible areas should demonstrate a need for community capacity-building, as well as the need for a community economic development organization exclusively focused on the district and a dedicated individual to staff it.
  • Applicants must be a "managing organization" based in the neighborhood, or have a significant presence and support with the intention of locating an office there. These organizations must have sufficient staffing and sound financials to sustain economic development work in the neighborhood or demonstrate that there is significant support from organizations or individuals who will aid in fulfilling this objective.
  • Managing organizations must be a local community development corporation, merchant association or chamber of commerce with a 501c(3), 501c(4) or 501c(6) status, and must have a Federal Employment Identification Number.
  • If the managing organization is not already district-focused, a new entity or organization will need to be established within the district. (This can be a subsidiary of an existing organization.)
  • If no such organization exists, a new organization can be established. As part of the application, it will need to demonstrate support and backing of institutions or other organizations that have a proven track record with the community.

If applicants met the above criteria, they were then evaluated by a team of people through an application and site visit process on the following:

  • Ability of the organization to organize community and key stakeholders, fundraise or secure other grants, manage grant funding with fiscal responsibility, organize projects and events, and participate in the program with full commitment.
  • Alignment of current activities the district has been working on or identified to work on with the Main Street program goals and Four-Point Approach.
  • Need for an organization to work to organize the community and commercial district due to development pressure or threats of displacement from rapid gentrification.

How were the boundaries chosen?

The City of Fort Worth, through planning and community engagement processes, identified targeted areas of focus for investment for under-resourced areas of the city and areas to concentrate the development of walkable, urban, neighborhood commercial districts. (Please read the previous FAQ question for more detail on eligible areas.)

Community organizations serving these areas and their district business districts were invited to apply and as a part of their application submit their boundaries of focus. Once selected, the managing organizations had the opportunity to work with the organization that wrote letters of support to co-author the final boundaries for the three years.

As a reminder, these areas are pilot areas, focused on commercial and small business properties in historic neighborhoods.

How can I get involved?

Please reach out to the individual district organization to find out how you can get involved.

If you are an organization or foundation looking to provide program-wide support, please reach out to the City of Fort Worth Economic Development Department to discuss specific opportunities.

What happens after the three years are complete?

The City of Fort Worth and Main Street America will be tracking the success of the program both through qualitative and quantitative measures over the three years.

In year three, each district will look to qualify for the Main Street accreditation (must meet certain standards) and become an official Main Street-Designated District. If successful, the City of Fort Worth will look to become a Main Street America Coordinating Program and expand the framework to other districts throughout the City of Fort Worth.

The City of Fort Worth would also look to provide long-term support to each Main Street district.