Up to $10,000 per project is up for grabs for local commercial property owners looking to tear down and replace outdated business buildings thanks to a program launched by the Spring Branch Management District.
The Demolition Grant program awards each eligible property owner a grant reimbursing 50 percent or up to $10,000 of the cost to demolish run-down structures to make way for future commercial development or projects to improve community quality of life.
“Redeveloping older, substandard buildings in our district will create a safer and more attractive environment for everyone, which is a top priority for the district,” said Lance Dean, the District’s economic development director. “If you’re a commercial property owner who has long waited for the opportunity to make a change, this is your time.”
Property owners can qualify for the grant if their commercial structure is no longer useful for its intended purpose, unsound to public health, or unsafe in its current use, according to program guidelines.
Part of $200,000 allocated by the District board for its economic development grant programs this year, the program builds on the momentum of a sister program called the Business Improvement Grant, or BIG. The District rolled out BIG in 2021 to subsidize exterior updates of business buildings. BIG has funded renovation of more than 20 properties so far.
Dean said the impact of the BIG is palpable. In one example, the complete makeover of the building façade at the commercial center at 9200 block of Long Point has drawn several new retail stores to the site.
In another BIG-funded project, the aged two-story office building at 8845 Long Point is being renovated into a medical office building to provide health care services to the community.
BIG has drawn over $3 million in new investment and redevelopment in the district, he said.
“We are proud to offer the Demolition Grant program with a different focus now to create another win-win situation,” Dean said. “While property owners get the financial assistance they need, the community benefits from the improved aesthetics and safety of the neighborhood. This will help spur further economic development in the district.”
The application process for the program is simple. Interested applicants can download and fill out an application form and submit it to the management district for review and approval by its board.
Dean reminds property owners to submit a grant application for approval before swinging the wrecking ball at a run-down building.
“To be awarded the grant, applications must be reviewed and approved by the district board before the project starts,” he said. “Otherwise, they wouldn’t qualify if the work has started or was completed prior to the application being approved. I encourage property owners to call me directly to discuss their projects in advance.”
Visit https://sbmd.org/grant/ to learn more about both the Demolition Grant and BIG programs and download the application forms.
For more details, call 512-658-4985 or 713-724-3862.