The Downtown Business Improvement & Preservation Grant has named its first recipient with Celebrations Bridal and Prom being granted $5,000 by the New Braunfels City Council. The allocated funding will go toward reimbursing the business for a portion of an upcoming building improvement project.

A closer look

The grant program is offered by the city to downtown businesses and utilizes funds generated by the Downtown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone. The grant may fund building facade or other exterior improvements within the Downtown TIRZ boundary, according to a news release.

“With this first selection for the grant program, we are hopeful that more downtown property owners will be inspired to begin projects to preserve and improve their buildings and add other enhancements,” Economic and Community Development Director Jeff Jewell said.

Applications are accepted throughout the year and evaluated by the Downtown TIRZ board before being approved by City Council. Eligible improvement projects can receive a reimbursement of up to 25% of a project’s cost based on available funding, according to a news release.

“A goal of the program is to incentivize property owners and businesses to undertake deferred maintenance or other upgrades they may have been contemplating, but that often prove themselves cost prohibitive,” Jewell said. “That includes building-specific projects like the one at Celebrations, but also includes enhancement projects like lighting, landscaping, shade structures, street furniture, and public art, as well as improving public infrastructure and the right of way.”

Sorting out details

Celebrations Bridal and Prom initially applied for the grant in January, with the Downtown TIRZ board unanimously approving the application, which met the requirements for facade and exterior improvements during a meeting Feb. 12. The project includes replacing the building’s roof, fascia boards and business sign, according to a news release.

The renovations are anticipated to begin in March, with the grant money issued as a reimbursement when the project is complete.

More information about the Downtown Business Improvement & Preservation Grant Program can be found at