business in downtown abi

In the last 10 years, Downtown Abilene has been transformed from a 9-to-5 office district into one of the best downtowns in the state. With a brand-new Downtown Doubletree Convention Center, new investment including apartments, revitalized office space, restaurants, and continued growth of the cultural district – our skyline is transforming. 

Downtown Abilene is truly the epicenter of a downtown on the move. The Downtown Initiative staff helps your business utilize services, facilitates public-private partnerships, and leverages private investment to make downtown your preferred neighborhood to do business in. Click here to learn how our team can help serve you. 

MARKET INcentives

A hand up. A combination of standing programs and project-based economic development incentives that can help move the needle on your project.

Neighborhood Empowerment Zone

Designation allows the city manager to negotiate and enter into agreements with developers for economic development incentives including sales tax rebate, property tax abatement, and a reduction in cost for water/sewer line extension.

Qualified Opportunity Zone

Within this zone, encompassing the SoDA District, investors can defer tax on any prior capital gains until no later than December 31, 2026 so long as the gain is invested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund.

Chapter 380 Agreements

Chapter 380 of the Local Government Code authorizes municipalities to offer incentives designed to promote economic development, such as commercial and retail projects. Specifically, it provides for offering loans and grants of city funds or services at little or no cost to promote state and local economic development and to stimulate business and commercial activity.

Historic Tax Credits

Federal, state, and local tax incentives exist for owners of historic properties. The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program includes a 20 percent income tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic, income-producing buildings. The new Texas Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program offers a 25 percent tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic buildings.


Our team has worked tirelessly to gather feedback from the community and consult with professionals to ensure that we’re taking an innovative, community-driven approach to downtown revitalization. Check out plans built by the needs and desires of the people who live, work, and play downtown to help drive your next project.

City Center Growth​

Vision Package

A four-part planning document that identifies key development, infrastructure, and public/private partnership opportunities to spur the successful redevelopment of Abilene’s downtown core.
Learn More

SoDA District Master Plan

The South Downtown Abilene Master Plan

Intended to establish a vision for the future of South Downtown Abilene and outline a framework of actions to realize that vision.
Learn More

business & merchant FAQs & tools

Our team of community development staff are available to provide a wide range of support and collaboration for developers, property owners, existing or prospective businesses, residents and others. Lean on the staff to provide:

  • General services for property owners, developers, residents and business owners
  • Engagement programming for downtown merchants, employees and residents
  • Connection assistance with city officials, metro departments and other stakeholder groups
  • Guidance in navigating regulatory hurdles or developer tools
  • Tours of emerging or newly constructed properties
  • Commercial property search & site selection support
  • Market conditions information 
Land Use Regulations & Development Standards

Find ordinances and informational brochures on topics including sign regulations, sidewalk design standards, recommended trees and shrubs, parking and more. Click here for more.

Land Development Code

The LDC implements the Goals, Objectives and Policies of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. The LDC contains all of the adopted ordinances pertaining to regulations and procedures used in the development process for the City. Learn more.

America’s Small Business Development Center at Texas Tech

America’s SBDC at Abilene is hosted by Texas Tech University to provide no-cost business consulting and training to new and existing businesses. Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs can come to us for face-to-face business consulting and at-cost training on a variety of topics. Learn more.

Tax Increment Redevelopment Zone (TIRZ)

The Planning Services Division encourages proper growth, development, redevelopment, and stabilization of neighborhoods by providing technical assistance to the City’s Council, boards, commissions, developers, and citizens. Learn more. Click here for the TIRZ boundary.

Façade Improvement Grant Program

The intent of the program is to provide technical and financial assistance to property owners seeking to renovate or restore their exterior building facades. The program is designed to have a positive impact on properties in need of revitalization, resulting in the overall improvement of the appearance and aesthetics of commercial buildings within the Central Business District. It is important to note that the program is reimbursement based. Further, it is not the intent of the program to subsidize necessary improvements resulting from building code violations. If awarded a Façade Improvement Program Grant, any deviation from the approved project may result in the total or partial withdrawal of grant funding. The Façade Improvement Grant Program provides fifty percent (50%) matching grants not to exceed $15,000.00 per application. Grant funds awarded through the program focus on exterior work on buildings and storefronts within the Central Business District that are visible to the public. No grants will be awarded for previously performed work. Click here to learn more.

Development Map

With so much growth, it can be hard to keep track of planned and underway projects. Our comprehensive Development Map has you covered!

See something that needs to be added to our emerging project list? Contact our team today.

retail & commercial recruitment

Scouting out the perfect location for your store or restaurant?

We assist local, regional and national operators in finding the ideal spot for their business. Services include:

  • Identifying suitable spaces;
  • Guidance on the permitting process;
  • Accessing related information like pedestrian counts;
  • Introductions to retail designers.


While we support all areas of Abilene, our focus is on cultivating a hip urban environment for workforce attraction.