Two Round Rock shopping centers may soon have a new look after city officials approved a new economic development program.

City officials approved a new facade grant program May 11, creating a new funding method for business owners to revitalize the exterior of their operations.

The proposed grant program will fund facade remodeling, revitalization and other projects to improve the exterior of a place of business up to a 50% match with a minimum grant amount of $5,000 and a maximum amount of $100,000. The new program, Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan clarified, will be funded using sales tax revenue.

The first applicants for the grant program were representatives of the Rock Creek Plaza and Renaissance Square shopping centers. Both are located along Mays Street in Round Rock, a corridor which Joe Brehm, Round Rock's community and neighborhood services department director, said has experienced growth in recent years.

Rock Creek Plaza, which recently celebrated the opening of Amy's Ice Creams, sought the full amount of $100,000 to match their $2.1 million project to overhaul the exterior of the shopping center that is also home to businesses like P. Terry's Burger Stand, Kerbey Lane Cafe and VIA 313 Pizza. Brehm said the project includes paint work, new signage, awnings and parking lot repairs.

Brehm said the second applicant, owning the Renaissance Square retail center located at Mays Street and Hester's Crossing, also sought the full amount to match their $414,000 investment in revitalizing the shopping center. He said this is inclusive of repainting the entire shopping center, lighting improvements, parking lot repairs and restriping as well as landscaping.

Additional information about the program and eligibility criteria is available here.