Around March 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Flix Brewhouse senior management and Bob Wunsch, MA Partners vice president of Austin acquisition and management, met and agreed that the site would not be developed into a movie theater, said Flix Brewhouse Chief Operating Officer Matthew Baizer.
Because of the pandemic's affect on the movie theater industry, Baizer said both parties were in agreement that the Co-Op site earmarked for Flix Brewhouse would eventually be used for another purpose.
Though the decision was made over a year ago, Hutto officials said they were given no prior notice ahead of the decision from Flix Brewhouse.
On June 28, Hutto Public Information Officer Stacy Schmitt said development permits from Flix had been submitted to the city, but because too much time passed without any action taken, they would need to be resubmitted.
Co-Op District developers MA Partners had presented a layout of the Co-Op District with a Flix Brewhouse, Top Notch Hamburgers and a Southside Market & Barbeque in May 2019.
Now that nearly four years have passed since the Co-Op District's November 2017 groundbreaking, Mayor Mike Snyder said having only one restaurant complete after being promised several was disappointing. He compared it to Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in Round Rock, which broke ground May 2018 and opened November 2020.
“It’s the only construction site I know of that has to be mowed regularly in central Texas,” he said.
MA Partners cited COVID-19 as a reason for development delays, but Snyder said other new developments were constructed during the pandemic.
As far as a large-scale mixed-use development, he said MA Partners are in over their heads.
MA Partners, which did not respond to Community Impact Newspaper's requests for a statement, counts among its larger projects several residential developments, Austin Community College’s Round Rock campus and the Texas A&M Health Science Center.