With construction in progress on several businesses in Hutto's Co-Op District, Hutto City Council met with representatives from developer MA Partners on Nov. 3 to discuss the development's future.

The Co-Op District is a 35-acre mixed-use development on Hwy. 79 just west of downtown Hutto. Top Notch Hamburgers and Cocina Jalisco Sports Bar & Grill are among the businesses on their way to the development.

At the meeting, project financial lead Matt Harris confirmed a new addition to the Co-Op—Jack Allen's Kitchen.

Harris said the Central Texas-based eatery will build a sit-down restaurant on the north end of the development near City Hall with construction expected to take around 18 months.

"This restaurant here ... is the first one that they're ever doing that they're building from the ground up," Harris said. "When we brought them out here, they loved the site, [and] they liked the town."

The new restaurant will be the sixth Jack Allen's location.

Harris said MA Partners is also engaged in talks with an array of other businesses and developers to bring more projects to the Co-Op. He said a sports bar, a movie theater, a hotel and a day care are all business types that are under consideration.

On the residential side of the development, Harris said MA Partners is working with developers on possible apartments and townhomes.

However, council members said they would like to take another look at development agreements for the Co-Op to ensure the final product benefits the city.

The current agreements were approved several years ago—since then, the Co-Op has faced numerous legal setbacks and pandemic-related obstacles.

"The town is different three years later—people's expectations are different," Council Member Randal Clark said.

Officials expressed particular interest in ensuring the Co-Op has sufficient parking to handle the traffic it will have when fully built out.

Mayor Mike Snyder said he would like to see parking garages built before any more major businesses come to the Co-Op.

"I'm not voting to approve anything on this until parking garages are built first," Snyder said. "They're going to have to park in downtown Hutto to get to Jack Allen's the way this site plan looks."

Another concern for council members was making sure things like apartments and daytime-only businesses are limited to buildings' upper floors with business that are open on evenings and weekends filling the ground floors.

Additionally, council members requested more transparency from MA Partners regarding incoming projects.

MA Partners and the city will work in the coming months to negotiate new terms for the development, according to a city release.

"It's had a lot of bumpy roads. ... But we are committed to this project," Harris said.