Hutto entertainment district could bring millions in tax revenue

The cotton gin at the Co-Op District was a functioning facility until 2001.

The cotton gin at the Co-Op District was a functioning facility until 2001.

Update: 6:04 p.m.

Introduction of three finalists started at 6 p.m. An overview, executive session and a decision to go with one developer is expected tonight.

Original post

An entertainment district development for downtown Hutto will be discussed at a special City Council meeting at 7 p.m. tonight.Co-Op District site map

City officials confirmed Thursday afternoon three developers will present plans for a mixed-use district for the 25 acres the city purchased in 2004. The land housed the original grain and gin Co-Op near Hwy. 79 and Exchange Boulevard.

“This fits within the city’s overall strategic plan to develop a project at the Co-Op that emphasizes a work-live-play town center experience for our residents,” City Manager Odis Jones said. “The approximate $100 million investment by the private sector coupled with a $5 million public infrastructure investment by the city will yield an approximate $44 million in new tax revenues over the next 10 years to the city of Hutto.”

After a request for interest process, in which 26 companies expressed an interest in developing the site, City Council will consider three proposals at tonight’s meeting. The development teams include Keller Williams Realty, Titan Development and MA Partners.

“The City Council and I are looking forward to taking our next steps to drive new revenues to this city and increase the quality of life,” Mayor Doug Gaul said. “We are excited to see Hutto grow and diversify its economy."

Titan Development, one of the three companies presenting to the council, is the company selected to begin development of a business and industrial park on the northwest side of Hutto, near the East Williamson County Higher Education Center.

The city had purchased the Co-Op property for $1.5 million. It spent a year and $953,000 transforming the cotton gin building into an open-air venue. Different community events are held at the property. Renters are required to provide bathrooms, tables and chairs, and the venue lacks air conditioning.

Until 2001, the gin was a functioning facility used to remove seeds from cotton and was the last remaining gin of about five that operated in the area in the early 1900s.

By Joe Warner
Joe Warner is executive editor of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as managing editor for Central Texas and senior editor of the flagship Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto newspaper. He came to Central Texas from Metro Detroit, where he was editor and general manager of several daily and weekly publications. He is the former president of the Michigan Press Association and was on the MPA board of directors for nine years.


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