Project updates provided during the Hutto City Council meeting on June 20 revealed that under the project's current timeline, preliminary site work began on June 17 and construction is anticipated to begin on Oct. 1.
City Manager Odis Jones introduced members of the project team to deliver further details regarding the Perfect Game mixed-use development, set to be located at Hwy. 79 and CR 132. The project's developer, Wolverine Interests, is currently in negotiations with businesses interested in utilizing the commercial tenant spaces available. While Perfect Game, the country's largest baseball showcase organization, is slated as the project's central occupant, the campus will also include additional commercial and residential spaces, along with its previously announced conference center and hotel.
Dev Pathik, the founder and CEO of Sports Facilities Advisory, highlighted Perfect Game's continuous growth as being "rather extraordinary." He said through its partnership with Perfect Game, the mixed-use development will help improve the health and economic vitality of Hutto for years to come.
"You will become and you will be the No. 1 scouting destination in America," Pathik said.
Citing the rising prevalence of sports tourism across the United States along with increased levels of childhood obesity, Pathik said the development will help promote both physical and economic health within the greater Hutto community, providing children in the Hutto ISD greater accessibility to sports and related assets.
Rob Ponger, managing director of Perfect Game, said that the development's relationship within the city is one of the fundamental components determining its success and longevity.
“When Perfect Game comes into a town, we embed ourselves in here," he said. He added that the project's commitment to facilitating relationships with local organizations, Hutto ISD, local residents and city council members will help to ensure that the development can help create a pathway toward success.
Under the timeline provided by Jim Leslie, CEO of Wolverine Interests, the tax increment financing bond proceeds received from Citi Group will begin in mid-September with construction anticipated to begin on Oct. 1.
The outdoor baseball and parking lot facilities will break ground on April 1, 2020, while construction on the indoor sports facility and civic center has a May 1, 2020 slated start date.
Adhering to the current timeline provided by Wolverine Interests, the baseball center will celebrate a soft opening on March 1, 2021, with its civic center and hotel completion marked for May 15, 2021 and an official opening day tournament reserved for May 29, 2021.
The city also discussed how the fields will be used for recreational opportunities when not used by Perfect Game.
"It will provide for something the city can be proud of," Leslie said. "You’ll be proud of it 40 years from now as much as you are four months from now.”