City of Hutto, MA Partners to negotiate $100 million Gin at the Co-Op property project

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.

After three presentations and an executive session deliberation that spanned nearly four hours, the Hutto City Council chose MA Partners to enter negotiations for a $100 million mixed-use development on city-owned land north of the Gin at the Co-Op.

"Any one of them would have been a good fit," said Mayor Doug Gaul after a 6-0 vote to approve talks between MA Partners and City Manager Otis Jones.

Earlier Thursday, Jones said in a release by the city that 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.”

"I thought the presentation went very well," MA Partners Principal Wyatt Henderson said. "We're excited to move on it. Our team will regroup and start negotiations with the city."

As the special meeting kicked off Thursday evening, Jones said 26 companies expressed interest in developing the land the city purchased for $1.5 million in 2004.

The three development teams included: KWC Team, formed specifically for this project and based in New Jersey and Austin; Titan Development of San Antonio with projects in New Mexico, Texas and Florida; and MA Partners, an Austin company since 1992.

Titan Development 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.

After the city purchased the Gin at the Co-Op property, 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 building 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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