Hutto City Council members, city staff and developers, and citizens alike come together Thursday to break ground on a new entertainment destination for Central Texas, the Co-Op District.

The new master-planned, mixed-use lifestyle development is situated on 25 acres adjacent to Downtown Hutto, which the city says help integrate Hutto's past and its future.

“The City Council and I are thrilled to be part of this historic day,” Mayor Doug Gaul said. “We’ve known this is going to improve the quality of life for all of us here in Hutto, and we’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.”

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The property was originally purchased in 2004 and was intended to be used to generate private sector investment interest, but those plans were later put on hold. In May of this year, the City Council approved a development agreement with MA Partners to begin planning on a "city center" concept.

"This is a monumental day to implement the City Council’s vision. They had a vision of the Co-Op District as a special place, unique in this marketplace,” City Manager Odis Jones said. “We knew that MA Partners understood the local community and our needs, and we’re excited to see this project get off the ground.”

Plans for the Co-Op District include 400,000 square feet of new development with direct access to U.S. Highway 79, a 40,000-square-foot City Hall and library, open piazzas, event spaces and a retention pond with water features.

“The economic impact of this project is hard to overstate,” said Judge Bill Gravell Jr., Hutto Economic Development Corporation chairman. “Not only will this add jobs, but residents will be able to keep their money in the community. It’s just a win-win.”

The City of Hutto said the entertainment district is being developed as a public-private partnership between the city and MA Partners, with a $15 million infrastructure investment by the city and $100 million in private investment.