The City of Hutto’s efforts to raise retailers’ awareness of hippo nation is paying off, with one major entertainment venue expected to be announced around New Year's and another in serious talks with Hutto leaders.
Attracting nightlife and family entertainment options has been a strategic priority of Hutto for more than a year. City staff and Hutto Economic Development Corporation (EDC) board members worked the floor at this year’s international conference of retailers in Las Vegas, in addition to coordinating regional outreach here in Central Texas. In addition, the EDC recently launched a new website to raise regional and national awareness of all Hutto has to offer.
But ultimately, the consumer market is what most directly drives developer interest, said Bob Farley, Hutto economic development director. Corporations need to be assured that there will be sufficient and sustained customers for their brand.
“Retailers are reaching out to us because they know we have a young, growing community who is eager for more high-quality options closer to home to spend their hard-earned free time,” Farley said. “We are dedicated to ensuring we work with the right brands for our community as a key part of our growth strategy.”
The Hutto market is indeed growing hotter and hotter, with retail brokers seeing major opportunity to fill the gaps. Four out of five Hutto households are families, current estimates show, and more than half of Hutto residents are under age 35. Homes here average three residents, with a third of Hutto households having four or more people. Not to mention, the Hutto community is relatively well educated and financially secure, with about half of households earning over $100,000, and 60% of residents having attended college.
These figures are a big part of the reason a major entertainment venue is in the final phases of striking an agreement to bring movies, games and more to central Hutto. Known as “Project V” during talks with the Hutto EDC, the project is expected to bring in over $50 million a year in taxable sales in addition to paying property taxes.
“But more importantly, it will raise the quality of life of the community we serve,” Farley said. “That’s what motivates us every single day.”