An updated master agreement between the City of Hutto and the Hutto Co-Op District developer, MA Partners, was unanimously approved by Hutto City Council on May 4, ensuring the project fulfills the vision of City leadership in a timely manner.
Over the past few months, the heavily revised contradct was negotiated by City Manager James Earp, who has significant experience shepherding high-profile development agreements to success in other communities.
“The Co-Op District is a source of incredible pride and potential for the Hutto community,” Earp said. “Getting it back on track to see it finally and truly come to life has been among my highest priorities since joining the City of Hutto last year. I’m thrilled to be at this point and confident the community will soon be as well.”
The 35-acre, multi-use development on US 79 is currently home to Top Notch Hamburgers, Southside Market BBQ, Hutto City Hall and Library, and weekly farmers markets. Walkable and dense by design, the Co-Op stands to become well connected to Historic Downtown Hutto just a few blocks to the east via an upgraded Live Oak Street.
Some key points of the amended plan approved by City Council include:
- Open the Co-Op stage, hippo splash pad, and artificial turf lawn called the Town Green (located behind Top Notch) in time for Memorial Day weekend, allowing for the City to move the Sunset Block Party Bash to the Co-Op on Friday evening, May 26
- Providing for multiple parking garages, with the first to be associated with Jack Allen’s Kitchen (estimated timeframe until opening, per MA Partners: 15 months)
- Holding the developer accountable to timely progress reports, much stricter performance metrics and more clearly defined deliverables
- The developer must begin vertical construction of the first parking garage within 270 days of the agreement date (May 4, 2023) or give the rest of the development to the City
- Hosting of special events, at least once a month
- Restoring ownership to the City of The Gin (a covered pavilion structure with historic ties) to resume hosting rentals and City programs such as farmers markets (Eventually a brick-and-mortar public restroom will be built nearby in The Co-Op)
- Requiring that most 1st floor commercial tenants are dining, retail or entertainment businesses, which stay open after-hours for community enjoyment on weeknights and weekends
- Locating apartments properly on the site perimeters, and that they help to mask (wrap around) parking garages for improved aesthetics
- Developer paying traffic impact fees for improvements to Exchange Blvd.
- Developer committing to proper maintenance of the artificial turf on the Town Green among other assets