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November 2018

Boomtown: A look inside the explosive growth in Pflugerville and Hutto

By KVUE Austin

While people are still moving to Central Texas for the booming economy, they’re choosing to look outside city limits. They’re looking at areas like Pflugerville and Hutto.

“I call it an explosion and I call it growing at warp speed,” said Pflugerville Mayor Victor Gonzales.

US Census data deemed Pflugerville the third fastest growing city in the country.

On average, 11 people moved there each day last year.

“It’s the area of Central Texas is the place to be right now, and we’re kind of in that phase where we’re accepting,” said Hutto City Council member Nathan Killough.

Hutto’s population has doubled since 2010, with about half of that growth in the past two years. Both are booming Texas towns.

“This was corn,” said Gerald Wilke, as he showed us the recently harvested fields.

Wilke has lived in Pflugerville since the 1970s. his family’s farm has been there far longer.

“With the roads and the traffic the way they are, now it’s really hard to move his equipment over here to farm this anymore,” said Wilke.

He now leases the land.

“There are 67 acres left,” said Wilke.

Piece by piece, Wilke’s family sold off part of the original 300-acre property.

“They took some acreage off the front here to build this toll 45,” said Wilke.

State Highway 45 was once Wilke Lane, a country road named after his family.

“I never did think I’d see cars going up and down that fast, it used to be tractors going back and forth,” said Wilke.

In a region where the train used to the be the only real source of transportation, SH 45 and SH 130 put the area’s development in the fast lane.

“It really opened the world up to Pflugerville,” said Amy Madison, the executive director of the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation.

They’re in charge of recruiting new businesses.

“It’s just been exponential growth,” said Madison.

Part of that has been through a boom of 3D-printing manufacturers.

“It’s a high a growth industry that requires a lot of high tech work force,” said Madison.

The type of work for employees you can find in Central Texas.

It’s just one of the industries to move into 130 Commerce Center, a business and industrial park in Pflugerville.

The PCDC bought about 170 acres back in 2007 along SH 130 to help attract businesses. They just sold the last 20 acres this summer.

But with more than 2,000 undeveloped acres along SH 130, Madison said the growth is far from over.

“We have a lot of property and land along 130 that’s available we have a number of projects that are looking at us,” said Pflugerville Mayor Victor Gonzales.

Madison said developers are now calling them.

“Pflugerville was just known as a bedroom community, but now we’re starting to get industry into town,” said Wilke.

It’s the same story in Hutto where developers are building the new Innovation Business Park.

“Since we started breaking ground and showing that Hutto was open for business, and that we wanted businesses coming, the doors have just been knocked down, people are coming left and right,” said Killough.

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