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Largest economic deal in Hutto’s history: Perfect Game will bring mixed-use development, add $200 million annually to the economy

By | Community Impact
Perfect Game will relocate its national headquarters to Hutto, ushering in an estimated $200 million annual economic boost. Perfect Game hosts amateur baseball tournaments for players looking to catch the attention of Major League Baseball scouts.
After a national search, Perfect Game owner Ben Ford said the organization selected Hutto.
“From day one Hutto felt like home,” Ford said. “We’re from Iowa, and we immediately connected with the small-town vibe here, the charm.”
Founded in 1995, Perfect Game is the largest baseball showcase organization in the nation. The company hosts tournaments in the United States, Canada, Europe and Puerto Rico.
“Out of 48 states and 2,800 communities, we came out on top,” Hutto City Manager Odis Jones said. “This is a big deal for not only Hutto but for the region and the state.”
A mix of uses
Perfect Game will become the anchor tenant in a large, mixed-use development slated for Hwy. 79 and CR 132, adjacent to Fritz Park. Sports-related amenities in the development include 24 turf baseball fields, 10 of which the city will develop for public use, Jones said. Multipurpose sports fields and other recreational opportunities are in the works as well.
Perfect Game’s 61,600-square-foot headquarters, Hall of Fame, a batting cage pavilion, training facility and dorms, sports technology research and sports medicine research facilities are planned for the development.
Hutto’s first indoor sports arena and event center could break ground within the development as early as June, Jones said. According to the April 18 presentation, the approximately 300,000-square-foot arena will seat 13,000 people.
“The indoor arena and convention hotel will be used for concerts, conventions and family entertainment,” Jones said. “Hopefully it’ll be used for graduation ceremonies and other events like that in the future.”
Some 200,500 square feet of the development is earmarked for entertainment, retail and restaurants. Plans indicate 134,000 square feet of office space, multifamily living space, up to four hotels and a community center. Parking totals 3,231 spaces, according to the plans presented April 18.
Economic impact
The project is expected to pump $200 million annually into the local community, according to Perfect Game.
“Perfect Game is a game-changer in terms of diversifying our tax base, in particular, our tourism, hotel and convention business,” Jones said.
Perfect Game will lease the space from the city of Hutto, according to a 30-year contract signed April 18. Property taxes are expected to be $5.1 million annually, according to the city. Yearly sales tax totals are estimated to be $1.5 million.
The city stated plans April 18 to reinvest 60% of ad valorem taxes back into the project for 30 years through a tax increment reinvestment zone, or TIRZ. The TIRZ will help offset the cost of public infrastructure, which includes fields, roads, utilities and garages.
The city stands to generate additional revenue from gate entry fees. Other sources of revenue tied to the development include hotel room occupancy taxes, local sponsorships and a hotel rebate program.
An $800 million private investment makes this project the largest economic development deal in the history of Hutto, Jones said. It is a partnership among the city of Hutto, Perfect Game, developer Wolverine Interests LLC, Sports Facilities Advisory and Sports Facilities Management.
Youth sports tourism
Perfect Game’s decision to locate in Hutto is “one of the most significant events in the sports tourism industry in the last 20 years,” according to Dev Pathik, founder and CEO of Sports Facilities Advisory, a sports and entertainment center management consultant company.
“Perfect Game is the No. 1 youth sports opportunity in America today,” Pathik said. “It provides a platform for the best youth talent to gain exposure to scouts.”
Sports tourism—overnight stays related to a sporting event or tournament—is booming nationwide, Pathik said.
“Youth sports tourism is the fastest-growing segment of the travel industry,” he said.
Youth sports tourism accounts for $11.4 billion annually, according to a 2017 report by the National Association of Sports Commission, a nonprofit sports and events tourism trade association. The industry is growing at 9% year over year, per the report.
“We see our community as a partner in the region,” Jones said. “Look at Dell Diamond, Kalahari. We celebrate the success of our surrounding communities as well.”
The opening tournament is expected to be held no later than Memorial Day 2021. All fields, sports amenities and the arena are anticipated to be complete by the end of May 2021 as well.
“Sports are a unifier,” Pathik said. “Hutto is going to grow either way—with or without Perfect Game. There’s something about growth in an environment that exists alongside sports. Perfect Game will help Hutto grow and keep that community feel everyone is looking for.”

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Iconic Austin restaurant Top Notch Burgers to open its second location in Hutto

By | Community Impact

MA Partners, developers of the Co-Op District in Hutto, announced Feb. 21 that Top Notch Burgers is going to open its second location in the mixed-use development. This is the first expansion for Top Notch Burgers, which has been in business since 1971.

“We know plenty of folks in Hutto who drive to Austin just to visit Top Notch, and we envision being met by friendly faces the day we open our doors,” said Kelly Chappell, owner of Top Notch Burgers.

Top Notch Burgers is known for its classic diner-style menu with drive-in style eating and car hops. The iconic Austin burger joint was also featured in the hit 1993 movie “Dazed and Confused”.

Chappell told Community Impact Newspaper that he expects Top Notch Burgers to open its Hutto location by early 2020. The restaurant’s patio will overlook the Co-Op District’s amphitheater in the development’s western section, according to Chappell.

The new Hutto location will closely resemble the iconic Top Notch Burgers on Burnet Road in Austin, complete with car hops and drive-in ordering, Chappell stated.

“I want to stay as true to the original design as possible, down to the brick and the booth and the decor inside,” Chappell said. “I really believe that we have something special and it is authentic. Why would we try to change that?”

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Hutto, Hutto Texas, Hutto ISD, Hutto Schools, Hutto Education, Hutto Lifestyle

Hutto ISD receives highest classification in state financial accountability rating

By | Community Impact

Amid a 5-year enrollment growth of more than 20 percent, Hutto ISD scored among the top of all school districts in Texas in the state’s Financial Integrity Rating System, the district announced Thursday night.

Hutto ISD received a “superior” rating in the financial accountability test, scoring 96 points out of a possible 100.

The Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas, or FIRST, scores school districts across 15 separate indicators of fiscal accountability.

Those indicators identify a district’s financial stability in terms of debt, cash-on-hand, administrative costs, payment compliances, assets, enrollment and analysis from an independent auditor.

“Hutto ISD received the highest possible rating,” Jeffri Orosco, director of finance for Hutto ISD, said Thursday night.

The school district received two scores of 8 out of 10 on just two indicators, the only ratings on which the district was docked points.

Those two indicators rated whether the number of days of cash on hand and current investments for the school are sufficient to cover operating expenditures and whether the ratio of current assets to liabilities are healthy enough to cover short-term debt.

According to financial documents provided to the state, Hutto ISD has $12.7 million in cash-on-hand and equivalents, with $59.97 million in total expenditures. Further, Hutto ISD currently holds $34.99 million in assets and $11.8 million in liabilities.

“There’s a lot of indicators here that take into effect our growth,” said Glenn Graham, chief financial officer for Hutto ISD. “The state understands when you take on a lot of growth, you take on a lot of debt.”

Orosco told the Board of Trustees tonight that the school district has experienced a growth of 20.52 percent growth in students in the past five years.

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BREAKING: California manufacturer lands in Hutto

By | Community Impact

The city of Hutto Thursday night announced another California-based manufacturer is relocating to Texas.

Officials from AEND Industries Inc., a high-end performance polyurethane wheel manufacturing company, revealed Thursday that the company is relocating its headquarters and operations to Hutto. The company will open its doors Jan. 1, according to owner Neal Piper.

“We’re excited to come to Texas,” Piper said at Thursday night’s Hutto City Council meeting. “It is business friendly here and we’re ready for that.”

AEND Industries is building a new 19,200 square foot manufacturing facility at North Town Commons Business Park, located at the southeast corner of FM 1660 North and Limmer Loop. The company will open its doors Jan. 1, according to owner Neal Piper.

The manufacturer, which is relocating from Huntington Beach, California, produces specialty wheels for skateboards, inline skates, wheelchair wheels, derby wheels and more.

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Flix Brewhouse, Flix Brewhouse in Hutto, Flix Brewhouse Hutto Co-Op District, Flix Brewhouse in The Co-Op District

Entertainment anchor for the Co-Op District announced Thursday night in Hutto

By | Community Impact

Flix Brewhouse was announced as the Co-Op District’s entertainment complex at Thursday night’s Hutto City Council meeting.

Hutto Economic Development Corporation Chair Bill Gravell and Flix Brewhouse Senior Vice President Real Estate and Brand Development Matt Silvers made the announcement with a presentation for council members and the general public.

The movie theater chain offers craft beer brewed in-house as well as dining options for moviegoers. Silvers floated the possibility of brewing a “Hippo Hefeweizen” at the Hutto movie theater during his presentation.

“Flix isn’t just about beer, movies and food,” Silver said. “We have a whole bunch of alternative programming offered up.”

Silvers did not specify how many theaters and seats the Hutto Flix Brewhouse location will offer, but estimated that 6,000 to 7,000 customers will visit the site every week.

Per Gravell, Hutto’s Flix Brewhouse will be 39,000 square feet and will employ anywhere from 150 to 200 people. Part of the economic development agreement, according to the Hutto EDC chairman, mandates the movie theater hire a certain percentage of Hutto ISD and local college students.

“Every high school kid that lives in Hutto, Texas, will no longer have to go to Round Rock or Taylor for a job… they will be able to do that right here in Hutto,” Gravell said Thursday night.

This is the second tenant announced for the upcoming Co-Op District, a $210 million mixed-use development on the north side of Hwy. 79, just west of downtown Hutto.

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