Kilwins, a hand-crafted chocolate shop based in Petoskey, Michigan, will open a store in Hutto’s Co-Op District, city officials announced in a Feb. 24 news release. The store specializes in a range of sweet treats, including hand-crafted chocolates, fudge, caramel apples and its original-recipe ice cream. Its Hutto storefront will include an open kitchen space for customers to watch employees making treats by hand, according to the release. Kilwins joins Hutto as its fourth confirmed commercial tenant for the Co-Op District, located at 420 Hwy. 79, Hutto, alongside Top Notch Hamburgers, Southside Market & Barbeque and Flix Brewhouse. An exact opening date has not yet been announced.
Hutto’s Perfect Game site and Fritz Park could have new neighbors just west of FM 1660, according to a proposal for a new mixed-use development.
Hutto City Council on August 1 unanimously authorized City Manager Odis Jones to execute an agreement with MA Partners on a new development, proposed for a site near FM 1660 and Mager Lane. MA Partners are the developers behind Hutto’s Co-Op District.
The project, as proposed August 1, would sit on 95 acres of land. The site is currently outside Hutto city limits and would be annexed into the city and financed through the creation of a Public Improvement District. The development would include single-family homes, commercial uses and open space.
Following the execution of the agreement and creation of the PID, Hutto’s Planning and Zoning Commission will begin discussions on how much land will be zoned for each specified type, according to Executive Director of Infrastructure and Development Services Ashley Lumpkin. She added the number of single-family units included in the development would be discussed in Planning and Zoning, as well.
The expense of the PID, over the lifetime of the project, is expected to cost between $10.5 and $12 million total, with net proceeds listed at closer to $8.5 million, according to Bob Wunsch of MA Partners.
Two million dollars for offsite wastewater improvements would come from the PID, according to presentations made by Jessica Geray, Hutto’s director of economic development. which would extend existing water infrastructure to the site. A traffic signal placed at FM 1660 and Mager Lane would be placed at an entrance to the development, which would also connect East Street and Main Street to Limmer Loop.
The project, Wunsch said, would be completed in one or two phases; if two phases are required, Wunsch added that the second construction cycle would begin 60 days after the first phase’s completion.
“As long as this isn’t done before the Co-Op, we’re okay,” said Mayor Doug Gaul, with a laugh.
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Southside Market & Barbeque has delayed its anticipated opening date for the Hutto location.
Originally slated to open in 2019, Southside Market announced it anticipates opening in the second quarter of 2020, per an August 2 news release. The restaurant, regarded as the oldest BBQ company in Texas, opened in its original location in Elgin in 1882. Southside’s Hutto location was the first business tenant announced for the Co-Op District.
“As Texans, we’ve had the personal privilege of enjoying Southside Market’s barbeque for decades, and we could not imagine a better match for a project with the vision and scale of The Co-Op District,” said Bob Wunsch of MA Partners, the developer behind the Co-Op District, in the news release. “Southside Market has set the standard for Texas barbeque, and we are thrilled to have a nationally renowned brand with such deep roots in Texas serve as our first retail tenant.”
The restaurant is known for slow-cooked sausage and meats. Alongside its upcoming Hutto location, Southside Market is also slated to open an Austin storefront in late 2019.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our business and especially for the great folks on our team who work hard every day with a commitment to authentic Central Texas BBQ, excellent customer service, and Texas friendly hospitality,” said Bryan Bracewell, Owner of Southside Market & Barbeque, in the release. “We can’t wait to get the pits fired up and join in on all of the excitement that is happening in Hutto.”
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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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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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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 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.