A 35-acre development in Hutto is beginning to take shape now that a new City Hall has officially opened there.
The city consolidated most of its departments into one building that is located in an area that will be called The Co-Op District off U.S. 79. The new City Hall, which is about 35,000 square feet in size, opened to the public Monday.
“Basically everything the public will need is all here on the first floor,” Mayor Doug Gaul said during a tour Tuesday. “They’ve got their library, pay their bills, pay their fines, interact with people. Then, we’ve got the offices upstairs.”
On the ground floor, the city library occupies more than 4,500 square feet. Staff members worked through the weekend to get all the books onto shelves, computers online and meeting rooms ready for people to use.
“We had over 241 people coming in [Monday] getting new library cards, checking out books,” library manager Lisa Riggs said. “We’ve had patrons that haven’t come in since 2009 come and get library cards.”
Pamela Carter came Tuesday to check out the new space and take home a few books.
“It was much more spacious and not so crowded,” Carter said about the new library. “It seemed like the staff were happy to be in a new place.”
The balcony on the second floor of City Hall overlooks the large construction site where crews are working on the rest of The Co-Op District development. The developer already announced that Top Notch Hamburgers, Southside Market & Barbeque and Flix Brewhouse will be the first three tenants in the walkable, mixed-use develpoment. More announcements should be made soon, city leaders told KXAN.
“Hutto’s only really had one street for their downtown, so this really kind of expands our downtown,” Gaul said. “It becomes a more downtown environment. I look forward to a family coming down here on a Saturday night and spending probably three or four hours down here.”
The city expects The Co-Op District development to take at least another five years to complete. Carter expects it to draw in visitors to the community she loves.
“Things are nearby where you don’t have to drive into austin to go out to eat,” she said. “It’s nice to see the community growing and [have] more things to do with family.”
The Hutto Police Department is not housed in the new City Hall. Police are instead renovating their current space at 401 Front Street.