Hutto asks county to help develop Co-Op site with $5.5 million

Dec 06, 2017
American-Statesman staff

The city of Hutto is asking Williamson County to give $5.5 million of the property taxes it will earn over a 20-year period on the city’s planned entertainment district to help pay for drainage, road improvements, utility relocation and public parking at the site.

A public hearing on the request will be at 10 a.m. Dec. 19 at the Williamson County Commissioners meeting.

City Manager Odis Jones made the request at the commissioners meeting Tuesday, where he asked the county to participate in the creation of a tax increment reinvestment zone for the new Co-Op entertainment district.

Under such a financing tool, the county would continue to collect the same amount of tax revenue from that area that it gets today. But as the area grows in value, half of any additional tax revenue over the next 20 years would go toward improvements in that district.

“The City seeks to partner in this investment by utilizing the future incremental tax increases from the economic development of the mixed-used entertainment district to help finance $15.5 million of public infrastructure, which the County and City will use to support the road and drainage improvements and the public parking/garage development on the site,” Jones said in a statement released after the meeting.

The project is estimated to provide $45.7 million in property taxes to the region over a 20-year period including $9.2 million for Williamson County, said Jones.

The city of Hutto is also asking Williamson County commissioners to provide a road and drainage easement at the site that will enable a regional road and storm drainage system to be built. The city also wants Williamson County to sell its annex building for precinct 4 to Hutto for the Co-Op development.

READ: Hutto chooses developer for $105 million entertainment district

The Co-Op entertainment district is a 25-acre site along U.S. 79 next to Short Street in Hutto that is mostly vacant with a gin building and several abandoned silos, Jones said. The three smaller silos will be relocated and incorporated elsewhere on the site.

The city and its private development partner plan to create a mixed-use walkable area with retail, high density residential, entertainment, restaurants, a new City Hall and a library. A ground-breaking for the project was held in November.

The City Hall and the library — planned to be the anchor tenant of the Co-Op District — will be ready to move into by December 2018.

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