HUTTO, Texas (KXAN) — Driving along US 79 in Hutto, silos tower over a field that used to be home to a cotton gin — a reminder of a once-small town.
But those silos near Exchange Boulevard will soon have company.
The city of Hutto is creating what’s called the Co-Op district, to possibly include shopping, restaurants, a movie theater, even housing and businesses on the 30 acres of land.
“My kids are growing so they want more atmosphere, we want more choices of what to eat,” says Hutto resident Jesus Pesina.
Pesina has lived in Hutto for about 10 years. He’s excited about the Co-Op, but he’s seen businesses fail, so he says the city has to get it right. The city says it did have a public feedback process with surveys, when the Co-Op concept was developed.
Behind the Co-Op site are homes. Some neighbors worry about more traffic and noise in their backyards. “I think they should be able to find a better place for it,” neighbor Arthur McDuffie said. “I could see a nice park for kids or a public swimming pool.”
The space is currently used to host weddings and different events, like farmers markets, but neighbors say that comes with congestion. “If they’re trying to go any deeper than what they’re doing, it’s going to be more conflict, not just for me, but a whole lot more people in the neighborhood here,” said McDuffie.
The city is investing $15 million in public infrastructure improvements around the Co-Op. Private funds worth $200 million will also go into the project, with the hope of bringing back about $50 million over the next 10 years to the city of Hutto.
The developer of the Co-Op is expected to present a detailed layout of the entertainment district at Thursday night’s city council meeting. City leaders encourage the public to attend the meeting to learn the details firsthand, and give their feedback. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at City Hall, located at 401 West Front St.