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

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.

Earlier this month, Hutto officials unveiled Elgin-based Southside Market & Barbeque as the development’s first tenant, slated to open April 1, 2019. Additionally, the new Hutto City Hall is scheduled to open at the Co-Op District in December this year.

“We’re excited to work on [the Co-Op District]with you and to be a part of it,” Silvers said.

The Flix Brewhouse location will be the first movie theater in Hutto. The closest theater to Hutto is currently the Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center— more than 5 miles away from downtown Hutto. The Howard Theatre in Taylor and the Cinemark Movies 8 in Round Rock are both more than 8 miles outside of town.

Flix Brewhouse has a location in Round Rock off Hesters Crossing Road. That location features nine screens and in 2016 expanded its brewing capacity by 50 percent to include a 7-barrel prospero system as well as adding a 15-barrel fermenter and two additional serving tanks. Several of Flix Brewhouse’s craft beers have gone on to win awards.

In all, Flix Brewhouse has eight separate locations, including three in Texas.

No timeline was given for construction or an opening date.


TxDOT to waive millions in late fees for toll drivers

TxDOT to waive millions in late fees for toll drivers tollroad

An additional $2.1 million in collection fees were paid by drivers in January and February before a law capping late fees for TxDOT toll drivers went into effect March 1. Now, the outstanding balance is being waived as the state agency hits “reset.”

TxDOT pointed out that “the lion’s share” was not expected to be collected. It will be easier for the agency to operate using only one late fee structure rather than having to collect fees using both the previous and new fee structure, it said.

TxDOT’s new fee structure will be implemented with late fees at $4 per invoice and capping the fees at $48 for a 12-month period. The previous law allowed administrative fees up to $100 for each unpaid toll.

“The decision has been made that we are only moving forward with the current one, so all of the earlier late fees are no longer being pursued,” a TxDOT leader said Tuesday during a Texas House Committee on Transportation.

Williamson County Market Update – March 2018

Williamson County Market Update
March 2018

Where Did All the Inventory Go? 

Round Rock, Texas – 17 April 2018 –  Home sales in Williamson County increased 7.2 % in March 2018. Additionally, home prices increased (when compared year over year), according to the March 2108 Williamson County Housing Market Report released today by the Williamson County Association of REALTORS®.

According to the March 2018 Williamson County Housing Market Report, the median home price for all residential properties was $275,000, an increase of 4.2% when compared to March 2017. The median price in Williamson County is hovering about $25,000 less than the Austin MSA Median Price of $300,000.

“On paper, everything looks fantastic,” said Victoria Reviel, 2018 President of Williamson County Association of REALTORS®. “While most parts of Williamson County are seeing an increase in sales and prices, Cedar Park, Hutto, Taylor, and Leander all saw double-digit inventory drops during March.”

Based on the numbers in the Housing Report, 26.7% of Williamson County sales reported in the MLS were new construction. This number is higher than the Austin-Round Rock MSA (22.4%) and the state of Texas (15.3%). Without the new home builders, Williamson County would be experiencing a much tighter housing market.

Furthermore, the new construction market is showing a median price of $318,000, 20.0% more than the median price for existing homes sales ($265,000) in January. Currently, there are 935 active new construction listings reported across Williamson County, compared to 1,076 existing home listings.

Speaking of inventory, during the month of March, Williamson County had a total of 2.1 months of inventory and a 1.0 % decrease in listings compared to last March. Based on these numbers, Williamson County is still in a strong seller’s market; the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University cites that 6.5 months of inventory represents a market in which supply and demand for homes are balanced. Even though the number of listings and the total days on market has increased, it has not greatly affected the market conditions.

During March, existing homes spent an average of 64 days on the market, as compared to a new construction home which averaged 106 days on the market.

 Quick Stats for March 2018 – All Residential Properties

  • 953– Homes sold, 7.2 percent more than March 2017.
  • $275,000 – Median price for homes, 4.2 percent more than March 2017.
  • 2.1 – Monthly housing inventory in March 2018.
  • 2,011 Active home listings on the market in March 2018.

Quick Stats for March 2018 –Existing Home Properties

  • 699 – Homes sold, 5.0 percent more than March 2017.
  • $265,000 – Median price for homes, 6.0 percent change from March 2017.
  • 1.5 – Monthly housing inventory in March 2018.
  • 1,076 –  Active home listings on the market in March 2018.

Quick Stats for March 2018 –New Construction Properties

  • 254 – Homes sold, 13.9 percent more than March 2017.
  • $318,000 – Median price for homes, 4.1 percent more than March 2017.
  • 3.9– Monthly housing inventory in March 2018.
  • 935  Active home listings on the market in March 2018.

“Each city in Williamson County has their own mini real estate market. In March, Sales in Cedar Park plummeted 26.4%, whereas right next door in Leander, sales skyrocketed by 33% and prices also rose 22.2%,” said Reviel. “Consult with a REALTOR®, a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, before making your next major move, and make sure whoever you decide to work with know the market in which you are looking.”


About the data in this report
Certain information contained herein is derived from MLS listing data provided by Austin/Central Texas Realty Information Service as well as the Central Texas Multiple Listing Service through the Texas REALTOR® Data Relevance Project, a partnership among local REALTOR® associations and their MLSs, the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M and the Texas Association of REALTORS®.

Infographics of individual cities are available through the WCREALTORS Website

New 10,000 seat amphitheater to be built in Hutto

The Hutto City Council has approved spending $3.4 million to build a 10,000-seat amphitheater in a city park that will host multiple events, including a series of country music concerts.

The city is paying for the construction with certificate of obligation bonds approved by the council in September.

The City Council also agreed, at its April 5 meeting, to let City Manager Odis Jones negotiate a contract with alternative country radio station KOKE-FM for four to six events per year at the new venue, in addition to the second annual KOKEFest. Information was not available Wednesday on whether a contract had been negotiated.

Construction on the amphitheater will start this month at a park at 1001 County Road 137 in Hutto and is expected to take about four months, said Eliska Padilla, the city’s communications director.

A representative for FTWoods Construction, which is building the amphitheater, declined to comment Wednesday on the project.

The park where the amphitheater will be located has not yet been formally named by the City Council but is known as Hutto Park at Brushy Creek, Padilla said.

The amphitheater will be able to seat 4,000 people in its VIP circle and 6,000 people in its outer circle, she said. A shade structure will cover the VIP area and a temporary shade structure will cover the stage, Padilla said.

The amphitheater area also will include a pavilion; eight electrical hookups for RVs; a park bathroom with three stalls for men and three for women; paved roads to accommodate RVs and three new entrances, Padilla said. Two of the entrances will be off County Road 137 and one will be off County Road 163.

The city’s Parks and Recreation Board will consider allowing camping at the park as it is developed, she said.

KOKE-FM is excited about the new amphitheater, said Kristina Killingsworth, the marketing director for Austin Radio Network, also known as Genuine Austin Radio, which owns the station.

The radio station had its first KOKEFest at another location in Hutto last year and people “came in droves,” she said.

“Over the years, as Austin’s population has grown and traffic has become an issue, it occurred to us that people aren’t coming into Austin on a regular basis to see live music because the traffic is just so bad,” she said. “When we put together KOKEFest last year we said, ‘Let’s take live music out to a smaller community and see if they respond.’”

The second KOKEFest will be at the amphitheater area Aug. 10-11, even though the project might not be finished, Killingsworth said.

The Hutto City Council has approved using $250,000 in hotel occupancy taxes to pay Genuine Austin Radio to host this year’s KOKEFest, Mayor Doug Gaul said.



Austin named best place to live in America for second year

For the second year in a row, Austin has been named the best place to live in America by U.S. World and News Report. The publication ranked cities based on five indexes: job market, value, quality of life, desirability and net migration. Unsurprisingly, Austin scored highest on net migration with a 9.4. Nine other Texas cities were included on the list but did not make the top 10. It’s not all sunshine, however, in America’s best city. U.S. World and News Report mentioned Austin’s high housing costs.


Six Central Texas cities among the top 50 safest in the state, new report finds

Hutto was ranked the seventh safety city in Texas in a new report by the National Council for Home Safety and Security.

Using the most recent FBI crime statistics and population data, the council—a national trade association comprised of licensed alarm installers, contractors, and other relevant trade groups across the U.S.—named Colleyville, a suburb of Fort Worth, the safest city in Texas.

The report ranked 224 Texas cities, while cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and cities with populations under 10,000 were not included.

One Central Texas city, Hutto, made the top 10 of the list, placing seventh. The city of 24,160 people had .79 violent crimes per 1,000 people and 7.37 property crimes per 1,000 people.

2018 Safest Texas Cities Rankings 

7: Hutto
22: Georgetown
24: Leander
35: Lakeway
37: Cedar Park
50: Buda

Outside of the top 50, Kyle came in 54th place; Pflugerville in 57th place; Round Rock in 83rd place; New Braunfels in 101st place; San Marcos in 143rd place; and Austin in 163rd place.

The full list of rankings can be found here.

Groundhog Day 2018: Will Punxsutawney Phil See His Shadow?

As the legend goes, if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, we will see six more weeks of winter and below-average temperatures. If our favorite groundhog from Pennsylvania does not see his shadow, then an early spring is on its way with above-average temperatures.

#ComeOnEarlySpring #NoWhammyNoShadow #remax#PunxsutawneyPhil #GroundhogDay #BillMurray

020117-Groundhog day_Online-01

Phil will climb up out of his burrow – roughly the midway point of astronomical winter – at sunrise Friday to see what he can see, or not see.

But how accurate is Phil?

In short, not very. The groundhog has been accurate only 39 percent of the time since the first Groundhog Day in 1887, according to The groundhog has no predictive skill, NOAA said. Although there has been only “one” Phil for the last 130 years, he’s gotten slightly more accurate in recent years, with an accuracy of about 46 percent since 1988.

Last year, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter. That was followed by the second-warmest February on record in the Lower 48 states, the ninth-warmest March and the 11th-warmest April.

Meteorological spring begins March 1, and astronomical spring begins March 20.

By Brian Donegan and Jonathan Belles