Hutto: Replaces Master Planner for Perfect Game Mixed-Use Development
Feature Illustration (above): An early rendering of the Perfect Game-anchored mixed-use development in Hutto that will include a Champions Plaza stadium complex entrance and an Avenue of Champions that will take visitors to new restaurants and shops. Image: Odell/Perfect Game
By Edmond Ortiz
Hutto (Williamson County)–Kansas City-based Legacy Development is taking the reins of a major mixed-use development that will be anchored by the new national headquarters of baseball scouting organization Perfect Game.
Legacy Development is replacing Wolverine Interests LLC, which fell out of favor with the city of Hutto after the Dallas firm failed to close on the land proposed for what will be the biggest economic development project yet for the Austin suburb.
Currently based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Perfect Game signed a 30-year lease with the city earlier this year, with plans to relocate to property bound by U.S. Highway 79, Limmer Loop, County Roads 132 and 136, and Fritz Park.
Dev Pathik, founder and chief executive officer of SFA, addressed the council, praising Legacy’s experience in retail and mixed-use development and public/private projects. Legacy has developed 34 million square feet of commercial space across 14 states, mostly in the Midwest and Southwest.
“From Perfect Game’s perspective and from SFA’s (perspective), we couldn’t be happier of the fact that Legacy has joined forces with us,” Pathik added.
Aside from the new 61,600-square-foot Perfect Game headquarters, the 170-plus-acre development is slated to feature:
More than 2,000 multifamily residential units
250,000 square feet of retail space, 134,000 square feet of office space, and room for restaurants
100 townhome units and 1,930 multifamily units
A sports complex with two championship stadiums
Two to four hotels, each containing 200-600 guestrooms
Another hotel with a minimum 200 rooms and a full-service conference center
A new indoor sports and event center with attached community center
Sports medicine research facility
13,000 square feet of sports technology research
Training facility and dormitories
Perfect Game Hall of Fame complex
Entrance water feature
3,000 surface parking spaces
Preliminary conceptual drawings show the indoor sports/event facility next to the hotel/conference center and community center, effectively combining to make for a convention center complex.
A preliminary site plan for the Perfect Game-anchored mixed use development. West 2nd Street is also U.S. Highway 79. Image: Odell/Perfect Game
The new development collectively is anticipated to generate more than $800 million in private investment. Sixty-six permanent jobs will accompany the Perfect Game headquarters relocation.
The city expects to receive a revised site plan by mid-October. Land zoning, bond financing and pre-development all are to be done by next spring.
The entire project will unfold in phases. The new Perfect Game campus will kick off construction; the development team plans to open the new headquarters and playing fields to the public on Memorial Day weekend 2021.
A preliminary southerly view of the Perfect Game-anchored development in Hutto with U.S. 79 in the background. This image was produced when the project was first announced. Image: Perfect Game/Odell
The remainder of Phase 1 construction is slated for completion in fall 2021. Development team representatives also said they’d be willing to hold a public meeting this fall to inform the wider community about their project.
The Perfect Game aspect of the development is anticipated to bring over 517,000 non-local visitors in the first year and over 630,000 visitors by the fifth year.
These figures are based on the number of business-related visits and baseball tournaments taking place at the development.
Non-local visitors are predicted to generate over 138,000 room nights within the first year and over 169,000 room nights annually by the fifth year.
The yearly economic impact of the Perfect Game development from direct spending is estimated to be over $200 million.
Sheldon Oxner, an executive with Kansas-based company National Commercial Builders has been chosen to coordinate individual construction projects that will be taking place.
Scott Morris with Atlanta studio Blur Workshop has been tapped to supervise overall land planning and design.
The council will in time officially consider implementing a public improvement district and tax increment reinvestment zone to help support the development.
It was this past April when Perfect Game executives and city leaders announced the massive development involving Wolverine Interests.
The 170-plus-acres of undeveloped land along U.S. Highway 79 in Hutto will be turned into a massive mixed-use development featuring relocated Perfect Game headquarters and playing fields, hotels, and new residential and retail development. Image: Google Streets
But by late summer, the city’s faith in Wolverine’s ability to advance the project disappeared when the company did not finalize acquisition of the land in a timely manner.
The city went to district court, claiming a breach of contract and requesting more than $1 million in damages.
The company is counter-suing, claiming the city owes them money for project work it had performed, according to reports.
City Manager Odis Jones said, despite troubles with the previous master developer, the Perfect Game project represents a huge chance for Hutto to expand and diversify its commercial base.
“I’m tremendously excited about having Legacy at the table, but also about the overall strategic partnership with Perfect Game and SFA,” Jones said.
Jones added: “There’s excitement in the market not only about delivering the retail product that creates family entertainment, but also a product that allows us to get into tourism and the convention market in a different way.”
Edmond Ortiz is a lifelong San Antonian and a 20-plus-year veteran in local journalism, He previously worked full-time at the San Antonio Express-News, and has been freelancing for outlets such as the Rivard Report.