Kyle Mayor Travis Mitchell saved the best news for last.
During the State of the City address, Mitchell announced that Tesla will soon be moving to Kyle. The Electric Vehicle maker has plans to lease three buildings for warehouse storage and light assembly at the Alliance Industrial Park in Kyle, Mitchell revealed.
“When we heard, Tesla was coming to southeast Austin, we got excited,” Mitchell said. “When there’s a major employer coming into the area there’s an ‘effect.’ The ‘Tesla effect’ was huge, they have subcontractors and suppliers, all who provide services to the Gigafactory.”
Mitchell said since Tesla opened, in the last two years, the city has announced five new Tesla suppliers and affiliated businesses that have located in Kyle.
“This was not just in raw manufacturing but in logistics, technology and development,” Mitchell said. “Last year we announced Alliance Industrial Park, 1.4 million square feet of speculative industrial and logistic space being constructed on the southeast side, near Yarrington Road.”
Mitchell said he recalled during the development of the project that the city might potentially be able to get a major Tesla supplier or manufacturer that would come and take a percentage of the site.
“I’m sad to say that didn’t happen,” Mitchell said with a grin. “What we got instead was Tesla.”
Following a moment of thunderous applause Mitchell said they are excited about partnering with Tesla.
“Tesla has taken three of the five buildings – that’s just under a million square feet. They are great partners and a great brand for the City of Kyle,” said Mitchell. “This is an extremely exciting announcement.”
Mitchell said his goal has always been to rid the City of Kyle of being thought of as a “bedroom community” into being viewed as a thriving community.
“For that to happen we must have robust expansion and planning of infrastructure; we must cultivate great retail in the city for people to have things to do and spend their money at home; and we must have a workforce,” Mitchell added. “We need primary jobs where people can live here, work here, play here, shop here… all the things that everyone wants in a community. That’s what we’re lasered focused on, and that’s what the city council has been pursuing.”
Mitchell wasn’t through doling out exciting news. He shared with the packed room of businessmen and women that St. David’s plans on building a seven-story hospital — a $300 million first phase investment — to be located near HEB.
“This will produce tentatively, in their first phase, around 200 jobs.”
Mitchell also spoke about a recent presentation made to the council dealing with “retail leakage,” the amount of money spent outside of Kyle.
“What it said — in a nutshell — is that 61 percent of Kyle retail dollars people are spent outside the county,” Mitchell said. “When I first saw that I was pretty upset. The number of actual visits outside Kyle is 7.5 million annual visits.”
He said over time he shifted his way of thinking and looked at it as an opportunity for the City of Kyle to have businesses to come and take advantage of a ripe retail market.
“So, we’ve been pursuing the cultivation and expansion of a lot of mixed-use districts and retail centers. Developers are just now realizing there’s an incredible need to expand our retail market in Kyle,” Mitchell said. “We’re not full. We have a lot of capacity left and that’s going to create a lot of opportunities for our business community.”
Mitchell spoke of the opening of Costco this year and said they helped establish credibility in the market as a growing thriving community where investments can be made, and profits can be had.
Mitchell also spoke of last week’s opening of Hobby Lobby, located at 5777 Kyle Pkwy., and next month’s tentative opening of Academy Sports & Outdoors. He also noted a variety of eateries that have recently opened in what’s known as the Dry River District, including Via 313 Pizzeria, Willies Grill & Icehouse, P Terry’s, Tiff’s Treats, Z Tejas, Freebirds, and Einstein Bagels to name a few.
In the Kalterra Shopping Center, restaurants such as Mighty Fine Burgers, Rudy’s BBQ and Zaxby’s are some of the restaurants that will be opening while in Kyle Crossing, Phase 2, diners will find Spoon & Fork, Cava, Crumble Cookies, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Snooze and more.
Mitchell also mentioned a mixed-use development called Word Place.
“Jeff and Cindy Barton have put their hearts and soul into this,” Mitchell said. “It’s on their family’s legacy property with some wonderful oak trees and old historic homes that are going to be repurposed. There will be and awesome coffee bar and several restaurants, one I’m a fan of – Mudbugs.”
But it’s the Brick & Mortar District that stole the retail show which will be the future home of Sprouts Grocery.
The store is expected to be 23,000 square feet and located on the northwest corner of FM 1626 and Kohlers Crossing.
Tennessee-based developer GBT Realty Corp. shared plans to create a shopping center with Kyle City Council members on Aug. 15.
GBT Realty asked the council for up to $650,000 in incentives for the development, according to reports. The Sprouts would be roughly 23,000 square-feet and three more retail spots will be around 18,000 square-feet for a total complex size of around 40,000 square-feet.
“We’re very excited and have been working with Sprouts over the last several months to make sure that as an anchor project, it’s a Grade A, visually appealing building and they’ve agreed,” said Mitchell. “We will be looking at their proposals in the next couple meetings.”
With the growth happening in Kyle how was the city preparing for the inevitable need for more water? That’s what Mitchell spoke of when discussing the city’s infrastructure.
“If Kyle isn’t preparing to be able to deliver water to its future customers, then we are creating a catastrophe,” Mitchell said. “Various jurisdictions around the Austin metropolitan area have different plans for water. I’m proudest of the plan that the City of Kyle has.”
Alliance Regional Water Authority, formerly known as Hays Caldwell Public Utility Authority, was established in 2007 as a partnership with the City of San Marcos, City of Buda, Canyon Regional Water Authority and ultimately the GBRA to draw down 64 million gallons of water — per day — from the Carrizo/Wilcox Aquifer in Gonzales County.
“There’s more water available in the drawable 10 percent of the water in the Carrizo than all of the surface lakes in Texas,” Mitchell said. “So, the City of Kyle, along with these great partners, showed tremendous foresight in the beginning of this project.”
Mitchell said the project is nearing completion and expects the first water to be delivered in early 2025.