Concerts and weddings shop Hillsboro OutletsConcerts and weddings shop Hillsboro Outletshttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=68562013-07-11T06:49:00Z2013-07-11T00:00:00Z

HILLSBORO, HILL COUNTY - The Outlets at Hillsboro has gone from being a major draw to the community 
30 miles north of Waco to darkened shops that have caused its occupancy rate to drop to 46 percent.

The City of Hillsboro and Craig Realty Group, which owns the 360,000-sf center on I-35, will collaborate to create the Hillsboro Events Center that is set to open in summer 2014. It will take shape in a building formerly used by the Gap store, which has relocated within the mall.

“We will have four outside courtyards to complement the Gap space,” said Jerry Barker, Hillsboro’s community development director.

When complete, the events center will host events ranging from trade shows and technology expos to wedding receptions, concerts and theater productions.

It is projected to generate revenue for the city and potential customers for the 30 stores still operating in the outlet mall.

Barker estimated it will cost $4.5 million to create a first-class events center, and the city and Craig Realty Group reportedly will split the bill. The center will have the capacity to simultaneously host up to five events, with as many as 950 people attending.

Despite the outlet mall’s struggles, Hillsboro’s economy has managed to hold its own. The city enjoys a strategic location on I-35, just south of the split that takes northbound travelers, including truckers, to either Dallas or Fort Worth. Southbound traffic, meanwhile, merges as it arrives in Hillsboro.

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Waco Tribune-Herald
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