The city of Katy has broken ground on the Katy Boardwalk District, a mixed-use project including a boardwalk, nature trails, two loft-living apartment complexes, retail stores and restaurants.

The city has awarded three contracts in direct to the completion of the first phase of the project, which is contractually required to reach completion by Dec. 31, according to Katy's director of tourism, marketing and public relations, Kayce Reina.

Reina said one of the first projects to be completed is a thoroughfare roadway—referred to as the “reverse L”—that must be completed before the lake can be excavated and the loft-living complexes can begin construction.

“The infrastructure and roadways also activate the first loft-living complex that will be under construction this year, as well,” Reina said.

The roadway will connect with Kingsland Boulevard, creating access to a parking lot and public restrooms, which will be built for visitors of the boardwalk.

Development company Sueba USA—the developers of the loft-living complex—plans to begin building the first of two facilities in June or July, Reina said.

“They’re going to be prepping the land and getting [construction] ready to go,” Reina said. “They’re teed up and ready to go, but they obviously can’t get in there because there is no road. As soon as the road is complete, they are able to then start setting up all of the construction for that.”

The lake will include several small islands connected by walking paths, which will be constructed immediately after the lake is excavated. The boardwalk path is separated over different phases of the project, with the first phase located at the southwest corner.

“As soon as the excavation of the lake is done, we’ll immediately follow with coming in and building the actual boardwalk path, planning of the landscaping and irrigation,” Reina said. “That will be complete by the end of this year.”

Plans also continue to develop for the following phases of the Boardwalk District. Reina said developers have begun development phases of the hotel conference center.

The hotel brand has yet to be announced, and plans are also contingent upon the excavation of the lake, which will help to determine the layout of the lake, Reina said.

“The second phase of the boardwalk project is where the hotel conference center will be,” Reina said. “That edge where the conference center touches the lake hasn’t yet been defined. The design is still happening for that. We didn’t want to go in and build things that have to be torn out.”

In August 2016, the city entered into negotiations with—and eventually hired—KB Development to focus on the development of the area, screening and recruiting hotel companies for the site.

The Boardwalk District will be directly south of Katy Mills and centered around a large lake with a boardwalk and nature trails. Preliminary plans for the project also include retail and dining locations and a residential neighborhood.

When completed, the Boardwalk District is slated to include 650 loft residences, 145,000 square feet of mixed-use commercial space and approximately 60,000 square feet of retail space.