Katy Boardwalk District delayed 3 months to coordinate site details

Progress on the Katy Boardwalk District has been put on hold for three months while planners fine tune the layout of the 111-acre development.

Anas Garfaoui, planning technician with the city of Katy, said developers were given a three month extension to revisit plans for the commercial and residential project located on Kingsland Boulevard directly south of Katy Mills.

Katy Boardwalk District delayed 3 months to coordinate site details This artistic rendering of the Katy Boardwalk District shows the original layout for the project. The project has been delayed three months.[/caption]

“It’s really an extension to allow everyone to figure out the final details,” Garfaoui said. “During this three-month window, it’ll allow us to all get on the same page.”

The Boardwalk District is composed of several different projects, including a nature preserve surrounding an 89-acre lake, a hotel and convention center, luxury loft living communities, a plaza area, mixed-use retail space and a single-family home residential neighborhood.

Katy City Administrator Byron Hebert said one of the issues with the original plan was the view of the nature preserve and lake was blocked by the location of the hotel and convention center.

“We weren’t taking full advantage of the scenic view of the park,” Hebert said. “Water kind of draws people. We’re re-drawing the plans, making sure that the people in the loft living and plaza area can see the nature park.”

The nature preserve—being constructed by the city of Katy—has a 2-mile walking trail that circles a retention pond and is interconnected with several wooden boardwalks. The estimated cost of the preserve is about $3 million.

The remaining 22 acres of the project will consist the loft apartment complexes, hotel, convention center, retail stores and restaurants and the residential neighborhood.

The luxury lofts and mixed-use retail portion of the project is being designed and constructed by Sueba USA Corporation.

Sueba USA Corp. Vice President Doug Bergen said the delay will help architects and city planners finalize the exact layout of the project to avoid potential stoppages once construction begins.

“There’s no reason to rush into this. The delay is three months, and that’s related to architectural plans,” Bergen said. “We don’t want to be starting something and then having to stop to fix something.”

Bergen said the two loft apartment complexes are tentatively planned to be four stories with a parking garage, fitness center and resort-style swimming pools. Each building will have an estimated 300 luxury living units that will consist of one- and two-bedroom units.

“It’s a Class A premier loft living,” Bergen said of the loft complexes.

Sueba USA will also construct the mixed-use retail area, which, Bergen said, could include both retail stores and restaurants.

The loft complexes and retail and dining would occupy the land north of the lake and Bergen said the estimated cost for the loft complexes and mixed-use retail is $150 million. Construction on the project is planned to begin in either the fourth quarter of 2016 or the first quarter of 2017.

“The boardwalk concept is going to be unique,” Bergen said. “We think it’s going to be very dynamic.”

The hotel and convention center are being constructed by the city of Katy. Garfaoui said the hotel is expected to have about 275 rooms, and the convention center is planned as a 55,000-square-foot structure. The total cost of both projects is estimated at $14 million.

Hebert said a neighborhood with about 150 homes is planned to the east of the retail and dining area.

“It’s not set in concrete, but we know there will be homes there,” he said.