Katy city officials said they hope a new study will reimagine an area near downtown Katy as a future entertainment hub.

The gist

At the Jan. 8 meeting, Katy City Council approved authorizing Mayor William “Dusty” Thiele to sign a $85,000 agreement with planning firm Kendig Keast Collaborative to prepare a plan for a proposed entertainment district surrounding Katy’s historic rice dryers.

“What we’re trying to do is see if the study comes back and tells us how to work and really get a nice entertainment venue that would attract people,” City Administrator Byron Hebert said in an interview.

The details

The proposed district lays between Third Street and Hwy. 90 to the north and south, as well as Airline Drive and Katy Fort Bend Road to the west and east, respectively, according to city documents. The area is several blocks from Katy's historic downtown.

The study will take roughly eight months, with a completion date set for this fall, Katy City Planner Rachel Lazo said in an email.

“Our primary goal is to obtain educated feedback on specific types of uses that would be feasible in an area of town that’s already experiencing early phases of redevelopment and what potential role the city could play in supporting the growth,” she said.

Lazo and Hebert said study features could include:
  • Project recommendations, such as include roads, parking, sidewalks and utilities
  • Zoning suggestions
The background

The city of Katy hired KKC to conduct its 2040 comprehensive plan, which was completed in March. As part of the plan, KKC developed the future land use and character map, which noted the unrealized mixed-use entertainment area—currently zoned for industrial use—that could be transformed, Community Impact reported.

What’s next

When the plan is complete, any recommendations would need to be budgeted and approved by City Council, Lazo said.

However, the city doesn’t own land within the proposed district’s boundary; so while officials can make the district accessible, land owners must also determine next steps once the study is released, Hebert said.