KBH Ventures and the city of Katy have partnered with Benchmark Global Hospitality to develop a conference center anchor for the 169-acre Katy Boardwalk project, according to a press release from Kaplan PR. The conference center will be designed by Gensler and built by Houston-based KDW, the construction firm that built Typhoon Texas.
“For residents, the Boardwalk project is a great commercial boom for the city with tax revenue. It will be drawing in commercial business,” said Katy City Council member Chris Harris. “Then also there’s the green space and park which is a great benefit for residents.”
The development agreement approved by the Katy Development Authority Dec. 17 calls for an anchoring 43,000 square foot conference center to be built just south of Katy Mills in conjunction with a 300-room hotel that includes a restaurant, bar, pool and fitness center. No hotel brand has been announced as yet, but that news is expected in early 2019, according to the press release.
The development will be in line with plans to grow the city in a way that maintains Katy’s small town charm, Harris said. Those plans keep commercial developments—such as the Katy Boardwalk Project and the recently-approved 150-acre annexation west of town that will be home to a new Costco distribution center along Hwy. 90—in areas near other commercial development, while keeping subdivisions residential in nature.
The Lofts at Katy Boardwalk, which will feature two pools, a fitness center, resident lounge, business center, outdoor cabanas, grilling areas and onsite management, are expected to break ground in January 2019 and be completed in the spring of 2020, the release said. The apartments will be built by Sueba Construction, Inc. The first phase of the apartment community will consist of mostly one- or two-bedroom floor plans.
“Our sense is these loft-style residences will be very well received among working professionals seeking a new, highly-amenitized home in these types of mixed-used settings,” said Ray Gabriele, vice president of real estate development for Sueba USA Corporation.
The project plans include about 155,000 square feet of retail space and roughly 60,000 square feet of office space, according to the press release, with construction beginning in late 2019. Leasing for the commercial space is being managed by Lacee Jacobs of CBRE.
Drainage is in compliance with the city’s updated regulations and flood mitigation has been reviewed by Costello, Inc., the engineering firm in charge of the city’s master drainage plan, Harris said. The site will feature an approximately 80-acre wet-bottom lake that will hold only a portion of its volume regularly, with the remainder set aside for flood mitigation during heavy rain events, he said.
The lake will be a part of a nature preserve for migratory birds, Harris said. The site will also feature two miles of walking paths, wooden boardwalks and green space to hold events.
“The entire project is about creating something unexpected—truly a natural-suburban oasis,” said Kayce Reina, director of tourism, marketing and public relations for the city of Katy.