Katy leaders provide updates on boardwalk district, development at chamber of commerce's 2020 State of the City luncheon

Katy Area Chamber state of the city
From left: Katy Mayor Bill Hastings; Kayce Reina, the city of Katy's director of tourism, marketing and public relations; Denise Einkauf, the chair of the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce; Katy City Administrator Byron Hebert; and chamber President and CEO Matthew Ferraro gather at the chamber's State of the City luncheon held Jan. 20. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)

From left: Katy Mayor Bill Hastings; Kayce Reina, the city of Katy's director of tourism, marketing and public relations; Denise Einkauf, the chair of the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce; Katy City Administrator Byron Hebert; and chamber President and CEO Matthew Ferraro gather at the chamber's State of the City luncheon held Jan. 20. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)

Three leaders of the city of Katy examined the city’s past, present and future at the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce’s State of the City luncheon Jan. 23.

“How is the city so successful?” City Administrator Byron Hebert said. “You’ve got to have great leadership; you’ve got to have experience, [and] you’ve got to have some longevity.”

Hebert along with Mayor Bill Hastings and Kayce Reina, the city of Katy's director of tourism, marketing and public relations, explained how many people over the past two decades have helped Katy become what it is today and laid the plans for the city's future.

One of these plans includes the Katy Boardwalk District, a 169-acre, mixed-use development on Kingsland Boulevard across from Katy Mills. Reina said the first phase of the multifamily buildings is under construction and the city has put in the roads and infrastructure.

“The hotel conference center is going to be under construction this year,” she added. “We’re working on completing the road so we can activate that site.”


This 304-room hotel and 43,000-square-foot conference center is expected to open mid-2021. Plans for the development also include office and retail spaces, a 90-acre lake and trails.

“We’re really excited about where we’re at and what it’s going to be,” Reina said. “We know these types of projects are going to be huge financial interests for the city to [spur] commercial development that [can] offset some of the tax burden for our residents.”

The future of development

However, Hebert pointed out that there is only so much room in the city of Katy left for future commercial and residential development.

He explained that the city of Katy cannot expand its city limits because the city of Houston’s extraterritorial jurisdiction—which is a band of unincorporated land surrounding a city’s limits that the city can eventually annex—surrounds Katy’s city limits.

The city of Houston regulates development in its ETJ and can collect sales taxes through strategic partnership agreements, but it is not required to provide services, per state law.

Hebert said developers want to build within the city of Katy and not Houston’s ETJ.

“We’re working with developers to try to get them to get out of Houston’s ETJ and come into the city of Katy to help development. .... But right now, we’re limited. We cannot move [city limits] much further than [they] are.”

These developers must first work with the city of Houston to get their property removed from the ETJ before the site can be annexed into the city of Katy, Hebert said.

“Eventually, we’re going to get to a point where we’ve got to be able to grow [but can’t],” he said. So we’re going to be challenged with that in the future.”
By Jen Para
Jen joined Community Impact Newspaper in fall 2018 as the editor of the Katy edition. She covers education, transportation, local government, business and development in the Katy area.


MOST RECENT

Dozens of clinics throughout the county offer COVID-19 testing services. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
COVID-19 testing locations remain open in Montgomery County and more local news

Read the latest Houston-area business and community news.

Heading into Thanksgiving, Texas Medical Center continues to report uptick in hospitalizations

The total number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Texas Medical Center facilities has increased by more than 50% over two weeks.

The Harris County Justice Administration Department is working to release final reports and launch pilot programs in early 2021. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Harris County Justice Administration Department makes headway on countywide criminal justice studies

The department is working to release the final versions of several studies and launch pilot programs with local law enforcement groups in early 2021.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for the state Nov. 23 for a vaccine he said could be available as soon as December. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

The vaccine could start being distributed "as early as next month," according to a Nov. 23 news release.

The latest Fort Bend County coronavirus updates from the week of Nov. 13-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Fort Bend County hospital leaders warn of increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations

Fort Bend County Health & Human Services reported 685 new cases of the coronavirus Nov. 13-19, a 135% increase in the number of new cases compared to the week prior.

Laura Colangelo
Q&A: Laura Colangelo discusses challenges facing private schools during pandemic

Colangelo said private schools have adapted to remote learning and other obstacles in 2020 despite less revenue and a 9% decline in enrollment statewide.

Shake Shack opened its new standalone location at The Woodlands Mall in November. (Courtesy Christine Han)
Shake Shack opens in The Woodlands Mall and more Houston-area updates

Read the latest business and community news from the Greater Houston area.

Katy-area business owners adapt to COVID-19

“I want to thank the community for supporting us and shopping local,” Ebrecht said. “It’s been really amazing. We were surprised that we didn’t fall that far behind last year’s sales, even through all of this.”

Buffalo Bayou report draws some local criticism

Concepts that appeared to be early frontrunners included a new reservoir and dam structure in the Cypress Creek watershed and 22 miles of deepening and widening Buffalo Bayou, both of which would alleviate strain on the Addicks and Barker reservoirs during heavy rainfall events.

The Skeeters will be the first-ever independent baseball league team to become an MLB team's Triple-A affiliate. (Courtesy Sugar Land Skeeters)
Sugar Land Skeeters selected as Triple-A affiliate for Houston Astros

In joining the Houston Astros organization, the Sugar Land Skeeters will be the first-ever independent baseball league team to become an MLB team's Triple-A affiliate.

Serasana Katy, located at 28818 Cinco Ranch Blvd., Ste. 140, Katy, is now open. (Courtesy of Serasana Katy)
Serasana Katy opens in Katy area

Serasana Katy, located at 28818 Cinco Ranch Blvd., Ste. 140, Katy, is now open.