Katy soon to identify Boardwalk District anchor hotel
Before the end of the year, Katy officials are expected to announce the name of the hotel expected to be the flagship of the city’s extensive new Boardwalk District.
The district, located next to Katy Mills Mall, will be a mixed-use development with retail shopping, a convention center and residences. A 90-acre lake originally envisioned as a retention pond for the mall and nearby neighborhoods will be a major feature of the project.
“It’s been there 20 years and it’s absolutely beautiful,” said Kayce Reina, Katy’s Director of Marketing. “Initially we were just going to build a park and put some trails around it.”
Speaking with Katy city administrator Byron Hebert to the Fulshear-Katy Area Chamber of Commerce, Reina said the new hotel and conference center will incorporate the lake as part of its design.
“We’re really excited. It’s going to offer something unique,” Reina said. “We’re finalizing some really big steps on this.”
In addition to the Boardwalk District, Reina and Hebert also briefed chamber members on the continuing development of Katy’s downtown area around the city hall. Hebert said they recently discovered a city map from 1904.
“That map showed there was a public plaza that our old city hall sits on. We’re building that back into a plaza,” Hebert said.
The former city council chambers will be gutted and turned into a convention center while another building, once a fire station and later a town library, will be converted into a new visitors center for Katy. The downtown water tower, featuring a giant Katy High School logo, will remain in place but it will no longer be used for storage, officials said.
The area around the now purely decorative water tower will allow designers to create a walking plaza in the downtown area, which generally shut downs at night.
“When the doors close, everybody goes home. We want to create an environment that draws people back to the city,” Reina said. “We really want a gathering place downtown.”
The downtown demolition work is expected to start in the new couple of weeks with construction of the public plaza area kicking off after the first of the year, Reina said.
“We’re doing a lot of great things downtown,” Hebert said.