KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
January 2, 2024
By Natalie Cook Clark
The Katy area expands far beyond the City of Katy proper, yet what is done in the city benefits all Katy area residents. From entertainment to road construction, this year promises to be a big year for Katy that will impact all who call this great city home.
Photo credit: City of Katy Convention and Tourism Bureau
Katy Continues to Grow
Just as the greater Katy area continues to see a vast influx in population and growth (just look to Katy ISD’s need for more schools as proof) the City of Katy proper also experiences an increase at the end of last year.
More Land Added to Katy for Commercial Use
At the end of 2023 more than 143 acres, a large portion of unincorporated land near Waller County and I-10 was annexed into Katy City proper. This was initiated by the homeowner and the new City of Katy land has plans for commercial development. Those details are expected to be announced soon.
“We are very excited about things that will be happening in the City of Katy in 2024, says Katy Mayor William “Dusty” Thiele. “Home Depot will be opening in 2024. The Pitts Road Construction Project as well as the Katy Hockley Road and Katy Hockley Cut-Off Road Construction Projects will be underway in 2024. We are expecting Phase II of our newest planned development community, Katy Courts, to begin in 2024. The City of Katy is looking forward to a great 2024.”
“It’s good to have any new business come to or expand in Katy,” says Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harris.
Speaking of new businesses, one that many are excited about to see open in 2024 is The Dryer that will include incorporating Katy history into businesses such as the upcoming Katy Beer Garden.
“I’m so glad that they are able to get that off the ground. It’s going to be an exciting space for Katy residents,” says Harris.
Road and Drainage Projects
A big focus for the City of Katy this year will be road and drainage projects.
Both Katy Hockley Cut-Off Road and Katy Hockley Road will be expanded to four lanes. This project with greatly help with the traffic coming soon as parents continue to drop off and pick up students from the new Youngblood Elementary and starting in the fall the new Nelson Junior High and Freeman High School.
“Everything is progressing fine with this project and we’re in the wrapping up the right aways stage,” says Harris. “It should resemble the design of Morton Road with the four lanes.”
While a timeline is still fluid, Harris says residents should expect to see major changes by this summer. Katy ISD’s newest schools, Nelson Junior High and Freeman High School are set to open this fall.
Another big city focus will be drainage projects this year.
“We have so many original and older parts of Katy that can’t be left out,” says Harris. “Some drainage systems were developed in the 50’s and we have to upgrade them.”
While Katy continues to steadily grow, the city is always focused on flood mitigation.
The City of Katy expects to continue to grow and expand, especially in population this year. The influx of people coming in doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
“Katy is a great place to live so we’re continually looking at how we need to adjust and improve,” says Harris.
Katy Mills Remains an Economic Engine
A lot of the work to be done isn’t just on the City of Katy but also Harris County, of which Harris says they have a great working relationship with.
“Harris County has been great, and they are working very hard to meet the same goals that we have,” says Harris. “We are continually pushing forward on the most important projects.”
As Katy is growing in population, it also continues to grow with businesses.
“We’re very happy with our economic engine of our city, which is Katy Mills Mall,” says Harris. “If you went around there during the holidays you would agree that the Winter Park Lights and the newly opened Slick City Adventure Park really were drawing in the crowds.”
Harris says that the mall’s new progress continues to drive in new business. Katy Mills Mall is no longer just a retail mall but an entertainment destination.
Last year, the City of Katy put great effort into revitalizing the Downtown area. Now Downtown Square is coming to fruition and many businesses have revitalized the Dowtown Katy area. This was seen during last year’s Katy Rice Festival, where thousands enjoyed the festivities and new improvements to the area.
Downtown Katy remains the picture place for Katy residents. Soon another photo destination will join the Katy Caboose and the lovely Heritage Park. According to Harris a new Katy mural will soon be designed under the old water tower. This will bring families (and high school seniors) out for that perfect local photo.
Photo credit: Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harris.
The Katy Boardwalk Park is Great for Katy Residents
The Katy Boardwalk District will continue to grow in 2024. Currently, the park at the Katy boardwalk is open. It’s 90 acres of park and trails in the City of Katy.
“The city portion of the park and walking trails are there,” says Harris. “People are using it and enjoying seeing the local wildlife that is coming to that area.”
While the Katy Boardwalk has experienced delays since its initial announcement, businesses are coming to that area, such as Katy favorite Brett’s BBQ. More businesses are expected to come to the Boardwalk in 2024.
“2023 was a great year for our city, but I know that 2024 is going to be exciting as well,” says Harris.