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Katy Mayor Hastings Talks Pandemic Challenges, City Continues to Grow Despite COVID Delays

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

May 25, 2021

By Natalie Cook Clark


City of Katy Mayor Bill Hastings couldn't have envisioned leading the city through a global pandemic when he took office after being Chief of Police for 10 years, 32 years with the department. Still he's delivering Katy through this challenging time and out through a developmental boom. Katy continues to grow despite COVID delays. See what new projects are on the horizon and what challenges Mayor Hastings faced throughout the pandemic.

Artist rendering of Katy Boardwalk District. Photo courtesy Kaplin Public Relations.


Mayor Hastings Biggest Challenges

“Our biggest challenge was to be sure that we continued to provide excellent services to the City of Katy residents and businesses,” says Katy Mayor Bill Hastings. “We also wanted to preserve and maintain jobs for all City of Katy employees with no healthcare interruptions and no changes in retirement funding.”


The COVID-19 pandemic brought hardships to the nation and Katy was not spared. Hastings says that they made budget cuts, did not hire new employees, cut new capital projects, and implemented essential spending only in order to preserve funds. This was done in hopes of returning to a Pre-COVID budget.

Katy Mayor William "Bill" Hastings

“We were pleased to learn that our revenue shortfalls would not be as low as originally projected,” says Mayor Hastings.

Delayed Projects Still On Track

Despite the hardships of the pandemic Katy is still growing and while many initial projects have been delayed, they are still very much on tract to coming to Katy.

“New development means new jobs, new businesses, new homes, new schools, and new revenue, all of which contribute to a thriving community,” says Mayor Hastings. “The Boardwalk District is under construction and will provide numerous services to our citizens.”


The Katy Boardwalk District Projected for 2023

The Katy Boardwalk District will be located at Kingsland Boulevard and Katy-Fort Bend Road, just south of I-10 West, the Boardwalk is within walking distance of Katy Mills Mall and the Typhoon Texas water park. It will eventually consist of a full-service conference center hotel that is expected to be completed by fall of 2023 according to their website.


The Boardwalk District will also feature two phases of loft residential apartments. This will be the first buildings visible of the establishments to come. The website says that pre-leasing is expected to begin early summer 2021.


Also, projected to be completed by 2023 (though this always subject to change) is 155,000 square footage of retail space within the district.


It is always uppermost in our minds that the City of Katy remains true to its roots, that we keep our small town feel and traditions while accommodating the growth needed to maintain a vibrant, growing, and financially sound community,” says Mayor Hastings.

More New Development Coming to Katy:


Popstrokes

The first Texas location of PopStrokes, the Florida-based golf entertainment facility designed by Tiger Woods, is coming to Katy in 2022. The golfing experience will join the Katy Grand between Cinemark and Andretti Indoor Karting and Games at I-10 and the Grand Parkway.


It will be built on a 3.2-acre tract and feature an 8,000-square-foot restaurant along with two 18-hole golf courses designed by Woods set at various skill levels. The complex will also feature also outdoor games and a playground area.


Layne’s Chicken Fingers

Where are the Katy Aggies? Layne’s Chicken Fingers is set to open this summer at 23703 Cinco Ranch Blvd. This will be the franchise’ first push into the Houston market after being a popular spot in Aggieland and in the Dallas area.


Dogtopia of Katy

Set to open at 1817 South Mason Road, this will add to your choices of local boarding, daycare, and spa options for your furry best friend. At Dogtopia, your furry friend is kept safe in a modern open-play facility. Dogtopia is set to open this summer.


Pearl and Vine

The recently opened Pearl and Vine at 26151 Nelson Way is already earning rave reviews for its new American themed cuisine. From seafood to steak and everything to delight your palate, Katyites will leave happy. The restaurant offers private event dining and a great atmosphere for drinks with friends or meals with the family.


And that just scratches the surface.


New Growth, New Prosperity

We are looking forward to seeing our residents and our City overcome some of the hardships brought on by the pandemic,” says Mayor Hastings. “We are also looking forward to new growth and prosperity.”


Katy is growing. The recent passing of Katy ISD’s $676 million-dollar bond that will go to building new schools, renovating current schools, meeting technology and security needs, etc. all are signs of the growth this area of seeing. The District is also the fastest growing independent public-school district in the state of Texas.



New construction is popping up north of 1-10 along 529 in the Elyson community and the new Sunterra Development soon to break ground at Clay and Pitts Road. It will have around 2,200 homes when complete along with a 3.5-acre crystal lagoon.


Core Values: Family, Community, and Service

“The City of Katy has been and will always be a great place to raise a family,” says Mayor Hastings. “Our core values are Family, Community and Service. We have always worked together to maintain our sense of community, respect, and love for one another, and we will continue to do so.”


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