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The development team behind the Katy Boardwalk District has hired Toronto-based Colliers (Nasdaq: CIGI) and Houston-based Method Architecture to aid in landing new restaurants and entertainment venues, marking a shift for the mixed-use project.

Colliers’ retail team has been tasked with overseeing tenant leasing. Colliers’ Wade Greene, Kimberly Lenardson and Hannah Tosch are already in discussions with “several notable restaurant, bar and entertainment concepts," according to a news release.

“We’ve heard from a number of concepts both here in Houston and across the country,” Greene said. “We’re certainly evaluating all of these opportunities to determine the best ones for the project.”

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The first tenants for the Katy Boardwalk District are expected to be announced in early 2022.

Meanwhile, Method Architecture was brought on to “reimagine” the mixed-use and retail site plan in order to better showcase the newly constructed 90-acre lake’s native trees, flora and wildlife.

The 169-acre setting for the Katy Boardwalk District is situated along Kingsland Boulevard and Prairie Parkway, near Katy Mills Mall just south of Interstate 10.

By bringing on Colliers and Method Architecture, Katy officials essentially changed the lineup for two key roles involved in bringing the public-private project together.

Katy officials had previously tapped the Houston office of Dallas-based CBRE to handle retail leasing. San Francisco-based Gensler was hired to design the retail complex, as well as a planned hotel and conference center.

While Gensler will continue to oversee the design of the hotel and conference center, CBRE is no longer with the project.

“The impact of Covid-19 gave us extra time to re-evaluate the site plan to ensure we’re incorporating the lakefront experience into the entire project,” said Keith Dalton of KBH Venture, co-developer of the Katy Boardwalk District.

The project is being developed as a public-private partnership among the city of Katy, the Katy Development Authority and developers KBH Venture and Sueba USA, which led the development of residential portion of the project, known as Boardwalk Lofts.

“As a public-private partnership, we’re delighted to work with a team of professionals with the experience and vision needed to bring the boardwalk to life,” said Skip Conner, president of the Katy Development Authority.

The district will be home to the area’s first full-service hotel and conference center, according to Katy officials. The 304-room, four-star property will feature ballroom and event space, and construction is slated to be complete in fall 2023, according to the Katy Boardwalk District's website. It's expected to be a Hyatt Regency hotel and conference center.

Later this fall, Sueba USA is expected to open Boardwalk Lofts, which started pre-leasing earlier this month. The luxury multifamily development broke ground in 2019.

Preliminary plans for the Katy Boardwalk District were released in January 2015, but the project has changed substantially since then.

But the city has already completed the first phase of the trail system around the district’s 90-acre nature preserve, and the second phase is currently under design. The second phase will complete the trail system around the 80-acre lake at the heart of the district.

The development of the Katy Boardwalk District is part of the city’s plan to capitalize on an 80-acre plot of land abutting a waterway and nature preserve that has been oft-overlooked for the past 20 years.

Katy officials have said in the past that the city sees a huge opportunity in the idea of converting the area into a high-end district offering a wide range of leasable space to prospective tenants.

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