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Katy master-planned community on pace for completion in 2015

December 5, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

Plans for Cane Island include many amenities, including an outdoor amphitheater, pools and a two-story fitness center. Photo: Rise Communities / ONLINE_YES

Cane Island joins other new projects staking out space in Fort Bend County

Developers of the new 1,000-acre Cane Island master-planned community in Katy plan to break ground in February, with the grand opening of the community slated for April 2015.

The upscale community and first master-planned community in the city’s boundaries will offer a range of single-family and custom homes, with lot sizes from 50–100 feet. At build out, developers anticipate about 2,200 homes in the master-planned community, located between Hwy. 90 and Morton Road, said Dan Naef, CEO of Nevada-based Rise Development, the Cane Island developer.

“We chose Katy for its proximity to the Energy Corridor, which is a major job market for Houston, and the superior school district,” Naef said. “And the site is perfect for a master-planned community because it will have the new highway interchange.”

In conjunction with the Cane Island community, the city of Katy is overseeing the building of the Cane Island Parkway, which is under construction and expected to be complete by spring of 2015.

“All of these projects will enhance mobility for the many new businesses coming to the area,” Katy Mayor Fabol Hughes said.

According to Naef, the new interchange will lead right to the development’s front door.

“That’s one of the requirements for the success of the project is that there’s going to be a new Cane Island interchange,” he said.

The city of Katy is supervising three phases of Cane Island Parkway’s construction: building road from I-10 to Hwy. 90, construction of the overpass at I-10 by TxDOT and the portion of the parkway that extends from Hwy. 90 to Morton Road through the new community.

TxDOT’s improvements include the construction of westbound and eastbound entrance and exit ramps for I-10 and an overpass, as well as the conversion of the two-way frontage road into a one-way.

The city started construction on the parkway Oct. 15 between Hwy. 90 and I-10. Construction on the new overpass is slated to begin in July, said Byron Hebert, Katy’s finance director.

In late January, however, city officials were still negotiating with representatives from Union Pacific Railroad for the construction of a railway crossing at Hwy. 90.

“Since we are still in talks with Union Pacific, I believe it would be inappropriate to say anything at this time,” Hughes said.

Fort Bend County officials are working with a developer on a $10.8 million project to tie the parkway from the overpass at I-10 into FM 1463 near the Willow Bend neighborhood, said Jonathan Schumann, chief of staff for commissioner Andy Meyers’ office.

In order to make the city of Katy’s 15-month timeline, they are expecting to bid the project soon.

“The overpass is expected to be completed by the summer of 2015,” Schumann said. “We want to be done then as well.”

While the developer is paying for $4 million of the project, the Fort Bend portion— estimated at $6.8 million—is complicated by a bridge that must be built over Willow Fork Creek.

“With the environmental challenges, we need to start this summer,” he said.

Officials farther north in Waller County are anticipating positive effects as well.

“The Cane Island Parkway is the most significant construction to our road infrastructure in this part of the county in many, many years,” Waller County Precinct 4 Commissioner Stan Kitzman said. “It will change the landscape of southeastern Waller County.”

Cane Island community

Naef said Cane Island will be created in a way that will honor local history and Katy’s heritage.

The community will be developed in stages, starting with an elaborate, one-mile entry area lined with thousands of trees where residents will drive under a “living wall,” a decorative arch covered in plants and flowers, Naef said.

Rise Development is in the final process of selecting the builders for the community, he said. Homes will likely begin in the upper $200,000s and reach into the upper $800,000s.

Katy’s elected officials and city staff have been instrumental in helping the Cane Island community break ground, Naef said.

The Katy City Council aided the project with its Nov. 18 vote to amend the city’s ordinance outlining code requirements for Master Planned Community Districts and its creation of a new MUD within the city limits. It also annexed about 443 acres of land from its ETJ into the city for the future community site. Additionally, The city successfully lobbied Houston to release approximately 480 acres from Houston’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, which it intends to annex.

The new ordinance allows greater latitude in lot sizes, street widths, design and layout. At the same time, tightens requirements for community features such as public parks.

“They have been a strong partner and that is what is needed to build a successful master-planned community,” Naef said.

Reprint from Impactnews.com       by  Tamra Santana

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