In a time when we're seeing some department stores and malls shutdown, a bit of good news from Katy Mills Mall.
The shopping center is getting ready to grow.
For the first time since it was built in 1999, the popular mall will undergo some major renovations.
Construction of the three phase project starts next month. Crews will repaint the mall interior in neutral colors, stripping the neon lights and primary colored display ceiling colors. They'll replace the red and orange patterned carpet with porcelain tile. The dining area and children's play place will be transformed as well. If everything goes according to plan, those projects will wrap up by the end of 2018. Phase, redoing the mall exterior, two will start in 2019. Phase three will follow with new signage.
"Katy Mills' renovation is a highly anticipated project and an investment in the local market," said James Ross, general manager for Katy Mills. "These improvements are designed with our shoppers and retailers in mind, and we look forward to sharing this new and refined shopping experience with the community."
Currently, there are 175 stores inside the mall. We're told new stores have shown interest in moving into Katy Mills, but Simon, the company that manages the mall, wouldn't say which stores will open.
Katy Mayor Chuck Brawner says the city spent four years negotiating the upgrade with Simon. Today's announcement is big.
"It's almost like you've just won the World Series," Brawner said.
We know what that feels like.
Brawner says he hopes shoppers feel that same kind of giddiness when they walk through the new mall for the first time around the holidays.
But will the updates really bring in new shoppers? Or are malls a lost nineties fad?
"Obviously, with the way the community is supporting this center and other centers across the country, they have a lot of confidence in it," said Mike Romstad with Simon.
Only time will tell.
Romstad wouldn't say how much the renovations will cost.