By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
But Katy has also been trying to revitalize and develop the town and surrounding areas. Katy Mills may be the answer. The mall is expected to generate more than $320 million a year in retail sales and to create over 3,000 jobs. Some of those are for participants in the MATCH program, which provides jobs for welfare recipients.
And the mall fits in fine with the other part of Katy, the suburban enclaves south of I-10, where new subdivisions materialize in a matter of months and families move to get away from Houston. They don't need Houston, save for employment. They've got two cars per family (public transportation doesn't reach the Mills), their own Ninfa's and their own Tinseltown movie megacomplex. Their brilliant blond children attend schools where the student paper is printed in color.
And now, they don't need Houston malls. Especially since Katy Mills seems better equipped to deal with the male contingent. One father and son stared up at Fiona Apple playing on one of the large video screens while waiting outside Ann Taylor Loft, the little boy's mouth agape.
Besides, where else can you purchase an RV at the mall? (Check out the selection at Entrance Four, dubbed the Parks and Recreation entry.) Or find a discount Bible (at the Bible Factory Outlet) or surgical scrubs (at the Life Uniform Outlet) or a ceramic apple pie scented vaguely like your grandma's bathroom (at the Potpourri Pie kiosk)?
And what other mall covers all age groups in its restroom vending machines? For 75 cents in the women's restroom you can have: 1) Xstreme Ice Drop sours; 2) an O.B. tampon; 3) Two Tylenol caplets, 500 milligrams each; 4) Two Motrin IB tablets, 500 millgrams each; and 5) Looney Tunes temporary tattoos.
Not only will Katy Mills create a headache, it will sell you the Tylenol for it, too.
E-mail Melissa Hung at email@example.com.