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Mayor: ‘The future of Baytown is bright

October 22, 2020

COVID-19 may have hindered many things in 2020, but according to Mayor Brandon Capetillo, Baytown’s future is not one of them. 

Giving his annual State of the City address on video recorded at Faith Family Church on North Main, Capetillo spoke of the city’s future. The video is available at

“We are making strategic decisions with a bigger picture in mind,” Capetillo said. “I am fortunate to have a very dedicated and knowledgeable city council to work side by side toward the goal of a better Baytown.”

Capetillo first mentioned the new Better Baytown logo.

“When you see this logo, it is an indication that the city is investing in our infrastructure or quality of life projects,” he said. “We want to provide our citizens with the ability to check the status of key capital improvement projects.”

Capetillo said citizens could visit to check the status and details of projects happening within the city. 

Capetillo said Baytown’s next chapter includes the 208-room Hyatt Regency hotel and convention center on Bayland Island. 

“It can host events for up to 900 individuals with a ballroom and smaller conference rooms,” Capetillo said. 

Groundbreaking on the project is set for 2021, Capetillo said. 

“We are busy making an investment in the critical infrastructure and improving the quality of life of all of our citizens. The future of Baytown is bright,” Capetillo said. “We’ve seen challenges in our history, from world wars, hurricanes and now this pandemic. We have always emerged smarter, and better prepared after each one of them. We will have a post-COVID Baytown. It may look different and be different, but it will always be a better Baytown.” 

Capetillo said the time to address the issues along Garth Road has come. During council’s retreat, the mayor said they wanted to find a way to solve the traffic issues along Baytown’s primary commercial corridor.

“It has been No. 1 area of concern of our citizens each year when they have been surveyed,” Capetillo said. 

Working with the Houston-Galveston Area Council and the Transportation Policy Council, Capetillo said the city secured federal funding to pay for 75% of the initial construction and widening of Garth Rd. The first phase will start at Interstate-10 to just south of Archer Road. The project will also provide for three traffic lanes in each direction and a 60-foot median. Additionally, traffic lanes will expand to 11-feet, and sidewalks will be installed on both sides, with one being wide enough for shared uses. 

Capetillo said much of the overhead infrastructure on Garth Road, such as telephone wires and poles, would be reduced.

“It is not visually pleasing,” he said. “It should be reduced by 80% by the time it is completed.”

The mayor said he hopes construction will begin in either late 2021 or early 2022.

“The widening and construction of Garth Road will give an opportunity to revitalize the economic landscape of the corridor,” Capetillo said. 

During a question and answer session with the mayor, Partners in Primary Care marketer Cassy Nordness explained her facility is a senior-focused doctor’s office on Garth Road.

“What is our impact directly with the widening of Garth Road? We want to be prepared since we work with elderly patients,” Nordness said.

Connie Curtis, the Garth Road Widening project manager, said the project is in preliminary phases right now. Curtis recommended that anyone interested in the project visit, register, and submit a question to Juan Macias, the city’s civil engineer, at

“We can get back with you as part of the public outreach,” Curtis said. “It is intended to remain live. We are going to keep it updated.

Curtis said the final design kick-off should happen within the next few months, and construction should start in 12 to 18 months. 

Capetillo said to expect another 7-and-a-half miles of road construction within the next year in the city. 

The mayor highlighted a $66 million Chapter 212 economic development agreement made in September 2019 between the city and Enterprise Products to provide funding for the design and construction of a new public safety administration building. It will house police, fire administration, and law enforcement operations, Capetillo said. Groundbreaking is set for 2021. 

The Market Street Corridor is being revitalized thanks to a Partnership Grant with Harris County Pct. 2 Adrian Garcia’s office, Capetillo said. The funding will help re-develop the area from West Baytown to the Texas Ave area. It will also include the relocation and reconstruction of San Jacinto Elementary at the corner of Market and Airhart Drive. 

Capetillo also addressed flooding hot spots. He said Harris County is also working with Baytown to provide funding for repairs to the Texas Avenue and Pruett area. This will prevent and reduce the risk of flooding to area businesses and buildings, Capetillo said. 

The city is also working on Texas Avenue and Main Street to address flooding in that area, the mayor said. 

Making parks safer was also on the mayor’s list. He said Jenkins Park would feature solar-powered lighting on the trail to Holloway Park.  

“Based on input from citizens, security cameras and 911 markers and increased police presence was added to the park,” he said. “This is a pilot initiative, and, if successful, it may be added to other parks in the city.”

Residential developments are strong in Baytown, Capetillo said. This includes the Friendswood Development area, Southwinds Phase II, Goose Creek Landing, the Heights of Baytown, and the continued building out of Goose Creek Reserve. Capetillo said these developments represent 5,000 new single-homes in Baytown and 1,150 proposed multi-family units.

“There is no doubt Baytown is a community that many families are choosing to call home,” Capetillo said.

By Matt Hollis, Baytown Sun