As seven cranes actively change the skyline at the southwest corner of Plano’s northern border near the Dallas North Tollway and SH 121, construction at Legacy West’s 255-acre mixed-use development is 85 percent complete, developer Fehmi Karahan said.
With seven retail stores, 24 dining facilities, four residential buildings, one hotel, two corporate offices and three headquarters announced to date so far, more tenants are expected as Legacy West nears its March 2017 completion date.
The $3.2 billion development, which surrounds part of J.C. Penney Co. corporate campus, will include about 415,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, more than 350,000 square feet of Class A office space, more than 5,000 parking spaces and a mix of more than 1,200 residential units and single-family homes.
As Plano’s largest mixed-use development to date comes to completion, city and community leaders are reveling in the economic effect Legacy West will have on both the city and the region. Plano City Council took pride in lowering its tax rate by 1 cent thanks to the new businesses added to the tax rolls.
“Economically, [Legacy West] is diversifying our tax rates, which has allowed us to lower [city] tax rates,” Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere said. “It’s a win-win for all of us.”
Planning for Legacy West began in 2013, but its arrival was not announced until February 2014. The earliest construction began with FedEx Office and Print Services corporate offices, now complete, in July 2014 and construction on the mixed-use portion of the development started in February 2015, Karahan said.
“There are several separate components, such as Toyota, Liberty Mutual, JPMorgan Chase, etc.,” he said. “Each has its own completion schedule. Generally, we expect most of Legacy West to be completed by the end of 2017. … Our two residential towers, Windrose and Palladium, will open in summer 2018.”
The mixed-use retail and restaurant space, scheduled to open March 2, will include apartments above the storefronts on the west side of Windrose Avenue—Legacy West’s main street—and office spaces above the storefronts on the east side of the road, Legacy West Marketing Director Victoria Snee said.
Legacy West will have four residential buildings, which include The Grand at Legacy West, The Villas at Legacy West, Windrose Tower and Palladium USA International, and one hotel, the Renaissance Legacy Hotel.
“Pedestrian-friendly, open-air developments where people can live, work, eat, play and shop have been the latest trend in real estate development in the United States for the last 15 years,” Karahan said. “[Nearby] Legacy Town Center has been the model for these kinds of developments. We wanted to build on the success of Legacy Town Center.”
Although the number of tenants at Legacy West has not been finalized, the development has announced 11 dine-in restaurants and Legacy Hall, which will be a three-story food hall.
Restaurants coming to Legacy West will include Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House and Shake Shack, among others, all of which are new to Plano’s dining landscape.
“All of our restaurants at Legacy West and the existing Legacy Town Center are mostly sit-down restaurants with their open spaces,” Karahan said. “Legacy Hall will be all under one roof with multiple, small, artisan eateries inspired by European food halls.”
Legacy Hall will feature more than 20 food stalls, including restaurants by John Tesar (owner of Knife in Dallas), Press Waffle Company (a Dallas food truck) and Andrew Chen (owner of Monkey King Noodle Company).
Strong economic growth in the Plano and Frisco area has led many Dallas restaurateurs to venture north to open new locations, Karahan said. With the help of developers, these entrepreneurs hope to capitalize on the explosive growth born out of multimillion-dollar developments and corporate attractions like Legacy West.
“Many people now don’t want to travel to Dallas to eat,” he said. “Dallas restaurant owners realize this and want to be where the customers are.”
California-based Sprinkles, with bakery locations in Dallas and Houston, will be opening another storefront at Legacy West. Its 1,400-square-foot store will be located below the office spaces on the east side of Windrose Avenue.
“The Legacy West location is literally in the heart of it all,” said Nicole Schwartz, vice president of marketing at Sprinkles. “We couldn’t have thought of a better location in Plano.”
Its new location will include cupcakes, cookies, ice cream and its famous 24/7 Cupcake ATM for late-night sugar addicts, Schwartz said.
Dallas-based retail, hospitality and entertainment businesses are also opening additional locations at Legacy West due to the development’s location, said Sally Bane, director of economic development for the city of Plano. The DNT at SH 121 intersection is arguably the hottest spot for development in the southwestern U.S., she said
“It’s highly desirable to be there and to have access to such a dynamic development as Legacy West and to capitalize on [the] enormous daytime population that’s now going to be put into place there,” Bane said.
Aside from retail and dining, many national corporate headquarters and regional offices are relocating to Legacy West, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Toyota Motor North America. Fidelity Investments is also planning to open offices there.
Legacy West will bring more than 20,000 jobs to Plano, Bane said. These businesses are important since half of the city’s revenue is derived from commercial purposes, and the ripple effect associated with these businesses is enormous, Bane said.
One way Plano has attracted large corporations is through economic incentive agreements, which are designed to serve as an investment for both the city and the corporation. The city benefits through land improvements while corporations take advantage of the city’s existing infrastructure and amenities.
Legacy West produced four incentive agreements with Toyota, Liberty Mutual, FedEx Office and JPMorgan Chase totaling more than $18 million from the economic development fund. Bane said her department was able to bring these corporations to Plano thanks to its “magical combination” of a talented workforce, low-cost environment and high quality of life.
“Plano is now acknowledged as an employment center in North Texas,” LaRosiliere said. “We can do some really special projects and continue this winning formula: investment in the community, investment in our people, quality services and low taxes.”