The former site of Collin Creek Mall is starting to take shape.

After the mall closed in 2019, developers Centurion American worked with the city to create a plan that would turn the space into a $1 billion mixed-use development.

The plan includes retail, offices, residential, parks, a hotel and more—but since breaking ground in 2021, much of the progress has not been visible to the public.

With construction on several less-visible aspects that Plano Director of Special Projects Peter Braster called “critical path” items nearing completion, residents can expect to see some vertical progress soon, he said.

“All of a sudden people will look and there will be all kinds of stuff,” Braster said.

Two-minute impact

A large underground parking garage and infrastructure for the project are “just finishing up,” Braster said, and those two items are expected to be completed before the end of the year.

That garage’s completion also makes way for more visible projects, such as the two six-story apartment buildings with retail on the first floor that will be built on top of the parking garage.

Centurion American Vice President Rob Romo said construction on those two buildings still needs approval from the city. He added they could be completed in the “latter part of 2024.“

Also in the plans is a large retaining wall on the development’s west side. Construction on the east side needs improvements on city-owned culverts to finish, Romo said.

“I think between now and the end of the year, you’ll see a lot of progress,” Braster said.

The backstory

Since breaking ground on the redevelopment in 2021, much of the focus has been below what residents would see driving down US 75.

The construction has largely focused on the 1,976-space garage and the development’s sewer lines, Romo said.

Any vertical progress has hinged on the construction of those two items along with city approval processes. A lot of work has also been done to level off the building site, offsetting a “big dip” leading to the mall’s first floor, Braster said.

“Most of the work that’s been going on is all underground,” Braster added. “There’s been a tremendous amount of work, and unfortunately, most of it isn’t visible. But that’s what it takes to turn a mall and a parking lot into a neighborhood.”

The action taken

Developers received final approval for the 402 single-family houses and townhomes from Plano’s Planning and Zoning Commission in May.

Three companies—Mattamy Homes, Ashton Woods and Brightland Homes—all have sites that are ready to begin construction on homes along Alma Drive, Braster said. There are also 98 more townhomes planned for the south side of the project.

“It’s really exciting to see these street signs going up,” Commissioner Michael Bronsky said.

What they're saying

A major factor in the support for the Collin Creek Mall project is “neighborhood vitality” and keeping the mall from any further decline that would depreciate home values in the area, Braster said.

“We really needed to inhibit any further decline not only right around the mall, but really down the whole [US 75] corridor,” Braster said. “We wanted to keep those neighborhoods fantastic and make sure it’s a place that people want to live.”

What's next

As vertical progress begins on the project, Romo expects construction on the first phase of the development to finish late next year. Braster said he hopes the Collin Creek Mall can serve as an “anchor” for Plano’s US 75 corridor.

“We didn’t want the mall to even start to bring [that area] down," Braster said. "We were at a crossroad, and we had to pick the path forward.”