‘A new era’: After years of decline at Collin Creek Mall, Plano approves $1B redevelopment project

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The city of Plano has green-lighted a plan to tear down the struggling Collin Creek Mall’s anchor stores and transform the property into a $1 billion mixed-use destination.

Plano City Council on April 22 agreed to rezone the 104-acre property in east Plano to make way for 3,100 new residential units and a series of new office, restaurant and hotel buildings. The council’s vote was the last layer of city approval that developer Centurion American needs before the developer can begin construction.

“A renewal, a renaissance is going to occur in a place that’s special to so many people,” Mayor Harry LaRosiliere said. “It’s a long time coming. This marks a new era for our city.”

At its peak, Collin Creek Mall was a thriving commercial property with nearly 1.3 million square feet of retail space. By the end of the project approved this week, the mixed-use property would match that number in office space alone. Only 311,000 square feet of space would remain dedicated to retail.

After the anchor stores are demolished, the renovated Collin Creek Mall building itself will house a collection of boutique stores and an array of neighborhood service businesses—such as grocery stores—to serve the residents of the new apartments and single-family homes. The building will contain less than a quarter of its original square footage.

The new housing on the property will consist of 2,300 apartment units, 500 single-family homes and townhouses, and 300 senior-living units.

The approved plans also designated 8.7 acres for city park space along the eastern side of the property. Reserving this space for non-commercial uses will allow the city to extend the Chisholm Trail, which currently runs 5.5 miles and stops just north of the mall property.

The developer faced a complicated path to get to this point. To acquire the necessary properties, Centurion American had to negotiate with five different landowners.

Last year, Sam Ware’s Dreien Opportunity Partners tried and failed to juggle the interests of all five landowners, who differed in their assessments of the value of their properties and had competing incentives to sell. Ware’s bid to buy the properties fell through in May 2018.

The only property Centurion American did not acquire was the J.C. Penney anchor store. The retail company has agreed to relocate to a new building on the property just south of the mall. It has insisted on remaining open at its Collin Creek Mall anchor location until the new building is ready, the developer said. This means construction on the southwest side of the property will take place at a later stage of the project.

The Plano council, known for its occasional disputes over the merits of high-density apartment developments, showed no such reservations in passing this proposal. All eight council members voted in favor of the rezoning request.

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Daniel Houston
Daniel Houston covers Plano city government, transportation, business and education for Community Impact Newspaper. A Fort Worth native and Baylor University graduate, Daniel reported previously for The Dallas Morning News and The Associated Press in Oklahoma City.
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