Plano denies request for apartments on former J.C. Penney-owned headquarters property

The Campus at Legacy West, formerly known as the J.C. Penney headquarters in Plano, is being reimagined as a mixed-use development.

The Campus at Legacy West, formerly known as the J.C. Penney headquarters in Plano, is being reimagined as a mixed-use development.

A proposal to build hundreds of new apartment units on the old J.C. Penney headquarters property in Plano was rejected after nearby corporations spoke out against the residential development.

Plano City Council on Oct. 14 denied Dreien Opportunity Partners’ request for a permit to build 795 apartment units as part of its Campus at Legacy West mixed-use project. 

The developer purchased the property from J.C. Penney in 2016 and announced plans to build retail stores, restaurants, hotels and residential buildings on its grassy slopes.

Initially, the developer had proposed roughly 3,000 apartment units spread throughout the property, said attorney Bill Dahlstrom, who represented Dreien in the zoning case. But the developer later realized building that many apartments was not an option before lowering the number of units to 795.

Legacy West developer Fehmi Karahan publicly opposed the measure, arguing the Legacy business area was a premier corporate office park whose character could be compromised by more apartments. 

Council Member Rick Grady responded that other developers, including Karahan, had been granted permission to build apartments and townhouses in that area in recent years, and questioned why this property should be treated differently.

Mayor Harry LaRosiliere was not present at the meeting, and Council Member Anthony Ricciardelli recused himself from the vote. 

The proposal was denied by a 4-2 vote, with Grady and Council Member Maria Tu voting in support of the permit. Kayci Prince, Shelby Williams, Lily Bao and Rick Smith voted against granting the permit.
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