At the annual State of the City address Thursday evening, Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere talked up the city’s plans for revitalizing the southeast corner of Plano—shedding new light on redevelopment efforts for Plano’s ailing Collin Creek Mall.
LaRosiliere said the city is hoping developer Sam Ware of Dreien Opportunity Partners, who has released plans about his $1 billion vision for Collin Creek Mall, will close on the sale of the transaction of the shopping center soon.
“It’s not official yet, but we are hoping by the end of the month that we might see the close of the transaction of Collin Creek Mall,” LaRosiliere said. “If that happens, that will be a catalyst for expanding the boundaries of our downtown.”
Ware previously told Community Impact Newspaper he expects the project will take about two years.
“It’s going to take two years to hammer out something that works for everybody,” Ware said. “I’ve never had an easy deal in my life. … We’re willing to spend a lot of time, energy, effort and money to make that happen.”
Allan Samara, the spokesperson for Plano Future who was present at the address, said he does not hold a similar vision for Collin Creek Mall.
“With the Rosewood development right on [Collin Creek Mall’s] doorstep, and the CityLine development right across Bush Freeway, there’s not really a lot of reason for more multifamily [developments],” Samara said. “Consequently, Collin Creek location is probably an ideal location for tall office buildings that will be a beacon and a gateway for the city.”
In further discussing the future growth in Plano’s southeast corridor, LaRosiliere said he anticipates a new hub of activity due to the proposed Dallas Area Rapid Transit 12th Street Station south of Plano’s downtown core, as well as the city’s plans for its Envision Oak Point program.
LaRosiliere also addressed a controversial video City Council Member Tom Harrison shared on his personal Facebook page that suggested President Donald Trump should ban Islam from American schools.
“We have policies that are clear about nondiscrimination so that everyone in our city really feels at home,” LaRosiliere said. “A post came out—it is inappropriate because it is not aligned with who we are.”
LaRosiliere denounced the video and demanded Harrison's immediate resignation at a press conference Wednesday.
Protesters and members of the Islamic faith were present at the State of the City address regarding Harrison’s actions.
“The statement that we heard from Mr. Harrison was extremely polarizing—very divisive,” said Azhar Azeez, the president of the Islamic Society of North America. “It’s very unfortunate and we reiterate what the mayor has said—that [Harrison] has to resign. I know he has apologized. Apology is welcome, but he should walk the talk.”
Harrison has since removed the video from his Facebook page and has posted an apology.