Developer says construction at former JCPenney campus remains on schedule amid coronavirus restrictions, foreclosure talks

Crews have nearly completed the reconfiguration of the pond at the former J.C. Penney campus. The pond will be shrunk to make room for a Miyako Hotel as well as other new buildings as part of The Campus at Legacy West mixed-use development. (Courtesy Sam Ware/Dreien Opportunity Partners)
Crews have nearly completed the reconfiguration of the pond at the former J.C. Penney campus. The pond will be shrunk to make room for a Miyako Hotel as well as other new buildings as part of The Campus at Legacy West mixed-use development. (Courtesy Sam Ware/Dreien Opportunity Partners)

Crews have nearly completed the reconfiguration of the pond at the former J.C. Penney campus. The pond will be shrunk to make room for a Miyako Hotel as well as other new buildings as part of The Campus at Legacy West mixed-use development. (Courtesy Sam Ware/Dreien Opportunity Partners)

Coronavirus restrictions and foreclosure talks have not slowed the construction timeline of the mixed-use development at the sprawling Plano office campus formerly owned by J.C. Penney, the project's developer said.

Sam Ware of Dreien Opportunity Partners said April 29 that the project to build a Miyako Hotel on the grassy slopes of the office campus remains on schedule. Efforts to resize the property's prominent pond are nearly complete, he said.

The lender for the project filed foreclosure documents in January, putting at risk nearly $389 million in financing for The Campus at Legacy West project.

But Ware said this week he was optimistic that they would be able to find new financing before the foreclosure process takes its course.

"The current lender realizes that we are very close to being able to refinance them, and we have agreed that a business solution is best versus a legal [solution] on getting repaid," Ware said.


The office building's largest tenant remains J.C. Penney, which furloughed some of its Plano headquarters employees in late March.

Ware said he would be open to working with the struggling retail giant to reduce the amount of space it uses under its existing lease. Some of it could be re-leased at low prices to other area employers, he said.

In addition to the hotel, the mixed-use development would add retail stores and restaurants to the property.

The developer also plans to bring another request for city approval to build apartments on the property, Ware said.

Plano City Council denied Dreien's most recent request for apartments in March. Ware said they have not discussed bringing the proposal back since then, but plan to initiate that process once conditions normalize a bit.

"We have an economy that was never meant to have a six-, seven-week pause," Ware said. "I think we’ll come back strong."
By Daniel Houston
Daniel Houston covers city government, transportation, business and education for Community Impact Newspaper in Lewisville, Flower Mound and Highland Village. A Fort Worth native and Baylor University graduate, Daniel reported previously for The Associated Press in Oklahoma City and The Dallas Morning News.


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