Several key development projects aimed at breathing new life into Plano’s US 75 corridor are expected to make significant progress in 2021.

Zoning approvals for the Heritage Creekside, Collin Creek Mall and Plano Market Square Mall projects date back to 2014. Residents should see pieces of those plans, which involve hundreds of acres and hundreds of millions of dollars in investment, come to fruition this year, developers said.

The timing and proximity of these projects is being driven by several factors, including Plano’s reputation as a thriving business center. But the need to refresh the look and feel of this area makes sense given its age, said Peter Braster, the city’s director of special projects.

“[The city’s] initial growth was all centered around [US] 75 because that was really the only highway that served Plano,” Braster said. “Unlike in European cities or cities in the Northeast, some of this [retail infrastructure] was never meant to last forever.”

These developments, as well as others that are ongoing in the area, will bring new shopping, dining, residential and commercial options to Plano. City leaders said they are hopeful the success of these projects will serve to not only heighten the city’s visibility but also encourage nearby property owners to put funds toward refreshing aging shopping centers.

“How do we get landlords to reinvest in their property and make them sustainable for the long term?” Braster said. “I think one of the things you need to do is to prove the market and show that the risk is worth taking.”

Collin Creek Mall redevelopment

Recent Plano City Council approval of an updated design for the Collin Creek Mall project was the last thing Centurion American needed to carry out its $1 billion redevelopment plans for the 100-acre site, Vice President of Development Rob Romo said.

Developers plan to repurpose an area along Alma Drive to build 97 townhomes. Centurion previously intended to build a new JCPenney on this part of the site; however, those plans were quashed when the retailer declared bankruptcy last fall.

Over the next few months, site work will make way for residential construction. Centurion has city approval to build 2,300 multifamily units, 300 independent living units and up to 500 townhomes. If there is demand for more independent living units, the developers can reallocate some apartments for that purpose, Romo said.

At the same time, crews will be excavating land for a below-ground parking garage at the entry of the development. Above the garage will be apartments as well as street-level retail and restaurants, Romo said.

Tenants have yet to be signed, but it is likely that a handful will come from Refined Hospitality Concepts, a subsidiary of Centurion that includes Dallas-based restaurants Primo’s MX Kitchen & Lounge, Sfereco, Scout, Overeasy and more.

The $30 million garage will have 2,000 spaces, some of which could be reserved for a park-and-ride that will take visitors to and from Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s Downtown Plano Light Rail Station east of US 75.

“This gives [Historic Downtown Plano] some more traffic without the parking headaches,” Romo said of the park-and-ride. “It is an interesting, unique, fun place to be.”

One half of funding for the garage came in the form of a grant from the North Central Texas Council of Governments, while the other half is a loan that must be repaid to council over a period of 15 years. The city of Plano is contributing an additional $25 million to the garage.

Plano City Council adopted a resolution Feb. 8 that approves the creation of two public improvement districts on the west and east sides of the property. The districts will finance a variety of infrastructure improvements, which are estimated to cost about $36.5 million, Braster said. The improvements are paid for by the city through bonds, which are them repaid by a tax on the property once they are made.

The first phase of the project, which includes new apartment buildings, restaurants and underground parking, is expected to open in 2022.

“We want something that grabs the emotions and has you connected to the place,” Braster said. “That’s what the successful shopping districts have.”

Plano Market Square Mall project

Across US 75 and to the north of Collin Creek Mall is another mall redevelopment project that was recently approved by City Council.

Triten Real Estate Partners announced final acquisition of the abandoned Plano Market Square Mall and the 26 acres of land on which it sits in late January. Council greenlighted a zoning change in December that allows for redevelopment.

The project, the cost of which is still undisclosed but Triten Dallas Principal Ty Lee said will be in the multi-millions, will bring about 325 new apartments as well as approximately 16,500 square feet of restaurant and retail space and 178,000 square feet of office space. Work is just getting started, but Lee said the goal is to move quickly.

“We’ve already kicked off design, and we want to get the drawings done as soon as possible,” Lee said.

Christina Day, the city’s director of planning, said the project addresses a need for quality restaurants and engaging spaces in the city’s eastern Oak Point area, which was the subject of a broad development plan the city adopted in 2018.

“It provides an opportunity to really change the look and feel of that area just east of US 75,” she said.

It was important to Triten, Lee said, to honor the city’s vision for a revitalized Oak Point, which calls for a mix of housing to accompany more traditional single-family neighborhoods.

“You’ll see that the apartments very much feel like townhouses, and there’s a lot of outdoor space intertwined between them,” Lee said.

The first phase of the development, which includes the office and retail space, is expected to open in 2022.

Heritage Creekside

Work on the $900 million, 156-acre Heritage Creekside project is ongoing, Rick Perdue, president of Rosewood Property Co., said in an email.

The development is slated to include up to 1,300 multifamily units, 287 single-family units as well as restaurants, retail stores and an office tower district.

In 2020, Rosewood had built out roughly 60% of the property. Some retail, including restaurants Rodeo Goat and Flying Fish Seafood, opened in 2018. The office aspect has yet to be constructed.

Heritage Creekside brought new residential options to an area of Plano where homes date back to the 1960s and ’70s, Day said.

There are 255 single-family units and 332 multifamily units already built, and 304 additional apartments are under construction now, Perdue said. Rosewood hopes to build 32 more single-family homes in the future.

Developers are planning to request a zoning adjustment at the southwest corner of Plano Parkway and Alma Drive that would allow for a reduction in office building heights, which should make the area more attractive for tenants as well as reduce traffic in the surrounding neighborhoods, Perdue said. Residents will be able to weigh in on the change at a March 15 public hearing.

Heritage Creekside should be fully built out by 2026 or soon after, Perdue said.