A 200-acre, $3 billion development planned for the former Electronic Data Systems headquarters in northwest Plano is one step closer to breaking ground.

The Plano Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously voted to approve zoning for the development that would transform the vacant space on Parkwood Boulevard into a massive life sciences center during its July 17 meeting.

The big picture

Dallas-based investment firm NexPoint is calling the project the Texas Research Quarter, and plans for the development include:
  • Over 4 million square feet of lab, office and therapeutic production space
  • 775 midrise residential units
  • A 9.5-acre park
  • A hotel
NexPoint acquired the 91-acre former Electronic Data Systems campus in 2018. The district would incorporate 109 additional acres in the Legacy neighborhood, according to a news release from the company.

NexPoint President Frank Zaccanelli said the center could create more than 30,000 jobs at full build-out, many of which focusing on cell and gene therapy, with the ultimate aim of building an industry “hub” in North Texas.

“What we're trying to do is build a hub that would be a gateway from the East Coast to the West Coast,” he said. “Boston has 40 million square feet of life science; San Diego has 30 million. In North Texas, we could have 10 [million] to 15 million square feet of life science because it's a hugely emerging business.”

The development is set to go in front of City Council during its Aug. 14 meeting.

Dig deeper

The project is set for development in four phases, each lasting around 18 months.

If approved, the development could break ground as early as this September, Zaccanelli said.

The first two phases are expected to create around 12,000 jobs utilizing the buildings already existing on the lot. None of the 775 residential units will be permitted to begin construction until the third phase of the project.

“Before any apartments are even contemplated, we're going to be 2 1/2 or three years down the road,” Zacanelli said. “We just have to make sure that we can house the people that are going to be coming here from all over the country.”

Quote of note

“A project of this size, this scope and this degree of economic impact ... is an opportunity for the city of Plano that we dare not pass up,” Commissioner J. Michael Brounoff said. “I am not afraid of the apartments. A project of this size is creating its own housing market, which they are satisfying to the best of their ability.”

Learn more

The full agenda item can be found on the city’s website.