Catherine Ross/Plano Journalist
A 300,000 square foot project that will bring apartments and retail space to Downtown Plano is expected to breathe new life into the area.
A more than 300,000 square foot retail and residential development is in the works for downtown Plano.
It’s a project that business owners hope will bring new life to a neighborhood still recovering from the global recession.
“It’s just going through a dramatic change,” said Connor Chaddick, whose family has owned property in the area for more than a century.
After some “ups and downs” over the past few years, the 283-unit development, planned by Southern Land Company of Tennessee, has received the green light.
The 3-acre project purchased about half of that land from Eisenberg’s Skatepark, which will close by the end of the year.
The city is calling it a catalyst to take downtown to a new level of development.
“We think this really shows the way we’re going to have to deal with aging commercial centers in other areas of Plano,” said Frank Turner, Plano Deputy City Manager.
Shops and restaurants in the area are also looking for a boost.
“We love the concept,” said Bonnie Shea, co-owner of the Urban Crust.
“This new development is only going to add a lot of character to downtown.”
The idea is to combine the history of the neighborhood with a push to urbanize parts of the city.
“Instead of looking at it as building out, we now look at it as growing up,” said Turner.
Southern Land Company expects to break ground in March 2012. New residents should move in by 2013.