The city of Plano took a big step forward Friday in its long-awaited transformation of Collin Creek Mall.
The city’s first major shopping mall opened in 1981 and closed in 2019, after years of decline.
City officials joined those behind the project on Friday to hold a ceremonial groundbreaking of the project that promises to transform the area near downtown Plano into an outdoor mall with homes and office space.
Plano’s $1 billion endeavor reimagining the former mall kicked off with a bang.
Mayor John Muns calls the project ‘historic.’
The mixed-use redevelopment project will reportedly transform the city’s Central Expressway corridor into a destination where people can live, work and play.
“We’re excited,” said Muns. “It’s a complicated deal, obviously when you’re renovating and doing new things on an existing property. It always has a little bit more complication.”
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The project features 6,000 residences, including apartment units, senior independent living and townhomes.
There will also be a hotel, retail, park and office space.
There is the possibility of a small grocery store to be included, though no deals have been made, according to Rob Romo, vice president of development for Centurion American Development Group.
The developer plans to save a bit of the mall’s nostalgia.
“The core mall will stay,” said Romo. “Now, we are going to blow a hole in the center of it because we want an open grand paseo.”
The paseo will connect two park spaces of the property.
Crews will begin digging up the east lot between the former Macy’s and Sears anchor store to make way for a three-level underground garage “that will serve the core mall and 400 apartments built on top,” he said.
The size of the project is expected to be equal to the size of the city’s Legacy West development.
The cost of the project includes over $858 million dollars in private funding and over $96 million in tax-payer dollars.
The project’s 98 townhouses located next to the Chisolm Trail will start in the $500,000s, according to the developer.
Asked if the anticipated increase in property values for homes in the vicinity may force families out, the mayor pointed to other projects that look to include more housing in the city saying, “I think we’re spreading our wings a little bit and making availability of housing all across the city and at the same time we’re doing development of office and mixed-use for those people that work there.”
The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in mid-2024.
Construction crews are also in the process of tearing down the J.C. Penney store on the property.
The retailer was initially slated to be torn down and moved to another section of the project but pulled out completely.