Recession Puts Plano Redevelopment On Pause

The city of Plano had major plans to develop an area near downtown, but the recession has put a wrench in its plans.

Developers had planned to create a mixed-use building that would house 230 apartments and15,000 square feet of retail space just steps away from the Downtown Plano Dart Rail Station, but plans to build it have been postponed.

"The problem has been the availability of capital for new development. All developers are suffering from that lack finance," said Plano's Deputy City Manager, Frank Turner.

Sales managers for the 15th Street Village Apartments and Town homes said had the recession not hit, they would have already begun expansion on three new buildings. When the economy took a downward spiral, sales slowed and they began to lease apartments rather than sell.

"Sales all over are a bit off so we decided to put off expansion of the other phases until the economy picks up," said Sales Manager Tiffany Bruce.

Business owners along 15th street in downtown Plano said adding more apartment buildings would bring in more traffic and help their bottom line.

"Obviously we are facing a delay. It may last a year or two before finance begins thaw and we return to some degree of normalcy," Turner said.

Despite the recession, two new restaurants have opened up in downtown Plano, driving in business for other retail stores too.

Business owners remain hopeful that North Texas will start spending more.

"We're going to make it. It's going to be fine. We just have to get people to get back down here," said Patty McKenzie, owner of Ambiance Decor.

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