The developers who are turning J.C. Penney’s old Plano headquarters campus into a mixed-use development plan to add almost 800 apartments to the project.
Plano’s planning and zoning commission approved a proposal by developer Dreien Opportunity Partners to add apartments to its redo of the more than 1 million-square-foot office campus on Legacy Drive west of Dallas North Tollway.
The developer has already converted Penney’s more than 1 million-square-foot headquarters into a multi-tenant office building that also houses operations for telecom firm NTT Data.
Now the developers plan to add additional buildings on the vacant land surrounding the big office complex.
Plano plan commissioners approved the proposed apartments over the objections of nearby property owners, including Toyota and owners of the surrounding $3 billion Legacy West development. They objected that the apartments would detract from the area.
Plano’s City Council must still give a final go-ahead for the development in March.
With almost 30,000 new jobs in the area, there’s a need for additional rental units, Dreien Opportunity Partners CEO Sam Ware said.
“This will now allow us to add the ‘live’ to the ‘work and play’ in the mixed-use development,” Ware said. “Ten different corporate headquarters surround us.
“This allows walkability, recruiting and many benefits to all these companies, considering 50 percent of their workforce live in multifamily projects somewhere.”
Ware said he is working with apartment builders Trammell Crow Residential of Dallas and Kairoi Residential of San Antonio to build the rental communities.
Dreien Opportunity Partners’ more than 100-acre Campus at Legacy West development also includes plans for additional restaurant and retail space, a hotel and more office buildings.
The developers paid more than $350 million in 2017 for the Penney campus, built in the 1990s. Penney has downsized its offices into a portion of the buildings.
Ware originally wanted to add more than 2,000 apartments to the development but reduced his zoning request for residential.
There are thousands of workers at the Legacy West development for employers including Toyota, JPMorgan Chase, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Boeing and FedEx Office.