The Plano City Council voted unanimously Monday night to grant final approval for Centurion American Development Group’s $1 billion plan to redevelop Collin Creek Mall into a mixed-use project with housing, entertainment and office space.
The 100-acre project on U.S. Highway 75 would also include a Crystal Lagoon water feature, retail and entertainment venues, and a luxury hotel.
The redevelopment will have 2,300 apartments, along with houses and senior living units. There will be almost 9 acres of parks and 1.6 miles of hiking trails.
A big chunk of the 37-year-old shopping mall will be demolished. Remaining portions will be converted into an open-air retail atrium.
Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere said he first started hearing about a redo of the mall in 2005.
“Here we are 2019, and it’s happening — it’s a long time coming,” he said. “It’s turning the page to something new — a renewal, a renaissance is going to occur in a place that’s very special to many people.”
Construction could start as early as July.
Like many cities that have aging enclosed shopping centers, Plano officials and multiple developers struggled with how to save Collin Creek as stores closed and shoppers migrated to the internet and newer retail centers.
Centurion American bought most of Collin Creek Mall in December and has been working with Plano city leaders, planners and nearby residents to come up with an acceptable redevelopment proposal.
The first phase of the redevelopment will include retail, residential and hotel construction. More than 1 million square feet of office space will be built in later phases.
Other big Plano development projects with apartments and high-density construction have met with widespread opposition, but Plano residents have seemed to welcome the Collin Creek redo.
“In this case, the people have clearly spoken, and the support of the surrounding neighborhoods for this redevelopment has been overwhelming,” said council member Anthony Ricciardelli.
“I think that the redevelopment of Collin Creek Mall is of critical importance to our city. In its present condition, there is a danger of further deterioration into crime and blight, which would also cause decreased property values in the surrounding neighborhoods.”
Beyond saving the ailing shopping center, Plano officials hope the redevelopment of Collin Creek will help spur revitalization of the city’s old downtown district on the east side of U.S. 75.
“This is the catalyst for what will be one of the premier downtowns in America,” LaRosiliere said. “This will start it. Our downtown will be redefined.”
Centurion American is one of North Texas’ biggest developers, building everything from large-scale suburban neighborhoods to historic redevelopments in downtown Dallas, including the Statler Hotel and the Cabana Hotel.