New Life for Collin Creek Mall

artist's rendering courtesy Centurion American

Collin Creek Mall as we now know it will soon be just a memory. Come this summer, crews will begin work on one of the most ambitious redevelopment projects in Plano history. When complete, the site will still bear the Collin Creek name, but little else will be the same.

“The whole concept of the development is to have an area with a lot of open space where people can live, work and play,” Centurion American President and CEO Mehrdad Moayedi said. His team has already purchased the mall property, the Sears store and the spaces formerly occupied by Macy’s and Dillard’s. He expects to close on the Amazing Jake’s property in April. JCPenney will remain open, though its location on the site could change at some point.

“Our timeline is to hopefully put a shovel in the ground by the end of June or July,” Moayedi said.

When complete, much of the current mall parking lot will be transformed into a nine-and-a-half acre park that will serve as a community gathering spot. The space will be large enough to accommodate small performances or festivals. Traversing the site will be 1.6 miles of trails that will connect to the rest of the city’s network via the nearby Chisholm Trail. Plans also call for a hotel with a 20,000-square-foot event space capable of accommodating crowds of up to 2,500 people. Expect a couple of big-name performers to mark its grand opening.

The original mall opened in 1981 during the heyday of ‘80s mall culture. It was once a regional destination, but competition from other shopping centers and changing consumer habits over the past two decades led to declining sales and store vacancies. City leaders have long-hoped for a way to revitalize the much-maligned area.

Collin Creek Mall in December 2018 // photos Jennifer Shertzer

Centurion American’s plan calls for the anchor stores to be torn down. Shoppers can expect a more eclectic mix of stores in the revamped mall interior with a greater emphasis on locally owned businesses. While no tenants have been announced yet, the hope is to add “Amazon-proof” stores that offer goods or experiences that simply cannot be replicated online. It is also possible that a few current tenants may return.

Plans call for more than a million square feet of office space, which the developers hope will attract a corporate headquarters. So far there is no word on who the potential candidates might be.

As for entertainment, an on-site movie theater appears to be a good bet. There will be dining options galore including seven or eight stand-alone restaurants and a food hall. Developers also plan to add a family friendly destination. Possibilities include bowling or even a waterpark, though nothing has been finalized.

The residential construction will be designed to blend in to the surrounding neighborhood. Detached single-family homes are slated for the outer edge of the property near Alma Road. Townhomes and 150 condominiums for senior living will be located closer to the current mall location. Multi-family units will be near the heart of the property, creating a walkable, higher density neighborhood similar to The Shops at Legacy. Small grocery stores and other businesses will dot the landscape to make the neighborhood a practically self-sufficient village.

“The response from the area HOAs have been great,” Moayedi said. “People want a quality project.  When they hear the way this is laid out, they like it.”

Over the next two months, Moayedi hopes to finalize plans with City of Plano’s Planning & Zoning Commission and city council. Assuming everything goes as expected, the first order of business will be constructing a huge underground parking garage that will be two to three levels deep. The garage has to be completed first because many of the other projects will be built directly on top of it. All businesses in the mall will close when construction commences with the exception of JCPenney, which will remain open throughout.

Once garage construction is complete, crews will begin tearing down the anchor stores, remodeling the mall interior and laying out the new neighborhood street grid. The first new store probably won’t open for at least 24-30 months after construction begins. Moayedi expects to announce the new businesses at a later date after plans are formalized and construction has progressed.

“This may not have made sense a few years ago but we feel that the timing is right for this now,” he said. “All of the things going on here, from State Farm and Toyota to the improvements on 75, make it a great location.”

Collin Creek Mall
811 N Central Expy
Plano, TX 75075

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