P&Z approves Collin Creek plans

Collin Creek Mall’s redevelopment plan was passed unanimously Monday night through the Plano Planning and Zoning Commission, with vocal support from city staffers and residents. More than a dozen speakers expressed support for the redevelopment, spearheaded by Centurion American.

The comments were mixed with anecdotes of questionable fashion choices at Collin Creek Mall, while others talked about the pain in seeing a once vibrant mall go cold.

Janet Miller, a 40-year resident, said, “I have vivid memories of spending a lot of time there shopping and enjoying it, as many of us have. And it’s been painful to watch its demise. So this is really a terrific thing – to see a dead mall come back to life again.”

Lead planner Ken Schmidt laid out the proposed three-phase plan. Phase One includes a significant reduction to retail, along with construction on housing and a new hotel. Phase Two is mostly the relocation of JCPenney, and phase three includes construction on mid-rise offices or multifamily buildings. A key element of the project will be reducing the retail footprint, adding focal entertainment features and creating connections for a unique, walkable, urban community.  

The plan proposes a maximum density of 2,300 multifamily units – down from 3,000 – including 500 attached and detached single-family and 300 independent living. The plan did not include opening the creek underneath the current mall, mainly because developers said it was too deep and “near impossible” to maintain aesthetically.

Developer Mehrdad Moayedi foresees several business professionals living in this new development, so rent would be higher than adjacent properties. Some will be in the low $400,000 or lower for teaching professionals or skilled laborers; however, he said the for-sale, homeownership component will help ensure multifamily residential stays well kept and the properties don’t fall into disarray.

The Plano Chamber of Commerce unanimously supported the development, along with local homeowners associations like the Pitman Creek Estates, Dallas North Estates and Dallas North - 1.  

Collin Creek Mall is one of few development projects that hasn’t garnered opposition or critique, specifically regarding the high-density apartments. With previous projects, residents worried about traffic and overcrowding in Plano ISD schools; however, speakers said they welcome increased traffic if it brings new life into Plano.

Commissioner M. Nathan Barbera wasted no time in approving Monday night’s Collin Creek plan, a sentiment strongly echoed by his fellow commissioners.

“We read the stories about malls closing all over the United States and taking entire communities with the mall. And I’m glad we at least have an opportunity to have something new and exciting that may work,” said Commissioner Hilton King.

Planning and Zoning approved the plan 7-0. The Plano City Council is set to vote on the item at its April 22 meeting.

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