Plano’s Legacy West urban village development has been in the works for several years – the last two years as a giant construction site.
Large concrete parking garages along the Dallas North Tollway hide what’s taking shape back there.
The project will host a grand opening on March 2. Restaurants and stores will continue to open over the following few months. In all, there will be 90 places to shop or eat in Legacy West. We went on a tour with Legacy West developer Fehmi Karahan and Open Realty’s Mark Masinter who is leasing the $400 million project.
Here’s what we found out.
What is Legacy West?
It’s a mixed-use project with hotels, apartments, offices, a movie theater, restaurants and stores on the northwest corner of Legacy Drive and the Dallas North Tollway. A new street was built down the middle of it called Windrose Ave. The development stretches along three-and-a-half city blocks from Legacy Drive north to Headquarters Drive. Behind the buildings facing Windrose and along the Tollway are multi-level parking garages with more than 5,000 spaces.
The first renters already have moved into some of the more than 800 apartments built along the Communications Parkway side which faces J.C. Penney’s headquarters. More than 330,000 square feet of office space is above the shops and restaurants. The project includes more than 425,000-square-feet of retail/restaurant space.That includes the mammoth 55,000 square foot Legacy Hall food hall taking shape at the northern end of Legacy West. The food hall includes a full-service bar, on-site brewery, beer garden, and live music stage.
How were the restaurants and retailers selected?
When Legacy West backers began prospecting for prospective tenants, there was enough interest to fill the project “100 percent” with restaurants, Karahan said. Instead, about 29 percent of the total is limited to food and drink. Masinter leased the restaurants first in order to show retailers the expected consumer demographics of people working, visiting and living in the project.
Masinter called the selection of food and drink offerings “purposeful,” adding “we were not going to go after a traditional anchor, a traditional department store. Those aren’t the difference makers for the most part.
“We felt that what would drive a lot of the traffic would be an amazing food and beverage merchandising plan,” he added. “With that we could go after brands that never wanted to be here,” in northern Plano. Masinter estimated that annual food and beverage sales will exceed $100 million.
Where can we eat?
The largest food hall announced to date for North Texas will bring together more than 20 food and drink vendors including Top Chef Tiffany Derry who plans to serve fried chicken, sandwiches and wings; ·John Tesar, who will expand his Knife brand to include Knife Burger and Uno Immangivong of Chino Chinatown fame whose Red Sticks spot will serve Yakitori, Japanese skewered chicken.
The Haywire, the latest offering from Front Burner Restaurants, will be adjacent to the food hall, which is being developed by Front Burner execs Randy DeWitt and Jack Gibbons. A three-story restaurant and bar, Haywire is set to open in early Fall 2017, about the same time as Legacy Hall. Described as a “riff” on sister brand, The Ranch at Las Colinas, The Haywire will specializing in “Texas cuisine,” with locally sourced ingredients and the “comfort of casual home cooking.”
Earls, an upper-end casual dining chain based in Canada, is expected to open its first Texas location at Legacy West.The brand has been expanding within the U.S. and already has locations in six states including Colorado and Florida. While the restaurant serves hand-smashed Angus burgers and Creekside Ranch steaks, the brand allows menu difference to accommodate regional and demographic tastes, and local suppliers. Earls offers more than 50 different menus across its 60-plus locations.
In June, Tommy Bahama will open the second Texas location of its restaurant brand, the first Lone Star branch to open since The Woodlands near Houston launched in 2005. It will be next to its 3,100 square foot store that sells men’s and women’s apparel. The 6,000 square foot restaurant and 2,100 square foot patio, with seating for about 250, will feature an indoor/outdoor bar, covered patio, exhibition kitchen and space for private dining, according to Rob Goldberg, executive vice president of marketing and restaurants for the brand.
Some well-known Dallas food names will be in attendance in Legacy West as well. Restaurateur Alberto Lombardi will have outlets of Taverna, the Parisian-themed Toulouse Café and Bar and the latest iteration of Bistro 31. North Texas-based chains Fogo de Chao and Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House will expand their meat-focused empires with outsized locations that bookend the three and a half block entertainment district.
What stores will be there?
Let’s start with one that’s almost a restaurant. The 9,000-square-foot Barnes & Noble concept store will feature a restaurant with beer and wine on the expanded food menu. It’s one of a few concept stores that the bookstore chain has been building to compete with independents like Wild Detectives in Oak Cliff’s Bishop Arts District which have combined books with entertainment, food and alcohol.
Another food-centric store is Dean & DeLuca. This will be the first location in Texas for the gourmet food store that got its start in Manhattan in the late 1970s.
Two home stores are part of the mix: Frontgate, an upscale home catalog and retailer based in Ohio, will open a 22,000 square foot store, the first in Texas. West Elm will open its second store in North Texas at Legacy West. The only other one is at Mockingbird Station in Dallas.
Other stores recently announced are outdoor enthusiast retailer Filson, eyewear retailer Warby Parker, Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, luggage and accessories retailer Tumi, electric car maker Tesla, Coach, Planet Blue and Johnny Was.
Men’s apparel is another category Masinter was deliberate about. He devoted an entire block to men’s stores. Look for Suit Supply, Pockets Menswear, Bonobos, Peter Millar and a few more he can’t announce yet.
Are these stores just moving from other centers?
So far, no. Most as we’ve identified above are coming to Plano for the first time. Fidelity Investments is moving from West Park Blvd. near the Shops at Willow Bend.
What hotels will be on the property?
At Legacy Drive, the Sam Moon group is opening an 803-room Renaissance hotel which includes the Miami-based restaurant Bulla. The 5,500 square foot foot Spanish-restaurant will serve up cured meats, including acorn fed Iberian ham, small plates and a variety of cheeses. The hotel and restaurant are expected to open in May.
At the opposite end, at Headquarters Drive, a 160- to 170-room boutique hotel, also owned by the Sam Moon group, and a high-end, eight-screen movie theatre will be among the last portions of the entertainment district to be built. They are expected to open in late 2018.
On the other side of Headquarters Drive, other buildings within walking distance of Legacy West’s stores and restaurants are under construction: Regional campuses for JP Morgan Chase and Liberty Mutual Insurance, Windrose Tower, a 24-story luxury condo building, Palladium, a 31-story residential tower and 400 unit mid-rise apartments by Columbus Realty.
To the west are FedEx Office and the new U.S. headquarters for Toyota. It all wraps around the existing headquarters campus of J.C. Penney. While lunch or an errand at Legacy West will be a walkable trip for many people working in the nearby buildings, Karahan is planning with Toyota and others to run a private bus service to and from the entertainment and shopping district.
BY: MARIA HALKIAS
This article originally appeared in Dallas News
Read the original article here.