Plano project developer goes back to the drawing board with Campus at Legacy West

Drien Opportunity Partners

A developer is going back to the drawing boards on plans for one of Plano’s largest mixed-use developments.

Real estate investor Sam Ware has been working since last year to redevelop retailer J.C. Penney’s old campus in West Plano into a mixed-use project.

Ware is converting the sprawling headquarters building into space for multiple companies.

And his Drien Opportunity Partners wants to add a variety of projects on vacant land surrounding the 1990s buildings.

But for the time being, residential construction is off the table.

Ware’s original plan for his Campus at Legacy West included building more than 1,000 apartments, hotel rooms, retail and restaurant space and additional office.

But after push back from Plano residents and city officials, Ware this week pulled – at least for now – the apartments out of the mix.

"The applicant is requesting to withdraw this zoning case from your consideration this evening," Plano city planner Erica Marohnic told the city planning and zoning commission at its latest meeting.

Ware had previously delayed several times his request to build apartments to on part of the 45 acres he owns surrounding the Penney buildings.

The developer already has zoning on the land to build a variety of commercial properties, but no residential.

Major corporations and their workers increasingly want rental housing opportunities in close proximity to the workplace.

Thousands of apartments are being built in the newest North Texas business districts including Plano’s Legacy West, CityLine in Richardson and the new Legacy Central development on U.S. Highway 75.

Ware has had strong interest from apartment builders in his Campus at Legacy West project.

"We have talked to a who’s who of apartment developers in the last 18 months," Ware said in a recent interview. "In my opinion, the west side of the tollway in Legacy is underserved with apartments."

He still has the option of coming back to Plano’s planners with a new apartment development scheme.

The pullback from seeking apartments at the Campus at Legacy West is the latest in a series of delays Ware has recently faced.

Last month he missed a deadline to buy Dallas’ former Parkland Hospital campus northwest of downtown. Ware says he’s still working on the deal.

And Ware still hasn’t completed his purchase of parts of the old Collin Creek Mall in Plano. He wants to redevelop the regional shopping center on U.S. 75 into another mixed-use project.

The Campus at Legacy West development is planned with a variety of new construction surrounding the old J.C. Penney headquarters.

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Drien Opportunity Partners

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