United Commercial Realty
More Allen retail centers to open soon4.25.2008- Steve Brown, Dallas Morning News
Collin County residents will soon have someplace new to shop till they drop.
Two retail centers under construction on U.S. Highway 75 in Allen will add more than 1 million square feet of store space.
The Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm shopping center on Bethany Road is less than a month away from opening its doors.
And farther north, along U.S. 75 at Stacy Road, the Village at Allen will open this fall with a lineup of big-box retailers.
"We are counting on these projects to have an enormous impact on our community," said Robert Winningham, executive director of the Allen Economic Development Corp. "Each of these big projects will have their own unique mix of tenants.
"And with the retailers coming in, we hope to attract more dollars to our community."
The $250 million Watters Creek project, which opens in mid-May, is the kind of urban mixed-use development that would be at home in Uptown, Southlake or Plano's Legacy business park.
The first phase of the project has 350,000 square feet of retail space, 250 apartments and 90,000 square feet of office space.
"In our first phase – which is essentially what you see out there – the retail space is 80 percent leased," said developer Terry Montesi of Fort Worth-based Trademark Property Co. "In May, we will have 25 or 26 restaurants and retailers open."
Trademark has been working on the development for almost three years.
This week, landscapers were busy planting ground cover around the project's greenbelt, which surrounds a series of ponds.
Inside the buildings, tenants including Cheesecake Factory, Borders, Banana Republic, Sephora, Chico's, Ann Taylor Loft and Eddie Bauer are working on their spaces.
"We have been very blessed to have virtually all the specialty retailers and restaurants end up on our site," Mr. Montesi said. "There was a real need for retail in the north 75 corridor."
The city of Allen has a population of about 82,000, and the retail projects under construction could draw shoppers from north of McKinney and south to Plano.
"We don't want people to drive through Allen; we want them to stop," Mr. Winningham said. "Along U.S. 75, we've tried to preserve the corporate office environment we have and add some higher-end retail and entertainment."
Allen currently has about 3 million square feet of retail space that generates almost $700 million a year in sales. Those totals could almost double with all the projects in the works.
The first phase of the Village at Allen shopping center, which opens in October, will add 300,000 square feet of retail to the city. And a second phase, set to debut next spring, will have 400,000 square feet.
Dallas-based MGHerring Group is building the project and is also building the Village at Fairview, a bigger retail and mixed-use development across the street in the town of Fairview.
The Village at Fairview, on the north side of Stacy Road, will add more than 2 million square feet of retail, residential and other construction and starts opening in August 2009.
MGHerring president Gar Herring says paving is under way on his Allen project, and the first buildings are going up.
"Since it is [prefabricated] tilt-wall construction, it will be like there is an instant shopping center on that corner," Mr. Herring said. "We are under six months until opening, and almost all of the big-box anchor spaces are leased."
Tenants lined up for the 181-acre Village at Allen include Best Buy, Dick's Sporting Goods, TJ Maxx, Toys R Us, Chase Bank, Cheddars, Cold Stone Creamery, Mattress Giant, Men's Wearhouse, Nate's Seafood, Olive Garden, Sleep Experts and Starbucks.
The second round of retail development that's set to open next March will include a Super Target, PetSmart, Hemispheres, Anderson's Furniture, Chair King, Famous Footwear, GameStop and Ritz Camera.
"Everybody is recognizing the strength of the trade area of Allen, Fairview and McKinney," Mr. Herring said.
The Village at Allen will also include a 220-room Courtyard by Marriott Hotel with a 35,000-square-foot conference center. And the city of Allen will put a 6,300-seat "event center" in the project that can be used for ice hockey and as an entertainment venue.
Plans call for about 500,000 square feet of office space.
"You can begin to see the magnitude of this project," Mr. Herring said. "And you already have a very successful outlet center across the street."