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Dreien Opportunity Partners Withdraws Multifamily Plans at Campus at Legacy West

Developer Sam Ware says the firm is "tweak[ing] concerns" and plans to resubmit at a later date.
courtesy of CBRE

The Plano Planning and Zoning Commission has approved Dreien Opportunity Partners’ request to withdraw a special use permit that would allow multifamily units at the former J.C. Penney campus, now called The Campus at Legacy West. At least for now, The Campus at Legacy West’s massive redevelopment will not include apartments.

“We felt it best to withdraw and tweak concerns and come back at a later date,” says Sam Ware, who runs Dreien.

In late 2016, J.C. Penney, the project’s anchor tenant, sold its headquarters to Dreien and leased a portion of it back. Dreien purchased the 1.8 million-square-foot Campus at Legacy West for more than $400 million and has spent the last 18 months repositioning the asset to include more amenities. Ware’s redevelopment vision initially called for retail space, a hotel, and more than 1,000 apartment units. Last fall, the project scored the largest known office lease of 2017: a 233,000-square-foot commitment from NTT Data.

In addition to Plano’s zoning regulations, Legacy Business Park, which Ware’s project is within, is regulated by the Legacy Association. A five-member board of directors governs various factors of Legacy Business Park, such as architecture, signage, and land use. Each landowner within the 2,650-acre park gets one vote per acre owned. A landowner who owns, say, 50 acres gets 50 votes on matters related to the business park.

In a previous interview with D CEO, Fehmi Karahan, who is the president of the board of directors of the Legacy Association, said: “Our view, my view, and the board’s view is that what made [Legacy Business Park] so successful needs to remain that way. We do not support mixing residential developments within the business park. … Therefore the board of Legacy, which is regulating Legacy Business Park to be premier, does not support residential developments popping up within the business park, except what was previously established as center cores for Legacy Town Center and Legacy West.”

Ware reiterated his view that employees moving to Legacy will demand more housing options, according to Community Impact Newspaper. By 2021, Legacy Business Park is on track to employ 135,000 people, rivaling downtown Dallas.

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