Dallas Business Journal

Developer Karahan getting plans ready for Legacy West

Developer Fehmi Karahan has plans to begin work on the initial phase of Legacy West, a $400 million endeavor by February of 2015.


By Candace Carlisle, Dallas Business Journal


Developer Fehmi Karahan plans to start on the initial $400 million portion of the Toyota-anchored Legacy West project, which is expected to put hundreds of homes and thousands of square feet of commercial real estate on the West Plano market.


“We want to start all of these projects at once,” said Karahan, who began developing the Shops at Legacy more than 15 years ago.”We want to start it all and move forward. We don’t believe in doing the piecemeal thing.”


Legacy West is a 240-acre tract of formerJ.C. Penney land westward of Karahan’s signature mixed-use development, the Shops at Legacy in West Plano. Karahan plans to finish planning this fast-moving project by year’s end. He hopes to break ground in February.


The Shops at Legacy helped define Legacy Business Park, which is one of North Texas’ top ranked corporate hubs in West Plano. The amenity-rich, retail-anchored development grew from a symbiotic relationship with the business park’s corporate tenants.


Relocation of Toyota’s North American headquarters is expected to bring 4,000 corporate jobs to North Texas and have an economic impact of $7.2 billion.


Along with a significant financial boost, Toyota Motor Co. (NYSE:TM) is also expected to attract a number of companies seeking to locate around the Japanese automaker’s soon-to-be developed corporate home.


Plans for the initial phase of the $2 billion Legacy West development include 200,000 square feet of retail space, about 600 apartments, a 100-unit condo tower and up to 400,000 square feet of office space on 38 acres near the northwest corner of the Dallas North Tollway and Legacy Drive by The Capital Grille.


The project could also include another hotel in addition to the signed Renaissance Hotel flag, which is expected to get underway by the end of the year. The hotel, which is designed by HKS Inc., is slated for completion in late 2016.


“This really has changed what we planned to do initially, but we have increased the number of town homes we were planning for the project,” said Karahan. “It does create an urgency in moving forward and to get this built faster than anticipated.”


Toyota, along with FedEx Office & Print Services, an affiliate of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), will help Karahan develop a dense, urban-like project that could rival the Shops at Legacy.


“When you design an urban district, you want to create density to create excitement,” said Karahan, adding he expected to break ground on Legacy West by February 2015.


The apartments and retail likely will be five or six stories tall with a 17- to 18-story condo tower and a 17-story hotel flagged by a Renaissance Hotel brand. Karahan says he’s not worried about other West Plano condo projects. in West Plano. condo projects in West Plano.


A group of developers and investors announced it planned to build two condo towers on former farmland owned by the Haggard family in West Plano.


“A lot of things get announced, but to be able to make it happen is a completely different story,” he said.