Dallas Business Journal

“We view ourselves as an employment center for North Texas,” Mayor Harry LaRosiliere said. “We want to keep the city a place where people want to be versus the typical cycle of cities becoming mature with the boom-and-bust cycle.”

The success of Plano’s growing business community is tied to the evolution of the city’s identify over two decades, he said, rapidly evolving from a small community into one of the fastest growing cities in the United States.

Even master developer Fehmi Karahan is in awe of the Legacy West development — which has been ground zero for the city’s job growth — and what has been accomplished in a relatively short amount of time.

“I’m very excited about what we have been able to achieve in a two-year space,” said Karahan, founder of Plano-based The Karahan Cos. “If you look at all the real estate we’ve been able to attract so far, they are these blue chip companies.”

Karahan teamed up with Dallas-based development firms KDC and Columbus Realty Partners on Legacy West as a partnership group known as Team Legacy.

Plano-based J.C. Penney retained a stake in the land when it sold its extra acreage to the development group in 2014.

For JPMorgan Chase, which is expected to employ an estimated 6,000 employees upon the completion of the company’s $220 million, 800,000-square-foot multibuilding campus, it will boost the bottom line.

“It will reduce the company’s real estate operating costs in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, savings we’ll reinvest in our strategic campuses to provide the facilities, work environment and accommodations our employees need and deserve,” said Greg Hassell, the company’s executive director of media relations.

By the second half of 2017, JPMorgan Chase expects to begin moving its 6,000 employees into the new regional hub.

And JPMorgan Chase isn’t the only one expecting to see a boon with a move to Legacy West.

Other companies landing in Legacy West expect to see other advantages to setting up significant operations in the mixed-use development, such as recruiting and retaining employees that want to work in close proximity to amenities.

Those walkable amenities — ranging from Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse to True Food to North Italia — help create Legacy West into a destination for employees, residents and visitors.

It helps the new development become a natural extension of The Shops at Legacy, which Karahan said brings the exotic to the flat lands of West Plano and brings visitors a luxurious experience.

“Dallas doesn’t have natural beauty,” Karahan said. “It doesn’t have the ocean. It doesn’t have the mountains. People shop and eat here and if you give people a better experience and a better environment to do both in one place, you can achieve success.”

Key players: Fehmi Karahan, The Karahan Co.; Open Realty Advisors; CBRE; JLL; Steve Van Amburgh, KDC; Robert Shaw, Columbus Realty Partners Ltd.; Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Invesco Real Estate; JP Morgan Chase
Deal value: $3.2 billion
Size: 9.318 million sq. ft.
Address: State Highway 121 and Dallas North Tollway, Plano