Fehmi Karahan is ready for another challenge with Plano’s Legacy West
By Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News
Almost 15 years ago when Fehmi Karahan came up with a plan to develop his Shops at Legacy in West Plano, first he had to convince the rest of the world he could actually do the project.
Now that the project on the tollway in Legacy Town Center is recognized nationally as one of the country’s biggest development successes, Karahan doesn’t have to do a lot of convincing these days.
Six years ago he started trying to convince executives at J.C. Penney to let him be develop more than 200 acres surrounding the company’s headquarters at the Dallas North Tollway and State Highway 121.
“They thought my ideas sounded good but they were not ready,” Karahan said.
It wasn’t until earlier this year that Penney agreed to let a team that includes Karahan, office builder KDC and apartment firm Columbus Realty Partners have a crack at masterplanning and building on the choice site.
“They idea is to tie it all together with parks, water features and other amenities and create a true mixed-use development,” Karahan said.
With Legacy Town Center across the tollway almost out of construction sites, Karahan is ready for a new challenge.
“I did a lot of soul searching first,” he said. “If it wasn’t for this particular development, I’m not sure I would be involved.”
With the success of Legacy Town Center and demand for real estate along the tollway, Karahan thinks the new Legacy West project will be quick out of the starting gates.
“It took 15 years to get where we are at Legacy Town Center,” he said. “This has a huge momentum and I think it will happen faster.”