Plano: 50+ Acre Mustang Square Mixed-Use Project Passes P&Z
Texas Construction News from Virtual Builders Exchange
Overview of the Mustang Square concept, as seen from the southeast, looking northwest.
Posted: 2-16-2017, 1:44 p.m.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Plano (Collin Co.) - Thakkar Developers obtained approval for its concept of a massive mixed-use development on a 50.5-acre site in Plano that will include hotels, office buildings, an entertainment district, nature preserve, multifamily housing and an assisted living community.
Thakkar Developers, based in McKinney, is collaborating with JPI, an Irving-based national real estate developer of multifamily projects. Barry Hand, principal and studio director at Gensler, is the lead project architect.
The project, named Mustang Square, was described by Hand during a Feb. 6 presentation before the Planning & Zoning Commission as a “live, work, play, stay” destination.
“We really want to stay on the theme of a walkable neighborhood,” Hand said.
Residential section of Mustang Square, looking across the green belt.
Bill Dahlstrom, a partner and land use attorney in the Dallas office of Jackson Walker, said the intent of the zoning change request—which was to permit townhomes and assisted living to be included on land that already permitted office, retail and hotel uses—was to create a development that is “far better” than what would be allowed under current zoning.
The developers did not want to construct another big box retail center with vast parking decks, nor did they want to design high-rise towers, Dahlstrom explained. The economic impact of this project, he added, is almost $2 billion.
David Craig, the developer of the Craig Ranch master planned community, spoke for Therondunn Plano LLC, the entity that sold the land to Thakkar. Therondunn was the actual applicant for the zoning change, but the planning commissioners negotiated with Thakkar on the terms of their motion.
Craig said the owners of Thakkar Developers, Sam and Poorvesh Thakkar, envision a horizontally integrated community and the commercial uses compliment the residential and the whole is buffered from the neighboring single family homes by a 75-foot wide green belt.
Citing some unique examples of the concept, Craig said the Thakkars agreed there would be no drive-thru restaurants, even though the majority of the retail component—as much as 60 to 80 percent—would be leased as restaurant space. There would also be no big boxes such as a Lowe’s, he said.
Hand said, “We think that going to a walkable architectural aesthetic is a benefit to every stakeholder involved, as opposed to big boxes and commercial parking decks.”
The project site faces the Sam Rayburn Tollway (Highway 121) and Rasor Boulevard. Most visitors to the development would enter at that corner, which is designed to be a “lifestyle street" type center that will be predominantly a place for dining and entertainment, Hand said.
The residential components are to the southwest of the lifestyle street and the office and hotel uses would be north of the residential development. The green belt separates the multifamily community from the neighboring single family homes and the project’s own townhome and assisted living properties.
“Something we know going forward,” Hand added, “America’s not getting any younger. (Assisted living) is integral to the success of a project like this; it must have a strata of housing infrastructure.”
City staff noted that a majority of neighbors notified of the development approved it. However, there was a vocal minority at the hearing that opposed the project for various reasons, such as increased traffic and crime.
The commissioners were concerned that the developers might not complete all the components of the project. In order to get their approval, Sam Thakkar agreed he would have to return to get approval for a final plat, and he would have to have construction underway for at least 50 townhomes, 100,000 square feet of office and/or hotel space, and 20,000 square feet of retail/restaurant before he could get the final plat.
Mixed Use Elements of Mustang Square
- Four one-story retail buildings of 22,500 sq.ft., 18,500 sq.ft., 15,000 sq.ft. and 12,500 sq.ft.
- Two office buildings: a three-story building of 75,000 sq.ft., a two-story building of 27,000 sq.ft.
- Three five-story hotels with about 105 guestrooms each
- Two four-story multifamily buildings of 184 units and 264 units, respectively, and a five-story parking garage with 685 spaces
- A townhome community with 75 units
- A four-story assisted living facility with 172 units.
- Total square footage of buildings: almost 1.2 million square feet
- Total parking: 2,323 spaces
- Total developed area is 38.65 acres, with a 4.2-acre green belt and 14 acres of right of way
Street scene in the plaza of the "Lifestyle Street" section of Mustang Square - by Gensler
Gensler Architects concept of recreational uses in the Mustang Square green belt.
Adolfo Pesquera is a veteran news journalist. He has previously worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines throughout the United States. He is a communications graduate of the University of Texas-PanAmerican.
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