Indoor Mall to Submit Redevelopment Plan

Real Estate

The Shops at Willow Bend might soon undergo renovation | Image by Community Impact

The new owners of Willow Bend Mall, a.k.a. The Shops at Willow Bend, are gearing up to submit official redevelopment plans with the city of Plano.

Tentative redevelopment plans for the 1.4 million square foot shopping mall include reducing retail stores to add residential space and a hotel, according to the new property owners.

The mall, located at the northwest corner of the Dallas North Tollway and West Park Boulevard, was purchased last year in a multi-party deal that included two Dallas-based investment firms, Centennial Real Estate and Cawley Partners, as well as New York-based Waterfall Asset Management.

“We believe the best real estate is where suburban malls like The Shops at Willow Bend sit today,” said Steve Levin, founder and CEO of Centennial, shortly after purchasing the Plano-based property.

Since purchasing the site in May 2022, the owners have worked closely with city officials and Plano residents to ensure the future property matches “what the community wants,” said Whitney Livingston, president of Centennial Real Estate.

“We’re still looking at a dominant mixed-use destination, and we’re pleased with the feedback from area residents who want to see the mall survive,” she said. “But everyone also understands that we need to add different uses from what’s there now.”

Despite declining demand for typical indoor shopping malls, Willow Bend has remained a key destination for Plano residents and shoppers since its grand opening in 2001.

Some of the mall’s current tenants will be included in the redevelopment, according to Livingston. These include Dillard’s, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and The Crayola Experience.

Once initial plans are submitted to the city in the coming week, Livingston said that Centennial would host more events to engage with Plano residents for additional feedback.

Construction will not commence immediately and is “still a ways out,” Livingston said.

As metroplex cities outside of Dallas continue to see a surge in demand for development projects, Dallas’ growth has remained somewhat stagnant in comparison. Besides the epidemics of crime, homelessness, and vagrancy, the city has struggled to turn around its problematic permitting process. All of these factors are probably due to the low volume of projects coming to the city.

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