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City Of Plano Approves Rezoning For Shops At Willow Bend

Developers must wait for final approval of the plans before starting construction

The Shops at Willow Bend is one step closer to redevelopment. During a meeting on Jan. 16, 2024, the Plano Planning and Zoning Commission approved the rezoning of the property. 

During the meeting, planning and zoning approved the request from Dallas-based developer Centennial to rezone the mall to construct a mixed-use development, incorporating a hotel, office space, retail establishments and apartments. 

The commission previously postponed the rezoning request in December 2023 to allow the developer to gather additional community feedback from residents in the vicinity. During the meeting on Tuesday, the public gave positive feedback on the plans. 

“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,” Whitney Livingston, president of Centennial, previously said. “But everyone also understands that we need to add different uses from what’s there now.”

The development will replace a significant portion of the current mall, however, several current businesses as well as new ones will occupy part of the mall. According to Centennial, approximately 25% of the storefronts within the current 1.5 million-square-foot mall are currently unoccupied.

As Local Profile previously reported, the redevelopment plans will still feature Dillard’s, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, The Crayola Experience and the North Texas Performing Arts. Centennial is currently engaged in "active negotiations" with more than one dine-in movie theater operator. In September 2023, renderings were released during an open house. 

In May 2022, Centennial acquired the mall with backing from investors at Cawley Partners and Waterfall Asset Management. The company's plan involves reducing the mall's retail space, introducing residential homes, and building a hotel. Faced with challenges in retaining business, the reduction in retail space is aimed at generating increased demand.

Despite the rezoning approval, developers must wait for final approval of the plans before construction can commence.