May 8, 2015 | Kevin Cummings

On Tuesday, developers and city officials broke ground on Heritage Creekside, a 156-acre mixed-use development between Custer Road and Alma Drive along Plano Parkway, which, once complete, will feature a variety of single- and multifamily residential options, thousands of square feet of office development and myriad retail and restaurant options for residents.

Plans for the project began last year, with the City Council approving the zoning in October. Hailed by developers as a signature project that will attract residents and businesses to the area, the first phase of the project is expected to begin this fall, and residents are expected to be able to start moving in by July of next year.

"What an incredible project ... for the gateway to Plano on the southern edge," said Mayor Pro Tem Lissa Smith at Tuesday's ceremony. "The development will be one of the most beautiful and unique developments along Pittman Creek, and the mixed-use design will help relieve traffic congesting during the day and provide a beautiful gathering place in the evening."

According to development plans, Heritage Creekside will include about 2.3 million square feet of corporate office space, which the developers say will anchor the project. Also included will be about 1,300 multifamily residential units, and several hundred attached and detached single-family houses and townhomes. Residential space and restaurant space will be centered on Pittman Creek, which cuts through the development.

The project is set to be built in two phases, with the eastern first phase consisting mostly of residential and restaurant space. The second phase will contain more restaurant and retail space, as well as space for a large corporation. Representatives of Rosewood Property Company, the developer, previously said the residential first phase will drive interest and demand for the retail and office space of the second phase.

The first phase, expected to be complete by summer of next year, will include 327 multifamily units, 100 single-family units and three restaurants along the east side of Pittman Creek. The second phase will include more single and multifamily housing, the millions of square feet of office space, 50,000 square feet of retail space, and a 15-story hotel.

"Today we're talking about extending Pittman Creek and the other neighboring neighborhoods so Heritage Creekside is really an extension of the existing neighborhood," said Scott Polikov, president of Gateway Planning Group, at the groundbreaking. "This neighborhood really reflects taking this part of Plano into the next century and representing the best of what Plano was when it was conceived of in a new and updated way." 

In addition to increasing the amount of housing stock and business space available in the city, the $900 million project is expected to bring thousands of new jobs to Plano. Bill Flaherty, president of Rosewood Property, said he expects the project to lead development of central Plano, similar to how downtown Plano and Legacy Town Center have spurred economic growth in their respective regions of the city.

Initially, many residents from the surrounding neighborhoods voiced opposition to the project, but multiple meetings were held with residents and HOAs to work out details. Many of the concerns centered on the multifamily developments, citing potential impacts to traffic and increasing nearby school populations.

However, a handful of residents were recognized and in attendance at this week's groundbreaking, and Flaherty said there has been an "active" cooperation with neighbors, because he and other developers consider the project to be an extension of the existing neighborhoods rather than a stand-alone project.

"We took a very active position with the neighbors, and they took an active position with us, and that collision, I think, resulted in really a much better project," Flaherty said. "We decided to be bold in our vision, to step into a mixed-use plan that would hopefully lead others in central Plano, and that idea has gotten us to this day and I think will result in an extraordinary project."                                              

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