A Look at Plano's Newest Corporate Magnet

By the end of the week, Dallas developer Sam Ware plans to have construction flying at retail giant J.C. Penney Company's longtime corporate campus in Plano after buying it through a limited partnership for $438.7 million.

"We plan to remove some of the old trees from the atrium and plan to expand the amenities, add 1,700 parking spaces and expand the leaseable square feet," Ware, CEO and managing partner of Dreien Opportunity Partners, told the Dallas Business Journal in an exclusive interview. "We plan to begin immediately."
 
"We have put over 18 months of work into this and now it's time to implement and execute on those plans," Ware told me. "There are a lot of large tenants in the marketplace and we are touring constantly."

As part of the sale leaseback, J.C. Penney plans to lease about 1.12 million square feet of its former campus, which is being marketed The Campus at Legacy West.

Ware and his team — with the help of Colliers International — has been touring the remainder of the campus, with plans to add another 300,000 square feet of penthouse space on the mezzanine level of the building.

The penthouse will total 150,000 square feet on the north and the south end of the building and will be converted from equipment space to office space, with air conditioners and other mechanical equipment moved to the building's roof.

Upon completion, this will make the building the biggest building under one roof in North Texas, with a total leasable footprint of 2.13 million square feet.

Dallas-based HKS Inc., which was the original architect of the campus, is the firm leading the design of the upgrades for the property.

A Colliers International team led by John Conger and David Quisenberry are marketing the remainder of the campus.

Even though Ware and his team have yet to land a company, he said they have been giving plenty of tours of the campus and there's a lot of excitement in the corporate community.

Ware is also marketing about 45 acres of adjacent developable land with the help of David Davidson Jr. and Edward Bogel of Davidson Bogel Real Estate. The acreage is slated for office, apartment or retail development.

Other development plans include adding about 1,700 parking spaces onto the existing parking garage, as well as expanding the retailer's corporate amenities to include a dentist's office, florist shop, a same-day dry cleaner, pharmacist, beauty shop and restaurants.

Expanding the amenities at the campus will help attract sought-after corporate tenants to the property, Ware said.

For Ware, the sale leaseback deal with J.C. Penney offered his investors an opportunity to own a "Millennial-friendly, light and bright," campus built in the early 1990s that would cost an estimated $950 million to reproduce today.

"This is something we couldn't build today and is along the lines with something Microsoft, Amazon or some other company like that would office in today," he said.

Source: Dallas Business Journal