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November 09 , 2007

Unique village is planned for one of Central's hottest


November 9th, 2007 By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News

When developer Provident Realty Advisors Inc. started work on its

project on North Central Expressway, the idea was to build a traditional

shopping center with a small number of homes.

But after marathon sessions with homeowner groups and city planners,

what's going up at Walnut Hill Lane and Central has turned out quite

different.Instead of a corner with big box retail stores with wide parking

lots, Provident Realty will build an urban village containing housing,

retail and office space.


A few businesses are still open, although the apartments at

the Lakeside at Walnut Hill are being demolished.

The 43-acre project will cost

$300 million to $400 million

and will be anything but

standard freeway architecture.

"We've been working on this

for probably five years," said

Provident Realty president

Leon Backes. "It's taken us a

lot of work to get here, but I

think we have a much better

project for all of the work."

Demolition crews have started knocking down the 40-year-old Lakeside

apartment community to make way for the construction.

In place of about 850 apartments, Provident Realty intends to build

175,000 square feet of specialty restaurant and retail space, 1,100

apartment units and a small office building.

Parts of the property will also be used for a 104-home luxury residential

village and a high-rise seniors housing complex.

The developers are calling the project the Glen at Preston Hollow a

nod to the exclusive residential neighborhoods west of the site.

The Glen project was designed by WDG Architects and is part of a

mixed-use vernacular that includes Addison Circle, Plano's Legacy Town

Square and the West Village in Uptown.

"We wanted something that would be timeless," Mr. Backes said. "The

project will have some nice internal spaces for outdoor dining and a real

pedestrian feel to it."

A handful of five-story buildings with retail on the ground floor and

apartments above will form the heart of the Glen development. These

buildings surround a central boulevard with a park in the middle.

"There will be a 100,000-square-foot, six-story office building on the

corner of Walnut Hill and Central that will probably be anchored by a

bank," said J. Scott Rodgers, director of development for the entire

project. "We wanted something very prominent on the corner.

"The retail has been internalized a lot more not at all freeway


The developers hope that most of the retail space will be snapped up by

restaurants and small shops.

"We have gotten a lot of interest from established retailers and

restaurateurs in the city, along with new tenants in the market for

space," said Alan Schor, president of the Retail Connection, which is

marketing the shopping space to tenants.

"This is going to be a unique, neighborhood mixed-use project," he said.

In fact, the Glen development won't be the first mixed-use project on

that corner. The apartments it will replace were ahead of their time.

In 1968, the doors opened on the Willow Creek apartments, which were

touted as the "first totally planned development zoned within the city of


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