Legacy West is rising from the ashes of a 240-acre
former J.C. Penney site. Karahan, who built an earlier
mixed-use development, The Shops at Legacy, across the
highway, said he watched Dallas’ population
migrate north for several years and kept a close
eye on the Penney’s property. The retailer showed
no interest in selling, that is, until its fortunes turned
in 2014. After Penney’s opened up the bidding for the
site, Karahan teamed with developer Robert Shaw and office
specialist KDC, to win the property.
“Macy’s, Sears and J.C. Penney are
struggling,” Karahan said. “Neiman Marcus is
struggling with huge debt. It’s tough out there.
Certainly, if Neiman’s were to choose our
location, we’d consider it. But now, the
idea is not to have a big department store anchoring
a mall. Our restaurants and food hall are our anchors. An
anchor is whatever generates the most traffic.
“A lot of retailers came to North
Texas and opened stores at North Park, which is
one of the most successful malls in Texas. But, some
of them have begun looking further north,” Karahan
added. “As a retail developer, I pay a lot of
attention to who is going to survive the online onslaught.
You have to create a great destination and blend a lot of
uses. People shop online, but they also want to go out to
Food accounts for 28 percent of Legacy West’s gross
leasable space. A a 55,000-square-foot, three-level
food hall will open at Legacy Hall in October,
operated by Dallas-based Front Burner Restaurant Group,
which is recruiting chefs for individual stalls.
The center will boast the first Dean & Deluca in the
state, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, True
Food Kitchen, Shake Shack, Mesero and Earls Kitchen &
“We’ll have 10,000 to 12,000 people daily
having lunch here,” said Karahan,
adding that Toyota North America, Liberty
Mutual, FedEx Office and J.P. Morgan Chase have opened
corporate headquarters in close proximity
to Legacy West, that together will bring more than
20,000 new employees and an additional $3 billion
in annual payroll to the area.
According to Karahan the trading area’s demographics
include a population of 266,000, with 66,000
earning more than $100,000 annually; 115,000
residents who hold white-collar jobs, and 110,000
with college or advanced degrees.
“Dallas doesn’t have natural beauty.
We’re giving people an environment with fountains,
landscaping, music, delicious food and buildings that look
like Fifth Avenue where every store is
different,” Karahan said. “We’re
tempting all of their senses.”