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PLANO, TX-In late January, the first commercial leg to a developing 100-acre single-family neighborhood in Plano hits the ground running after a year of planning by joint venture partners Miami-based Copacabana Inc. and Dallas’ Henry S. Miller Commercial.

If pushed to the limit, Crystal Creek Village build-out would bring as much as 700,000 sf of office-retail. But, that’s still up in the air, Sam Kartalis, Henry S. Miller Commercial’s president and COO, tells GlobeSt.com. What is certain is the $2-million initial phase will bring 15,000 sf of neighborhood retail as office takes a back seat in the present economy. Three leases are in hand and more prospects are talking about securing a piece of the action on 15 acres at the northeast corner of Headquarters and Ohio. Another 10 acres “plus or minus” of office-retail development are being plotted for the northeast corner of Hedgecoxe and Ohio. One acre already houses a convenience store and the balance is being divvied into office and retail pad sites.

The acreage comes with a built-in incentive not commonly found in the North Dallas-Plano Corridor. Most intersections boast four corners of commercial competition. Not so in Crystal Creek’s case, emphasizes Kartalis.

The sole corner leveraging at Headquarters and Ohio is a sure-fire benefactor when the Texas 121 link is completed. “It will be a major secondary artery,” Kartalis predicts. The joint venture has been waiting for the past year for the “right time” to break out the shovels. Now that Headquarters connects Preston Road and Ohio, the time has come. It will only get better, he says, in the next five years when the road runs all the way to Texas 121.

Kartalis estimates Crystal Creek’s first three phases will cost between $5 million and $10 million. As one phase nears lease-up, the game plan is to break ground on another. Ohio gets the retail frontage with groups of two or three garden-variety office buildings flanking the rear. The first phase will deliver in June or July 2002.

“It’s a great area,” says Kartalis. The single-family development got under way about a year ago. There are three homebuilders at work in the community.

Copacabana bought the Plano land several years ago in an ongoing pro-Texas stance, Kartalis says of his seven-year client. It also owns 30 acres at the northeast corner of Preston and Legacy, of which three have been sold for a Candlewood Suites hotel and 15 are under contract “to a very interesting office user.” For now, that’s as much as Kartalis will say about the Dallas newcomer–until the closing.

Hodges & Associates in Dallas is the architect of Crystal Creek Village, a red brick, single-story design. Henry S. Miller Commercial’s Construction Services Inc., formed earlier this year, is the general contractor. Ground will break just as the construction team caps its first freestanding project, a 3,600-sf Carpet Mills of America building, in the 46,000-sf Lakeside Village at the intersection of Walnut Hill and Central Expressway. The keys will be turned over by mid-January 2002.

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