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Watters Creek Slide Show

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ALLEN, TX-Building momentum through six months of soft openings, Trademark Property Co. is marking its grand opening milestone of the $200-million Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm. The three-day celebration, which begins today, shows off the line-up to date, but more importantly sets the stage for phase two of the 1.15-million-sf mixed-use development.

Terry Montesi, founding partner of the Fort Worth-based Trademark, tells GlobeSt.com that a hotel site is under contract to a major chain, with the 150-room project possibly breaking ground in early 2009. The LEED-designated, resort-style development will get more retail, residential and office as well before the 52-acre site reaches build-out. Roughly 75% of the 52-acre project is now complete at the junction of US Hwy. 75 and Bethany Drive.

Watters Creek’s grand opening signals 84% occupancy in the 550,000-sf retail component. Today’s mix has 49 shops and restaurants and 10 more stores are on track to open by year’s end.

“We’ve made virtually every lease we wanted to make in that corridor. It’s a very interesting time to be opening a large anchored mixed-use development,” Montesi says. “We’ve done so well with leasing given the economy. We’re certainly pleased and not disappointed.” In addition, the apartment lease-up is under way.

Trademark’s park-like design incorporates a creek and other water features, green spaces and seating areas, including one with a signature fireplace nestled along a through-way that connects two streets. Trademark has implemented a 7 p.m. policy that youth 17 years old and younger must be accompanied by an adult if they are not shopping, working or dining to deter the gathering spots from turning into hangouts.

The policy is not uncommon for mixed-use developments. It is a deterrent for parents dropping off children and using projects as “a baby-sitting service,” Montesi says. “It is not a curfew. It is a policy so we have the right to call their parents and ask them to come and get them.” Watters Creek also has a private security force as an added comfort level for shoppers and diners.

Montesi says Watters Creek’s resort-style design was inspired by a focus group of local women. “Who knew the economy would prompt some to value that design and atmosphere,” he says in a press release. “Some are coming here to shop first and discovering the beauty. Others are coming here primarily to get away and becoming our return customer.”

DSW Shoe Warehouse opens today, with Clix Portrait Studios unlocking its door before the month ends. Other just-signed leases are Sweet & Sassy, Jean Junkie, Modia, Tangerine Aveda Spa and Village Burger Bar. Recent openings include Sephora, Swoozie’s, Le Creuset, Toni&Guy, Woodlands American Grill, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Celebrity Cafe and Bakery and Cho Tailor.

The grand opening weekend will feature a ticketed event, Taste of Watters Creek, with net proceeds benefiting the Collin County Meals on Wheels. Friday night’s festivities include prize package giveaways and Saturday will be filled with live music, cooking demos and other family entertainment.

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