Despite Neighborhood Resistance, Wolverine Interests’ Allen City Center Passes Planning & Zoning
Over cries of "shame," Wolverine Interests cleared a major hurdle Tuesday when a majority of Allen’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved the Dallas-based developer's plan to build a 12-acre office, residential and retail mixed-use development inside the city's Central Business District.
The zoning request passed the commission with a 4-2 vote and now heads to city council for final review.
If approved by city council, the development will sit inside the northeast quadrant of U.S. Highway 75 and West Main St. in Allen, bordered by Anna Drive, Main Street, Central Expressway, and the Whisenant Estates addition.
Plans show the mini urban city stretching across 12 acres of CBD land, infilling it with 825 apartment units, ground-floor retail and an office product bordering U.S. Highway 75.
Allen Economic Development Corp. Board of Director Jeff Burkhardt endorsed the plan at the hearing Tuesday as a driver of economic development in the CBD, but the zoning commission's vote drew shouts and screams from the audience — many of whom were Allen residents living in the nearby Whisenant Estates.
A few residents yelled, "shame on you," as the commission approved the plan for city council review. Others called nearby residents "the victims" in this story due to the scope and size of the development.
Wolverine Interests Managing Principal Jim Leslie views the project as a solution to Allen’s ultimate goal of revitalizing its aging Central Business District.
“The CBD is about 240 acres, and we’re about 12 acres of it, so we are 5% of the total,” Leslie told Bisnow. “The idea is that we will be the catalyst for other things to come."
Wolverine has funding and stakeholders in place with architect JHP Architecture / Urban Design designing the urban center and engineering firm Kimley-Horn and contractor Moss Construction expected to handle the build-out.
Wolverine is already looking for corporate tenants that desire prime office space and signage off Highway 75.
“We have the office building out front with signage, and we are trying to get somebody to take that office building," Leslie said.
Wolverine Interests addressed concerns about limited retail development inside the complex by committing to build out 2K SF of retail space during each phase of the four-phase development process.
Allen City Council is expected to vote on the plan in mid-August. If the city approves the plan, construction could begin as early as September.