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Allen Cricket Stadium Is Off The Table

It turns out cricket is not coming to Allen, Texas, after all. 

Thakkar Developers scratched plans for a massive cricket stadium inside a mixed-use development at the southwest corner of State Highway 121 and Alma Road in Allen, though it still sees demand for the sport and intends to keep up the search for a stadium site.

Allen Cricket Stadium Is Off The Table
An outdoor plaza will replace plans for a cricket stadium inside Thakkar's The Avenue development in Allen.

The 80-acre, mixed-use development is going forward with a new name: The Avenue.

And rather than featuring a cricket stadium as its centerpiece, the revitalized master plan shows an outdoor plaza in its place. The plaza will serve as a central gathering place adorned with a food hall and water features. 

The cricket stadium, which was once part of Thakkar's $500M Allen Sports Village project, generated controversy when nearby residents pushed back against the sports venue, saying it would foster traffic and excessive noise, according to local news reports.  

Thakkar Developers worked with residents to address these concerns and to develop mitigation strategies last year, Thakkar Director of Program Management David Pagan said.

But, ultimately, the project turned into a no-go for the development team. 

“Some of the mitigation strategies started to impact our project, so we just made the difficult decision to remove [the stadium] from the program," Pagan said. 

Thakkar then rebranded Allen Sports Village as The Avenue and added large sums of Class-A office, pushing the development's planned office supply to 1M SF. 

“The 121 Corridor continues to be a prime location for office, so we had the opportunity to go back and look at the best use for the site," Pagan said.

Thakkar also dedicated 275K SF to retail, restaurant and entertainment development, while leaving enough acreage for a 400-room hotel, 1,600 apartments, 12 townhomes and 53 single-family patio homes. 

Thakkar is speaking with developers who want to bring office, retail and entertainment concepts into the 121 Corridor. 

The Allen Planning and Zoning Commission approved Thakkar's new mixed-use vision this week, and the developer hopes to receive city council approval by month's end. 

Allen Sports Village
Thakkar's 121 Corridor mixed-use plan prior to the removal of the cricket stadium.

As far as the cricket stadium goes, Thakkar is not giving up on the concept and believes North Texas is still a great landing spot for this type of venue. 

North Texas, after all, is home to a large Southeast Asian community, a demographic that increasingly has been supporting cricket. 

U.S. Census Bureau data from 2017 puts Collin County's Indian Asian population at 54,507 people out of a total county population of roughly 914,000 people.

“We still feel like there is a huge local market for it here," Pagan told Bisnow. “We have some additional sites [that we are looking at] and have actually talked to some other communities about the possibility of having stadiums.” 

Pagan said the search for stadium sites is preliminary and not set in stone. 

However, the potential is still there for a future North Texas cricket hub if the developer finds the right spot.