The Shops at Willow Bend
Center court, January 2013
|Location||Plano, TX in Collin County, Texas, United States|
|Opening date||August 3, 2001|
|Management||Starwood Capital Group|
|Owner||Starwood Capital Group|
|No. of stores and services||125|
|No. of anchor tenants||4|
|Total retail floor area||1,391,000 sq ft (129,200 m2) (129,228 m²)|
|No. of floors||2 (3 in Macy's, Dillard's, and Neiman Marcus, 1 in Crate & Barrel and Restoration Hardware)|
The Shops at Willow Bend is a shopping mall located in Plano, Texas, with over 125 stores and three anchor stores. The mall is located at the intersection of West Park Boulevard (FM 544) and Dallas North Tollway in West Plano.
The Shops at Willow Bend opened on August 3, 2001, with about 75% occupancy and four anchor stores. The upscale mall faced several challenges from the beginning. The luxury mall opened shortly before the September 11, 2001, attacks when nationwide retail sales slowed considerably. Stonebriar Centre previously opened less than a year before on August 4, 2000, just a few miles north in nearby Frisco. Stonebriar was also considerably larger than Willow Bend, offered more amenities and entertainment such as a movie theater and ice skating rink, and offered a wider selection of shops and restaurants with broad appeal. The collapse of the telecom corridor to the east of the centers trade area further hampered the malls performance.
The upscale mall was developed and originally managed by Taubman Centers, which was highly selective in accepting tenants. Despite being designed as a regional shopping center with over 1,500,000 square feet (140,000 m2) of space, management originally planned to limit the focus of Willow Bend shoppers to upscale luxury fashion that would appeal to an affluent female clientele. The four original anchor stores were Dillard's, Foley's, Lord & Taylor, and Neiman Marcus. The Lord & Taylor and Neiman Marcus stores were replacements for those at the since-demolished Prestonwood Mall in north Dallas. Original tenants included several luxury shops such as Escada, Bruno Magli, Burberry, Armani Collezioni, Montblanc, Nicole Miller, Diesel, D&G, and Loro Piana among others, all of which were eventually closed and replaced with chain stores of somewhat broader appeal, including the Apple Store.
In 2004, Saks Fifth Avenue was added as a fifth anchor. Later that year the total number of anchor stores dropped to four as Lord & Taylor closed their location, citing a weak and competitive regional marketplace. In 2006, Foley's was changed to Macy's. In 2010, the total number of anchor stores dropped to three with the closing of Saks Fifth Avenue. In 2011, a Crate & Barrel opened in the vacant Lord & Taylor.
In 2014, the mall was sold as part of a 7 property package to Starwood Capital Group for approximately $1.4 billion. In 2015, it was announced the mall would undergo a $126 million makeover and renovation with the former Saks Fifth Avenue building being repurposed with restaurants and entertainment venues.
Current management has since focused on attracting more well-known retail chain stores after the failure of prior management to limit most tenant leases to upscale luxury women's apparel shops.
- Neiman Marcus (153,300 sq ft., opened 2001)
- Dillard's (249,200 sq ft., opened 2001)
- Macy's (200,000 sq ft., opened as Foley's in 2001, renamed Macy's c. 2006)
- Crate & Barrel (29,000 sq ft., opened 2011, built on pad of former Lord & Taylor)
Former Anchor Tenants
- Lord & Taylor (140,000 sq ft., opened 2001, closed 2004, demolished 2010)
- Saks Fifth Avenue (122,900 sq ft., opened 2004, closed 2010, demolished 2016)
- Chapter 3: I Go to the Mall. I Get a Suit. Retrieved Nov 3, 2012.
- "The Shops At Willow Bend". Retrieved December 1, 2012.
- Taubman Centers: Willow Bend Archived 2007-01-01 at the Wayback Machine. Leasing Information. Retrieved Feb 15, 2007.
- Maria Halkias. "Saks to close Shops at Willow Bend store on Saturday". Dallas Morning News.
- Maria Halkias (February 9, 2011). "Frisco's Stonebriar Centre getting a Michael Kors store and more". Dallas Morning News.
- Jonathan Betz (April 20, 2010). "New Crate & Barrel store to boost Plano mall". WFAA.
- Saks Incorporated to Close Its Saks Fifth Avenue Stores in Plano, Texas and Mission Viejo, California Retrieved August 17, 2010.
- The Shops at Willow Bend in Plano sells to Starwood Retrieved June 19, 2014.
- "Plano's Shops at Willow Bend getting a $100 million redo: restaurants, luxury hotel, office tower and entertainment anchor". dallasnews.com. October 20, 2015.
- "New Crayola Experience Coming to Shops at Willow Bend in Plano". NBCUniversal Media, LLC. Jun 13, 2017. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
- "Mall Map". Retrieved November 4, 2012.
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