The Shops at Willow Bend
Center court, January 2013
|Location||Plano, TX in Collin County, Texas, United States|
|Opening date||August 3, 2001|
|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|
The Shops at Willow Bend is an upscale shopping mall located in Plano, Texas, with over 125 stores and three main anchors. The mall is located at the intersection of West Park Blvd (FM 544) and the Dallas North Tollway in West Plano.
The mall opened in 2001 with four anchor stores and about 75% occupancy. The mall was developed and was 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, the center's management tried to limit the mall's focus to predominantly upscale fashion. The majority of the stores in the mall cater to women, although some stores have broader appeal, such as the department stores, the restaurants, and anApple Store. The four original anchors were Dillard's, Foley's (now Macy's), Lord & Taylor, and Neiman Marcus. The Lord & Taylor and Neiman Marcus stores were replacement stores for those at the now-demolished Prestonwood Town Center in north Dallas.
In 2004, a fifth anchor was added, Saks Fifth Avenue. In 2005, the total number of anchor stores dropped to four, as the May Company closed Lord & Taylor, along with all of the chain's other Texas stores. In 2010, the total number of anchor stores dropped to three with the closing of Saks Fifth Avenue. A fourth anchor, Crate & Barrel, opened in March 2011.
When it first opened, the mall's tenants included Escada, Bruno Magli, Burberry, Armani Collezioni, Montblanc, Nicole Miller, Diesel, D&G and Loro Piana among others, all of which have closed and have been replaced with typical mall retail chains. The mall is focusing on opening national retail chains after its failed attempt to lease space to upscale luxury stores.
In 2014, the mall was sold to Starwood Capital Group for more than $1.4 billion. In 2015, it was announced the mall would undergo another buyout by new owners and a $100 million makeover and renovation with the former Saks Fifth Avenue building being repurposed with hotels, offices and entertainment venues.
Problems in the beginning
The mall has faced several operating challenges from the beginning:
- The mall opened shortly before the September 11, 2001 attacks, when retail sales nationwide entered a slump.
- The mall had only upscale and luxury stores that appealed mostly to affluent clientele.
- Stonebriar Centre opened a year earlier than The Shops at Willow Bend in Frisco, only a few miles away. Stonebriar is considerably larger than Willow Bend and has more amenities plus a wider selection of shops and restaurants that appeal to all classes.
- There were no entertainment venues such as a movie theater or skating rink.
- Crate & Barrel (29,000 sq ft., opened 2011)
- Dillard's (249,200 sq ft., opened 2001)
- Macy's (200,000 sq ft., opened 2001 as Foley's, became Macy's 2006)
- Neiman Marcus (153,300 sq ft., opened 2001)
- Lord & Taylor (140,000 sq ft., opened 2001, closed 2004, demolished 2010)
- Saks Fifth Avenue (122,900 sq ft., opened 2004, closed 2010)
- 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 Leasing Information. Retrieved Feb 15, 2007.
- Maria Halkias. "Saks to close Shops at Willow Bend store on Saturday". 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: hotel, office tower and entertainment". dallasnews.com. October 20, 2015.
- Maria Halkias (February 9, 2011). "Frisco's Stonebriar Centre getting a Michael Kors store and more". Dallas Morning News.
- "Mall Map". Retrieved November 4, 2012.