Leaving a Legacy for Plano


Last January, junior Campbell Swango drove west of the Dallas North Tollway and south of State Highway 121 in Plano and saw nothing but the early stages of a rapidly growing construction site. Now, with extensive daily construction, workers are making progress on the expansive Legacy West complex, which is set to open on June 2.

Legacy West, which has been under construction since early 2015, is a soon- to-be destination for shopping, living and dining in the Plano area. It is expanding the Shops of Legacy by including stores such as West Elm, Planet Blue and Tommy Bahama; restaurants, such as True Food Kitchen and Shake Shack; and commercial buildings and apartments.

Despite the approximately 30-minute drive between Plano and Hockaday, the opening of Legacy West has generated significant excitement within the Hockaday community.

“I am so excited for Plano to gain something so new and fun,” Francesca Starkie, a Hockaday student who lives in Plano said. “I can finally take my friends out to somewhere near me, and they can see a whole new side of the suburb!”

Some people, however, are against the expansion of suburbs like Plano. In a survey sent out to the Upper School, one student responded that Plano is a “suburb and not a metropolis,” while another said that Plano is “not relevant enough to care about.”

Despite this, with the growing Legacy West complex, Plano will soon be a premier destination for Hockaday students to dine and shop.

“It’s really cool how Plano is expanding. Even 10 years ago it looked completely different. Now, my friends and I will definitely visit Legacy West. Lots of high-end shops and restaurants will be moving from the heart of the city to Plano,” Campbell said.

Campbell’s father, Max Swango, co-founded Invesco Real Estate, which owns the site and is developing Legacy West. According to Swango, the site of Legacy West is a promising one.

“[Invesco Real Estate] owns property all over the world, and to us, that Northwest corner of the Tollway and Legacy is one of the most exciting projects we have,” Mr. Swango said.

Once Legacy West is completed, it is expected to have 80 retailers, 620 apartments and over 350,000 square feet of office space.

Despite the whole site not being completely finished, some restaurants and shops, like Shake Shack and West Elm, are already open.

Shake Shack, a trendy burger restaurant originally from New York City, opened on March 29 and has been flooded with customers ever since. Even though Legacy West is not open yet as a whole, there have been lines stretching around the Shake Shack building already.

The crowds of people will only continue to grow: shops and restaurants which have previously only been in Dallas or Highland park are coming to Plano. Legacy West will provide Pla- no residents with a trendy destination for a night out.

According to Harry LaRosiliere, the mayor of Plano, Plano as a whole will keep expanding as over 20,000 employees are moving to the city to work at Legacy West and its surrounding corporate company headquarters, including those of Toyota, Boeing Global services and Liberty Mutual.

Since there is such a large number of incoming Plano residents and workers, the demand for retail and restaurants will rise. Conveniently, Legacy West will host about 40 restaurants, which include Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, Dean & Deluca, Sprinkles Cupcakes and True Food Kitchen.

Along with these restaurants, Legacy West will have a 55,000 square foot food plaza. Influenced by European food centers, the plaza will have a variety of food trucks, stands and restaurants.

The marketing team for Legacy West, headed by Victoria Snee, posts up- dates about the progress of the projects of Legacy West on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

“[The restaurants] add the icing on the cake for Legacy West,” Snee said. “The shopping plaza will be the premier live, work, eat, play and shop destination. It is a unique and beautiful for everyone.”

Snee is excited to see other Plano residents visit and enjoy the shopping complex, which will have a variety of both low and high-end stores and restaurants. Similarly, LaRosiliere believes that Legacy West will provide a valuable experience for all Plano residents.

“You can go to Legacy West to eat at Del Frisco’s with your prom date or you can hang out with your friends with a burger at Shake Shack,” LaRosilliere said. “No matter what you do there, Legacy West is about tying the whole Plano community together.”

Eliana Goodman – Staff Writer