Highland Village City Council and the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission held a special joint meeting to discuss the possible development of the property at The Shops at Highland Village on June 30.
According to Josh Poag, president and CEO of Poag Shopping Centers, the company that runs The Shops at Highland Village, the plan is to shift the focus from traditional retail to more restaurants in the mall.
With the closure of several fashion retail stores and a decrease in foot traffic, mall owners are looking to revitalize The Shops and make restaurants, such as Sip + Savor, a new restaurant that will open later this year, the main attraction, says Poag.
“The restaurants of [The Shops at] Highland Village are very important to our future,” Poag said. “Restaurants create culture. What’s more dominant now are leader-driven concepts, individual concepts that can respond to their individual environment, to their individual community.
The property, located at 1701 Shoal Creek, is comprised of retail stores, restaurants, and an AMC movie theater.
“The pandemic has kind of highlighted why we need to pivot,” said Sean Chatlos, Vice President of AEW.
The stores had previously changed from a flagship store to a local business at the height of the pandemic. During this time, The Shops restaurants became the new mainstays of the retail industry.
Mark Farrell, president of development for Presidium Group, has proposed an apartment complex at The Shops that will have modern amenities and expects residents living in the community to earn an annual salary of at least $80,000. . If the plans are approved, Presidium will be the developer of the proposed apartment complex.
“I know there are concerns about the apartments,” Farrell said. “They are apartments, but they are different. These are not the apartments we grew up in.
Farrell cited resident demographics as well as safety and crime as common apartment stereotypes that have raised concerns. He said the resort aims to attract young, affluent professionals.
The item will need to go through a rezoning application process and return to the planning and zoning commission for potential approval before being presented to city council. No votes were taken at the June 30 meeting.