Jun. 12, 2018 by Amy Wolff Sorter, DFW Real Estate Review

Fehmi Karahan and the Legacy Developments

The following article originally appeared in the Spring 2018 edition of the DFW Real Estate Review. An excerpt has been reprinted below.

When Dallas-area developer Fehmi Karahan first shopped around the subject of a mixed-use component in West Plano’s Legacy area, he was greeted with skeptics. Critics dissed his idea of an open-air retail center within striking distance of the Shops at Willow Bend (Plano) and Stonebriar Mall (Frisco), both of which were being planned.

Additionally, “When I first started in 1998, my lender didn’t want to underwrite the office component,” said Karahan, who is president and CEO of Karahan Cos. Some 20 years later, things are much different. Karahan’s mixed-use Legacy West has been an undeniable success. And the open-air center — Shops at Legacy — has silenced critics; it’s been a good amenity draw for companies such as Toyota and FedEx, to name a few.

Karahan shared his story and experiences with participants at The Real Estate Council’s “Market Matters: Mixed-Use Summit,” which took place in February. In an interview with Greg Kraus, Invesco Real Estate Acquisitions Group Managing Director, Karahan discussed his upbringing in Istanbul, Turkey, and how it formulated the open-air marketplace idea that would eventually be the hallmarks of both the Shops at Legacy and Legacy West.

“When you live in Istanbul, you see pedestrian-friendly environments everywhere,” he told Kraus.

“I thought I could create a place to help people do both—shop and eat—and put in a pedestrian-friendly, inviting environment.”

You may continue reading this article here or check out the print edition below.

People like watching people, Karahan went on to say; they don’t, for example, like to eat in empty restaurants. “Growing up in Istanbul, I thought about all of this,” he said. “I wanted to bring an alternative to the closed-in mall, with beautiful landscaped trees and outdoor cafes.”

You may continue reading this article here or check out the print edition below.

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