Not long ago, Downtown Plano was a sleepy, nearly forgotten commercial center of a farming community swept away by Dallas’ suburban expansion. Today, Downtown Plano is experiencing a renaissance and is reemerging as an urban center stimulated, in part, by the coming of the light rail transit service. So far, over 50,000 square feet of private development has occurred, over 1100 urban apartments have been built or approved framing the live-around* footprint, and historic commercial and civic buildings have been restored in the compact 80 acre downtown area.
Despite Plano’s tremendous growth, Downtown Plano has remained largely unchanged. A large amount of existing Downtown buildings remain standing since the “re-build* from the fire of 1896. Many of the businesses stayed consistent throughout the early 1900s, with many of the shops just moving across the street, but remaining in the area. During the 1980s, Downtown changed from a traditional business center to a specialty retail district composed of antique stores and gift and clothing boutiques. During the 90’s, the city began focusing it future to the Historic Downtown area by building its headquarters of city hall, the municipal courthouse, and the Downtown Fire station. In 2002, the DART station at 15th Street began commencing service to Downtown Dallas. In 2007, the existing merchants association of Downtown Plano was reorganized into a not for profit organization named, The Historic Downtown Plano Association with the mission of preserving Downtown Plano’s historic character and embracing its future.
Today, Historic Downtown Plano is urbanizing with new restaurants, retail, office and urban housing. Almost every night of the week, the streets are alive with a variety of activities; there’s something here for everyone! The sky is the limit as Historic Downtown Plano has become a destination to Eat, Play, Shop, and Live.