08/26/16 9:24pm

Lakeside Tower

Two weeks ago we took you to the extreme west of Tarrant County, to the rich ranch lands of Aledo. So what lies in the easternmost corner of Tarrant County? Parts of Flower Mound. Residents of Dallas and Fort Worth may have a fuzzy impression of Flower Mound, perhaps recalling the area as horse country with huge gated mansions. Forbes ranks the community as the third wealthiest community in North Texas, with higher per capita household incomes than Highland Park. No wonder, then, that the luxurious new vertical homes at Lakeside Tower on Lake Grapevine are selling quickly even before one spade of dirt has been turned. (more…)

08/26/16 3:34pm


Can you imagine how gut wrenching it would be to completely transform a home from dilapidated to delectable only to turn around and sell it? I don’t think I have the courage to do it, but I have to applaud John Debner, who has listed his incredible Hollywood Heights home at 502 Newell with Dallas City Center Realtor Britt Lopez.

“He bought it and did the add-on renovation in 2005,” Lopez said. “It was a big project, and at the end he had forgotten to budget in the landscaping.”

So, Debner, being resourceful, decided to delve into gardening full steam. He did all of the work himself.

“He has worked on this yard lovingly for over 10 years and it is the crown jewel of the home,” Lopez added. “My open house last weekend had so many neighbors come through that wanted to get up close and personal to the garden that they have seen from the street for years.”


I have to say that, from the curb, the landscaping and elevation of this quaint bungalow in one of Dallas’ most popular conservation districts is absolutely incredible. The volume, texture, and color strikes the perfect balance against the painted brick exterior and neutral trim. Debner noted that, during the exterior renovation, part of the home had been painted turquoise. It’s definitely a more tasteful color now.


08/26/16 1:43pm


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More than 200 attendees made their way to King of Glory Lutheran Church to hear a panel discussion hosted by CandysDirt.com about the future of Fair Park. (Photos: Lisa Stewart Photography)

Despite a last minute venue change (I’ll let Candy ‘splain that, it’s a lulu) more than 200 concerned Dallasites slipped under LBJ last night to hear a qualified panel of speakers add their voice to others dismayed by the runaway freight train the Fair Park redevelopment plan is on.

For those who missed, Candy led a panel that included:

Don Williams, former CEO of Trammell Crow Founder of Foundation for Community Empowerment, Frazier Revitalization Inc., and the Institute for Urban Policy Research at the University of Texas. For this work, he received the prestigious Dallas Linz Award.
Byron Carlock, Head of Price Waterhouse Coopers’ U.S. real estate practice. He works on strategic planning and property transactions including capital formation and business plan execution. He’s a process and implementation guy with an MBA from Harvard.
State Rep. Eric Johnson, for District 100 is the vice chair of the House Committee on Economic and Small Business Development. He’s also a Harvard graduate.
Angela Hunt, a previous Dallas City Council member who, in 2010, was awarded the Virginia MacDonald Leadership Award leadership by the League of Women Voters of Dallas.
Jon Anderson, lil’ old me.

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Jon Anderson, Candy Evans, Byron Carlock, Angela Hunt, Eric Johnson, and Don Williams

We may have been in a church, but there was no bully pulpit employed, no whine-a-thon. I opened my comments with what I feared could be a quote from our future, ”

“In the three years since the Mayor announced a plan to transform a derelict downtown rail yard into a dazzling park for the new millennium, the project has turned into an expensive public-works debacle that can be traced to haphazard planning, design snafus and cronyism.” – Chicago Tribune comment as Millennium Park opened four years late and costs soared from $150 million to $475 million.

As such, “Concerned” was the most often used word of the evening.  We were concerned about:

  • The lack of public input in the plan
  • The lack of contract and financial transparency
  • The lack of dialogue (we’ve been lectured to, not involved)
  • The lack of a “request for proposal” process to seek and understand other options
  • The lack of rigid, pro-city contract language
  • The lack of contingency planning (what happens when — not if — it goes over budget?)
  • The disconnect between what’s needed and what’s funded

I will preface by saying that hours before our gathering, Preservation Dallas sent an invitation to the City Council’s session on Monday.  Within that notice were two links.  One was to an art-filled presentation from May that has DRAFT watermarked on most pages.  The second was the management contract with Walt Humann’s Fair Park Texas Foundation.

The management contract has been updated since the highly edited DRAFT version was approved by the Parks Board. Some things, like the 6- to 7-acre community park now have a hard date for its construction (dependent on 2017 bond money). There is a small addition of Minority and Women Business Enterprises (MWBE) support. So, there has been some listening going on.  But it’s still troubling that the Parks Board approved what could only be described as a work in progress.  It’s a point I made several times last night. What sane business would proceed with a DRAFT contract for a 30-year investment plan?  None.  And yet, here we are, asking Parks Board and Dallas City Council to vote on just such a document.


08/26/16 9:50am
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Former Dallas City Council member Angela Hunt urges attendees at the #DecisionFairPark panel discussion to contact their representatives in an effort to slow down the process of approving the Fair Park takeover by a private nonprofit. (Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography)

Last night’s #DecisionFairPark panel discussion was a great opportunity to find out why some informed Dallasites are up in arms over the proposal to hand over all 277 acres of Fair Park to a private nonprofit. The panel, moderated by our own publisher Candy Evans and featuring Foundation for Community Empowerment founder Don Williams, State Rep. Eric Johnson, real estate expert Byron Carlock, former Dallas City Council member Angela Hunt, and CandysDirt.com columnist Jon Anderson, was both lively and interesting.

If you weren’t able to attend, we videoed and streamed the discussion live on the CandysDirt.com Facebook page. Be sure to give us a follow to stay informed on the biggest issues affecting Dallas real estate. Thanks to our good friends at Rocketbrand:Rocketbrand


08/25/16 2:38pm
The Deep Ellum district in downtown Dallas is home to a vibrant arts and entertainment scene. Photo: Steve Rainwater via Creative Commons

The Deep Ellum district in downtown Dallas is home to a vibrant arts and entertainment scene. Photo: Steve Rainwater via Creative Commons

We used to hear it all the time: “Nobody lives in downtown Dallas!

Well, that’s definitely not true anymore. In fact, Realtor.com has noticed the upswing in residential occupancy in downtown Dallas, ranking our urban core as the No. 3 fastest-growing neighborhood in America.

But what areas do Realtor.com count as “downtown Dallas”?


08/25/16 11:53am

8600 Douglas Exterior

If Preston Hollowers felt a disturbance in The Force in June, it was likely the transfer of the latest Preston Hollow estate near Northwest Highway and Preston Road to Mark Cuban.  The billionaire continues his crusade to own the entire northwest quadrant of that intersection.

The property at 8600 Douglas Avenue is the former home of Dallas personal injury attorney Andrew Sommerman.  It was last listed for sale at $4.25 million by Dave Perry-Miller’s Gianna Cerullo.  The home was sold on June 3 for $4.15 million. Ever accurate, DCAD values the home at just $2.813 million after a 5.5 percent rise in 2016, its first since construction. The buyer’s agent was a non-MLS member, likely an attorney.

The 7,169-square-foot David Stocker-designed home (and quarters … and tennis court) was built in 2013 by Tatum Brown and contains four bedrooms and four full baths plus two half baths.  It sits on a 1.76 acre lot.

Shortly after the deed transfer, the home was relisted by Cerullo as a rental for the princely sum of $22,000 per month.  Truthfully, I was going to automatically write that this was the most expensive rental in Dallas because … it just had to be, right? Nope. Checking the MLS, I see it’s only the second most expensive rental in town, falling $500 per month behind 5138 Deloache’s $22,500 per month … one of three rentals currently in the $20K-plus-per-month club.


5102 Lakehill IHOTW
What does this gorgeous Inwood Meadows Estate at 5102 Lakehill Court have in common with the George W. Bush Presidential Library, The American Airlines Center, and Booker T. Washington High School?

5102 Lakehill Court

It was originally built in 1984 for Mr. and Mrs. C. Dewitt Brown Jr. Brown was the founder of Dee Brown Inc., one of the largest commercial masonry contractors in the country. Their projects include all of the aforementioned buildings, as well as almost every building you’ve ever heard of. So, when the man that started an award-winning masonry company built his own home, he built it to last — for centuries.