08/31/15 3:49pm
Ready to move to Plano for the amazing schools? You should consider this listing from Vivo Realtor Bonnie Ottosen.

Ready to move to Plano for the amazing schools? You should consider this listing at 7209 Fair Valley Way from Vivo Realtor Bonnie Ottosen.

Of course a Collin County town made Movoto’s list of top 10 suburbs for schools. But Plano? I was betting on Frisco, Allen, or McKinney for that, but good ol’ Plano was the only suburb in Collin County — and in Texas, for that matter — in the top 10. The next highest ranking Texas town was Cedar Park at 14, followed by League city at 16 and Round Rock at 17. You can read the full list here.

You’re probably wondering about what makes Plano so great for education. Me, too. Plano was measured against its peer towns by student-teacher ratio, money spent per year per student, high school graduation rate, and GreatSchools.org rating (which is sometimes off-based). Here’s what Movoto said:

If you’re surprised to see Plano, TX on our list, well, you must not live here. Locals know that this Dallas suburb receives high marks pretty much across the board—it’s affluent, safe, and,according to these numbers, an all-star student.

Not only did Plano have one of the lowest student-teacher ratios of 14 to 1, but it also had a high school graduation rate of 94 percent and some of the highest test scores in the nation.

Well, well, well. Congrats, Plano. What do you think of the ranking?

The 10 Best Suburbs For Education By Movoto Real Estate

08/31/15 2:26am

10300 Strait Lane ext

Comes word that the tear down of the Bud Oglesby home at 10300 Strait came sooner rather than later.

In fact, she is gone, her body laid to a fitful rest somewhere in Lewisville …

Bud O 1

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08/29/15 6:14pm
The Art Deco exterior of the 508 Park building.

The Art Deco exterior of the 508 Park building before restoration. Its architecture is considered an excellent example of a Zig Zag Moderne building. Photo: Encore Park

You probably never noticed the boarded-up tan brick building near Park and Young streets in downtown Dallas. It sat abandoned for two decades, its sidewalks littered with trash and walls vandalized with graffiti.

But behind the grime and neglect, there was a story of intersecting histories waiting to be told.

This Art Deco structure, called 508 Park, was once the hub of the local music scene. Mississippi Delta blues legend Robert Johnson recorded nearly half his songs, as well as his final work, in 1937. In fact, over 800 blues, jazz, western swing, and Mexican recordings occurred at 508 Park by Johnson and other legends such as Gene Autry, Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, Light Crust Doughboys, and Lolo Cavasos.

Blues legend Robert Johnson whose final recordings were at Encore Parrk's 508 Park. Photo: Encore Park

Blues legend Robert Johnson, whose final recordings were at Encore Parrk’s 508 Park. Photo: Encore Park

The Stewpot of First Presbyterian Church across the street purchased 508 Park in 2011. Thanks to their efforts, as well as dedicated preservationists, historians, architects, and volunteers, this architecturally significant building is singing again.

The campus, known as Encore Park, is a multi-phased, multi-venue campus that aims to bring all cultures together to experience and appreciate history, art, music, and community gardening.

Pat Bywaters is executive director of Encore Park Dallas and grandson of influential Texas artist and “Dallas Nine” member Jerry Bywaters. He’s been spearheading the research into 508’s history, visiting archives in California, Louisiana, and New York.

“I love doing research, and I’ve always loved history. As soon as we looked into 508, the music history came flooding,” Bywaters said. “The Encore Park project preserves not only the architectural relic, but a special place and time in Dallas’ history.”

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08/28/15 3:45pm
One Perfect Room

The Library: One Perfect Room

“Ritz” has been transformed from name to noun by the opulence found in César Ritz and Auguste Escoffier’s Hôtel Ritz on the Place Vendôme since 1898 in Paris. The world has changed as lot since then, but Ritz is still a brand associated with timeless opulence, something we can see today in Penthouse 2200 at Dallas’ Ritz Residences. Neighbor and Realtor Sharon Quist and Kathy Myers of Dave Perry Miller are the agents skilled enough to market this incredible penthouse owned by billionaire Trevor Rees-Jones.

* The word “penthouse” traces its lineage back to the French “apentiz” of the 1520s, meaning to append or hang against. Literally a house that was appended to another structure. The English Middle-English-ized the word to “pentis.” (so 500-years later, together with Freud, I could pull off my double entendre title!)

By now, you know me. When looking around most homes, I tend to see projects. You know, those nagging, “Oh no they di’int” moments. Not this time. In this $8.5-million penthouse, my pickiness has met its match.

The library (pictured above) is one example of how to create a perfect room. Far from the largest room in this 5,666-square-foot home, the library oozes comfort and peace wrapped in killer views of the Dallas skyline with terrace access. Some would say my testosterone is talking. And I suppose with its wood-paneled walls and ceiling, it’s a tad more butch than the “Hers” master bath. However, with an amazing use of lighting, it’s far from the oppressive, dark, Chesterfield-lined smoking-hall that’s such a stereotypical turn-off to the ladies. Add a fridge and a toilet and I’d move in.

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08/28/15 2:00pm
Transwestern Meeting 1

Steve Rudner, concerned homeowner

Update 6:34 p.m: Lee Kleinman tells me that the Rudners sent flowers to his office staff. Now that’s the Preston Hollow way!

If the last meeting in Fellowship Hall at Park Cities Baptist Church was leaning more towards conciliation, it was back to square one Thursday night. This was a different group, a crowd comprised of more single family homeowners, about 66 in number, from Del Norte and north, Preston east to Hillcrest. These were residents concerned for their property values and the traffic in their neighborhood many believe will be diverted and choke their streets. In the words of Realtor extraordinaire Steve Collins: “traffic is like water: it flows to the path of least resistance.”

Easy program: Lee Kleinman introduced, Transwestern spoke, and the audience had questions, lots of questions. First up was Steve Rudner, a resident on Woodland, who was promptly scolded by Lee Kleinman for being quite rude to his staff. After learning that the luxury apartment project had not been ditched, Steve apparently made some angry calls to City Hall.

But tonight, Rudner was direct and smooth, and seemed to know not of what he did.

“I thought we made it clear with our signs and outcry last year that we are opposed to this zoning change,” he said. “The burden should not be on the residents. We do not support a project that does not comply with the current zoning restrictions.”

Transwestern Steve Rudner

Steve Ridner, concerned homeowner

After he spoke, there was applause. (more…)

08/28/15 12:33pm

IMG_3508

Isn’t he adorable? This, ladies and gentlemen, is Ryan Schwartz, an up-and-coming Realtor with Rogers Healy and Associates. Not only is this guy whip smart, but he’s generous and friendly, too.

In fact, Schwartz has a certain je ne sais quoi that reminds us a lot of Jeff Lindigrin at Great Western Home Loans. What has your lender done for you lately? Find out what you’re missing by getting in touch with Jeff Lindigrin of Great Western Home Loans today.

Jump to to find out what career Schwartz would pursue if he wasn’t a Realtor. You’ll never guess!

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08/28/15 10:48am

3308 Throckmorton Front

There’s a lot to love about townhomes, especially when they’re in a prime location like Cedar Springs. You get your own garage space, perfect for storing your car and bike and maybe even a scooter, as well as plenty of outdoor living areas. But there’s a sticking point for me that has long been a turnoff to townhomes and condos: homeowners associations.

After reading Jon Anderson’s many columns on the issues, I’ve decided that HOAs just aren’t for me. Unfortunately, that means most townhomes and condos are also not for me. However, there is one great property that is in a fantastic location — right near Cedar Springs and Douglas Avenue — that is completely HOA free and ready for your personal touches!

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08/28/15 1:41am

Dirt on Preston dirt 2

I thought this was interesting. Up at Preston/Royal we are finally recuperating from the road repair that blocked off at least one lane for several months. I came home from Maine and PRESTO, they were done.

But now comes the landscaping topsoil for a home under construction on the corner of Preston and (I think) Burgundy: guy dumps about a quarter of the rich topsoil on the street! This guy!

Dirt on Preston 3
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