11/27/15 12:00pm


What are the punch list essentials to take a house from long-term rental to a near immediate sale? Northern Realty Group agent Lisa Logan was presented with just this dilemma. Of course, it’s helpful if the listing is in Fairmount, where demand remains insanely strong and inventory persistently low.


Here is another useful stroke – have a seasoned construction engineer in the family who has worked on some of the highest profile residential projects in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, like the most expensive house for sale in North Texas. (Hint: one of the two billionaire Andy Beal is said to be shopping.) Meet Project 2509 Willing Avenue, a 2,200-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath, 1919 Craftsman. The home just needed some interior refreshing.

“I can’t emphasize the importance of something as basic as a good paint job,” begins Lisa’s husband Shanon Logan. “Just removing the accumulated layers of years of bad paint work and starting fresh does a great deal to improve a first impression.” (more…)

11/27/15 9:00am
The Supernova’s Shape is Controlled via Gestures

The Supernova’s Shape is Controlled via Gestures

Without even knowing it, during my recent European tour, I left a drool trail from one Lasvit light to another. This Prague-based manufacturer carries on a long tradition of Czech glassmaking, supplying kings, czars and emperors. Lasvit, founded more recently by Leon Jakimič in 2007, focused on bespoke lighting and sculptural installations (highfalutin’ words for expensive and jaw-dropping).

Jakimič is a little different in utilizing in-house and external designers to create their statement pieces. None of the names likely mean anything to CandysDirt.com readers, but Nendo, Ross Lovegrove, Daniel Libeskind, Maarten Baas, Czech legends René Roubíček and Bořek Šípek are among their crew. Let’s just say these artists are well represented in the museums of Europe and the world. The company was also awarded the Harper’s Bazaar 2015 Best Lighting Brand just last month.

Specifically, Petra Krausova’s “Supernova” was awarded the first prize. This undulating design, lit from above and comprising hundreds of individual pieces of glass connected by wire to an intricate series of motors that glide the sculpture into unending forms. Wires raise, lower and tilt each glass “tile” using gesture control. It’s not hard to see why this took the prize. While the artist envisions this lighting sculpture for a large public space, I’m sure smaller versions could be commissioned for those blessed with the budget.


The contemporary home at 2 Spyglass Ct. in Frisco is one of five featured in our open house round-up this week.

The contemporary home at 2 Spyglass Ct. in Frisco is one of five featured in our open house round-up this week.

The weekend after Thanksgiving is light for real estate open houses, but there are still some open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday worth a visit.

We’ve rounded up five that are sure to please. They range in price from $225,ooo to $1.01 million, and this time, we’ve included a few way out in the ‘burbs. Let us know what you think of our choices, and if you know of any we should feature next week!


11/26/15 11:42am

Lake Highlands EstatesHappy Thanksgiving! Before you begin your holiday feasting, feast your eyes on our Thursday Three Hundred, a cul-de-sac cutie in Lake Highlands Estates.

The home at 9723 Lanward Cir., near Walnut Hill Lane and Plano Road, is a 4-2 with 1,934 square feet, built in 1960. It’s been recently renovated with lots of bells and whistles, including big kitchen and bathroom renovations. Lake Highlands EstatesThis home is zoned for Wallace Elementary, which earns a 7 out of 10 from GreatSchools.org. This is a big selling point for families looking in this area.

It was listed Nov. 12 by Kerry Slaughter with Paradise Slaughter Real Estate for $375,000, reduced on the 20th to $365,000.


11/26/15 9:00am


This year’s ABPA Homes for the Holidays home tour is a bit more tightly curated than in years past, with four amazing homes to enjoy from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. next Friday, Dec. 4. This annual home tour is a huge fundraiser for the Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association, and has brought in more than $675,000 for kindergarten and first-grade classes at the two elementary schools serving Highland Park. Now that’s something to be thankful for! Check out this video about what ABPA does for neighborhood schools!

Our favorite house on this year’s tour is a lovely cottage on Drexel Drive with a spacious front porch. It looks like it would be at home in New Orleans’ Garden District, with rows of French Doors and a lovely, bursting landscape. We caught up with the McClung family, owners of this Creole beauty, and asked them a few questions about their adorable abode.

Jump for a little teaser ahead of what is going to be a fabulous home tour!


11/25/15 1:20pm
The dining room at Champ d'Or could definitely host a crowd.

The dining room at Champ d’Or could definitely host a crowd.

I know this is last minute, but this is something that tugs at our heartstrings! A very high-profile local celebrity whom we absolutely cannot name wants to host a memorable Thanksgiving dinner for toddlers, children and teens placed in the conservatorship of the Department of Family Protective Services, as well as single mothers who might not otherwise be able to put dinner on the table. And he needs your help!

They are looking for:

1) A large luxury estate in the Dallas area to host about 200 people for dinner.

2) The celebrity hosting the dinner is also looking for a larger home, so a house that is on the market that could also host the dinner and be featured as a potential purchase is ideal.


“The event will go from 3pm to 6pm and we have a $2 million insurance policy for any venue,” says the rep.  “We would want to start setting up at 10 am.”

The dining room in the main house at Walnut Place could host an elegant Thanksgiving dinner for all.

The dining room in the main house at Walnut Place could host an elegant Thanksgiving dinner for all.

The first properties we can think of would be Walnut Place, the Trammell Crow Estate, Lisa Blue Baron’s estate on Deloache or perhaps even Champ d’Or. What about you?


11/25/15 10:54am


No shocker there — the billionaire banker is worth about 11.7 billion, which is plenty of cheese to plunk down on the $100 million Hicks estate Walnut Place on Walnut Hill Lane OR the $46 million estate of Trammell Crow on Preston Road. (It has been reduced from $59.356 million, not sure Steve got that message.) Two entirely different properties. And money is no object. And Beal’s freaking young, age 62. Still single, far as I know.

The Hicks estate, is turn-key ready: it’s an historic home of 27,000 plus square feet that was meticulously renovated with every attention to detail. There are seven bedrooms plus a 3,000 square foot master and quite honestly, you could live just in the master and mistress’s closets, though the separate entertainment house (which houses the theater) is one of my personal favorites.

The Crow estate at 4500 Preston Road is one of the largest properties in Highland Park, and while the home is exceedingly grand, it might need a little renovation. Which would give the new owners a chance to make their own imprint and statement upon the house — choose their own designers, architects, etc. You simply cannot beat the property or location. We are talking 6+ acres in the heart of one of the nation’s most desirable communities with almost guaranteed home values, security and schools. In 1906, when HP began, only 5 multi-acre sites were created on Preston Rd overlooking Turtle Creek: this Tudor home designed in 1912 was one of them. It has only had 3 owners. The grounds include a century-old tree.Crow Estate (more…)

11/25/15 10:36am
Photo: Google Maps

1401 Elm as it looks today. Even though developers started some work on the skyscraper, redevelopment efforts ground to a halt last week and lenders are forcing a foreclosure auction. Photo: Google Maps

Last week, we told you about the mess happening at 1401 Elm, a landmark $240 million redevelopment deal in downtown Dallas facing forced foreclosure after a developer pulled out.

The city of Dallas had committed $50 million in economic incentives to further progress. But with of the departure of New York-based Olympic Property Partners from the project, early lenders, who shelled out $53.5 million in loans to start redevelopment efforts, are forcing a foreclosure sale Dec. 1.

Rendering courtesy of Olympic Property

City leaders say they’re still committed to the redevelopment of 1401 Elm. Rendering courtesy of Olympic Property

But city officials say they feel compelled to try and help the skyscraper. The deal is considered to be a major milestone in downtown Dallas’ forward progress, and they reiterated their support for the planned mixed-use redevelopment project, which was supposed to create a combination of commercial space and apartments.

“We are absolutely committed to the redevelopment of the 1401 building, but will need to see how the ownership situation shakes out before making a specific recommendation to the city council,” Karl Zavitkovsky, directory of the Office of Economic Development, told Steve Brown of the Dallas Morning News. “The good news from the city’s perspective is that almost all the environmental mitigation and interior demolition is completed. Redevelopment of 1401 Elm remains a high priority for the city.”