04/23/14 1:51pm

4242 Lomo Alto Dining

Every time I see an incredible condo swathed in white carpet and upholstery, I always think about how I could never live there because folks, I am accident prone and I love red wine. When I bought my first nice piece of furniture (an antique cane-back chair with gorgeous blue and white damask upholstery) I was so afraid to sit in it because I couldn’t bear the thought of staining it. It has since been reupholstered with a lovely cocoa nubby linen, with a liberal coat of Scotchgard.

But what I wouldn’t give to live in our lease of the week, a divine penthouse in Highland Park’s Crestmark condos. Unit 112 is simply ethereal, and the views are unmatched! You can lease it for a tidy $6,000 a month through Allie Beth Allman herself.

(more…)

04/23/14 11:39am

photo (32)

When I arrived at the Boy Scout Hill town hall meeting, there was a line forming out the door from a table handing out green lapel ribbons and thumbs up/down signs for attendees. According to a volunteer named Susan at the table, the ribbons showed support for an unsullied Boy Scout Hill, while the signs were for attendees to use to quietly indicate whether they liked or disliked what presenters Lyle Burgin and Richard Kopf had to say. I have covered town hall meetings before, so I know they can get out of hand quite quickly, but this level of preparedness left me hopeful.

(more…)

04/23/14 10:42am

Transwestern Landscape-site-plan-Preston-and-Northwest-Highway-575x337Transwestern says it understand how precious this area is, the gateway to Preston Hollow, and they plan to do it justice. During the last five months they have met with more than 500 neighbors living near the proposed development, and they want to continue working with them in the months ahead.They have made numerous concessions including density reduction,  296 units to 220; height reduction from 8 stories to 6, with that tallest of the structures limited to the far corner of Preston and Northwest Highway; as I reported last week, balconies will be “false” on the entire east side so residents won’t loiter on them. Transwestern is requiring a strict PDF for the area, including 6-foot wide sidewalks when only 4-foot wide is required, green space beyond what code requires, public art, and no efficiency apartments. The smallest units will be 1,000 square feet.  All parking will be underground and meet code requirement of one space per bedroom in unit.

As for traffic, Transwestern apparently got a study from Kimlsey-Horn that concluded the development can be integrated into the surrounding roadway network with some changes to increase capacity at the turning lanes. (more…)

04/22/14 10:21pm

8915 Douglas ext 2I cannot believe that this home is still, STILL, on the market. The agent, Karen Luter, is one of the hardest working agents in town, a genius who has marketed her fingers to the bone for 8915 Douglas. It’s the home of a Dallas icon for Lord’s sake, and now it has been reduced AGAIN to $2,799,999 from an original high of $3,300,000, which had been lowered to $2,990,999. I mean, what gives. Brian Hagan tells me that dirt is now running at $2,500,000 per acre in the honeypot. This property backs to the Dallas North Tollway has one house buffering it from the North Dallas Tollway, but you are getting 1.050 acres, so who cares? Located on a delicious part of Douglas your neighbors are: Angel Rangel, Baxter Brinkman x three, Lawrence Wolfish, and EyeMart Express honcho Dr.  Douglas Barnes, who has the best-looking grass on the street. It’s fake, and I love it! (more…)

04/22/14 3:58pm

BoyScoutHillSigns1

As it turns out, I drove by Boy Scout Hill almost every single day and I didn’t even know it. Hailed as “virgin Blackland Prairie” and as a habitat for wildlife surrounding White Rock Lake, this hill is at the southwest corner of Mockingbird and Buckner Boulevard, just before the overpass to Old Lake Highlands and Peavy Road.

But after plans came to light that nearby residents and developers Lyle Burgin and Richard Kopf wanted to build a restaurant and parking lot on Boy Scout Hill, nearby residents objected in the way they usually do — signs were printed and placed in front yards all over neighborhoods surrounding White Rock Lake, protests and pickets were organized, and a website was constructed.

(more…)

04/22/14 3:09pm

6933 Wake Forrest Front

According to Vishaan Chakrabarti’s essay in last Sunday’s Dallas Morning News Points section, America has an addiction to suburbs that isn’t sustainable, and as more young people move back into the urban core, the federal government will need to de-emphasize its policies that have propagated suburban sprawl:

For all of the attention showered on hipster enclaves like Brooklyn’s Williamsburg and Portland, Ore., America is only in the beginning stages of a historic urban reordering. After over a half-century of depopulation, cities have been filling up — and not just with young millennials, but with families and even with older workers and retirees.

This reordering, should it continue, will have dramatic consequences for our politics and society — but only if the federal government undertakes its own historic reordering and shifts its priorities away from promoting the suburbs.

Interesting thoughts. A lot of the “reordering” Chakrabarti describes is illustrated well by Dallas’ booming inside-the-loop neighborhoods, places where you can buy a home inside the city limits and have only a 20 minute commute to downtown. But these are places where you can still enjoy things like a lawn, great neighbors, and some room to breathe. It’s a contrast to Chakrabarti’s vision of city life, which is dense, mass-transit-infused, and walkable.

But make no mistake, these areas are still very much Dallas, and there are some benefits to living inside LBJ despite the suburban feel that crosses into anathema for those new urbanists. Take University Terrace, for example.

(more…)