Articles by

Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson is the condo and HOA columnist for CandysDirt.com, but also covers second home trends on SecondShelters.com. An award-winning columnist, Jon has earned both silver and bronze awards for his columns from the National Association of Real Estate Editors in 2016. When he isn't in Hawaii, Jon enjoys life in the sky in Dallas.

03/28/17 7:30am
Squire and Partners’ Leaf Conceptual High-Rise Generates its Own Electricity

Squire and Partners’ Leaf Conceptual High-Rise Generates its Own Electricity.

Since the days of our 1980s architectural dalliance, I’ve panned 30-plus years of lackluster Dallas building many times. I mean, of Dallas’ tallest 20 buildings, just one … one … has been built since 1988 … what world-class city’s skyline does that?  (Psst … it’s Museum Tower and it’s only 15th tallest.  Pretty sad, eh?) Most recently I urged Pink Wall residents to at least consider throwing some density shekels at a developer who aimed for magnificence. But what do I think is magnificent?

This.

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03/24/17 9:28am

Athena Exterior 1

Yes, I’ve recently written a lot about the Pink Wall (the fire and all) including an Athena double-unit listing at $1.1 million, and normally I’d be loathe to write about the same building so soon, BUT …

Unit 915 at the Athena is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit with 1,543 natural square feet that picks up 230 more feet from an already enclosed balcony.  HOA dues are $1,037 per month but in addition to all the usual high-rise maintenance and such, also includes all utilities, cable TV, and internet.  It’s listed for $249,900 with Diana Boswell of JP & Associates.

That’s $141 per square foot. No high-rise in Dallas is trading at that rate.

Of course there’s a reason.  While the agent says, “With a little bit of TLC…” I’d say, “It’s a dump” … but in a good way.  To a renovator, “It’s a dump” means, “Tell me more.”

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03/22/17 9:39am

Stretford Auction Main

Last August, I wandered out to Tyler to see a high-rise … in Tyler … a high-rise.  I was just as surprised by the prices as I was the location.

Back then prices in the 81-unit tower started at $160 per square foot for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 2,051-square-foot unit.  Flash-forward and now the developer wants to sell off the 10 remaining units at auction.  So if $160 per square foot wasn’t interesting enough, how does $115 sound?

Head over to SecondShelters.com for more.

03/21/17 9:40am
Walls have ears 1

Do the walls have ears? Is your home listening in on you? It might be if you use “smart home” devices, says Jon Anderson. And they could be storing everything.

In Edgar Allen Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart, the writer gets away with murder, boasting at seating detectives above the buried body while being interviewed. Good planning and credible acting were all that were required.

In Arkansas, a murder case is winding through the courts.  Three men watched sports, got drunk, hit the hot tub and the next morning one was dead.  The homeowner is suspected of the killing that he says was an accident that happened while he was sleeping. The homeowner is also a gadget guy with many “smart” appliances attached to the internet.  One is Amazon’s Echo running the Alexa personal assistant (think Siri).

Voice activated devices are like dogs listening to hear “walkies” so they can spring into action. Only unlike dogs, these devices are also recording. Manufacturers say they only record the actual interaction (the question and answer), but honestly, who’s to say?

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03/17/17 12:30pm
fire protection

What a difference 38 years makes

Times change. Accidents happen. We learn. Prior to the 1960s, is was not uncommon for automobile dashboards to be metal and seats to lack seat belts and head support. Similarly, we continue to learn and improve construction materials, techniques, and building codes to make us all safer.

The March 3 tragedy at the Preston Place condos offers an exemplar of some of those changes. Recently, I spoke with Perry Wallace, 30-year construction veteran and VP of Construction for Transwestern and Dallas Fire Department Deputy Chief Michael Price. I wanted to understand the advancements that have been made over the past 38 years since Preston Place was built. Transwestern is currently building the Laurel apartments at the corner of Preston Road and Northwest Highway. Chief Price was the lead firefighter on the Preston Place fire.

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03/15/17 12:30pm

Marathon - View 1

There’s nothing seemingly historic about this duplex penthouse on the 13th and 14th floors of Marathon House, a modern-ish high-rise in London (Map). Thankfully for someone who loves big views, modern buildings are not the issue in London that it can be in Paris where old almost always beats new.

For those not familiar with Marylebone (pronounced Marla-bone), it’s just north of Mayfair and borders the 410-acre Regent’s Park. It’s highly residential and lighter on tourists. But as you can see, it’s still quite close to the action. The tall light slightly left is the Shard while slightly right you can see the arc of the London Eye Ferris wheel. Truly, London is at your feet.

This 4,079-square-foot apartment has four bedrooms and four bathrooms. It’s listed with Simon Tollit and Hannah McDougall of Sotheby’s International Realty for £7.950 million ($9.857 million) which works out to $2,417 per square foot.

I say you’re Sherlock’s neighbor because the closest underground station is Baker Street, which, as fans will recall, is the street Mr. Holmes fictionally lived on…number 221B to be exact. It’s also just down the road from Euston Station, the home of Eurostar where Sharon Quist of Dave Perry-Miller and I alighted from a train to see this beauty (Brits don’t “hop off”).

Head over to SecondShelters.com for more.

 

03/14/17 2:10pm
Bosco 2

Milan, Italy’s award-winning Bosco Verticale homes. Magnificence not seen in Dallas architecture.

Shortly after the deadly March 4 Preston Place fire, I wrote about several options for redevelopment within current restrictions. To recap, Preston Place is within the Planned Development District 15 (PD-15) that is subject to its own development limitations, outside city zoning.

The PD-15 documents were most recently updated to reflect the added units for an unbuilt high-rise on the Preston Place plot in the 1970’s era. Today, it’s those additional 80 units that are available to any lot within PD-15 to increase density, so long as they do not exceed 52.4 “dwelling units” per acre.

After that column ran, one commenter said they’d heard the Preston Place owners were already discussing rebuilding. My answer was that sure, they may rebuild, but it won’t be brick-for-brick the same building. Opening that can of worms with 60 separate owners will result in change. “As long as we’re starting from scratch…” will be the opening of many conversations.

Also, several readers questioned what could happen if a developer went to the neighborhood and city to change the PD-15 documents for expanded growth…and was successful.

A lot.

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03/10/17 1:30pm
”.. a spa? Hotel catering? Daaaang! Walter, Are You Listening?”

.. A spa? hotel catering? “Daaaang! Walter, are you getting this?”

Listening to a representative from the Four Seasons Hotel and Club, Candy realized her  house was missing out on all the amenities the hotel has to offer. Aside from golf, there’s the spa, catering, swimming pools, kids camp, clubhouse for parties, and more.

Many attendees had that same, “Dang my house doesn’t have that” look as they heard about the “surround” provided by Four Seasons. It was the icing on top of the three special homes CandysDirt.com visited last night at the Enclave in Las Colinas.

In case you missed, we’re talking about 4774, 4782 and 4786 Byron Cir. These are three homes facing the 17th hole at the Four Seasons TPC course that’s been home to the Byron Nelson tournament for many years.

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