Hicks Main House- Front
It is almost impossible to describe what it feels like to actually visit Walnut Place, the former Crespi Estate, as it was christened by owners Thomas O. and Cinda Hicks. But we were fortunate indeed to tour the 35,275 square foot (67,689 including terraces) estate for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The most expensive home in Dallas is now on the market with both Allie Beth Allman and David Nichols of the brokerage bearing Allie Beth’s name. The home had previously been marketed by Doug Newby, who’s methodology had been to keep it highly exclusive and restrictive — few Dallas area agents were actually ever inside the home. That could be because Doug thought the buyer would come from outside of Dallas. He did have the estate plastered on every private jet publication out there. Until now, it has not been in the MLS.

Last Thursday, the extraordinary Preston Hollow estate was opened to the agents of Allie Beth Allman to tour for the very first time. Everyone was absolutely breathless. The drive-up as you turn into the graceful private gates at 10000 Hollow Way is more like driving through the French countryside to a fabulous chateaux deep in the heart of the forest. You are on 25.25 acres but you are seconds from the Dallas North Tollway entrance and about a seven minute drive to downtown Dallas with minimum traffic. Office in Preston Center and you could even walk –it’s 4 miles!

Hicks 10000HollowWay18L

The drive splits, forking to the right and left. The two circles culminate in the entrance to the crushed limestone auto courtyard. It is here the original Crespi Estate, designed by Maurice Fatio, was situated on the rambling acreage for the best possible siting: the drive pulls you into another world of pastoral escape, all of which is viewable from the estate. The estate overlooks a forest of trees and a creek which runs through the property. There are meadows and trails, a year-round pond, a helipad with a lighted landing pad that is covered with grass when not in use to maintain the natural aesthetic. There are two courtyards lined with 16 magnolia trees each, a greenhouse, formal rose garden, lighted tennis court, and a 1500 foot deep well was drilled on the property and that water is then purified to water the estate grounds.

You enter the estate though an ornamental steel front door. You will enter into the original Crespi estate that was built in 1938. The addition, completed by John Sebastian, flows completely seamlessly from the original mansion to the new. I’m told the Hicks did not just add more limestone to their exterior renovation, they went to the actual quarry in Indiana that had supplied the original limestone back in the 1930’s. They re-opened it and excavated stone from the same terra for the absolute utmost chance of a perfect match. Stones, as you know, can be like fabrics and no two are ever 100% alike. A Corian technique of light sandblasting was used to match the new Indiana limestone to the old original, perhaps remove the “newness”.

The home is amazingly balanced and perfectly symmetrical. It begins with the marble floored gallery hall running the girth of the main house. (more…)


Sounds like a cool new class in law school, right? Sort of like “Ethics and the Law” or “Animals and the Law.” Shockingly, it’s not a class at all but reality for the popular former Dean of SMU’s Dedman School of Law (1998-2013) and current Judge William Hawley Atwell Chair of Constitutional Law and Professor of Law, John B. Attanasio. Professor Attanasio, 60, was arrested on a prostitution charge and booked into the Collin County Jail early this past Sunday. (more…)

Mary Kay mansion extUpdate: Spoke to Karen, who tells me this listing has had interest from all sorts of peeps ranging from a high of Mehrdad Moayedi, who could certainly afford it ON TOP of the Phil Romano home on Strait Lane, to a reverend from California who wanted to buy it and turn it into a pink church because he felt the house was a portal into the (pink?) fifth dimension. Chant with me now, HMMMMMMMM. A church on Douglas? Correct that: a church north of the church on Douglas? Boy, talk about how big the cow neighbors would be having. Which reminds me. The buyer does not, to Karen’s knowledge, own a major sports team. And he plans to keep the house after a renovation, maybe turn around and sell it again? And Karen has the neighbor’s backs: she told the good reverend she did not think the neighbors would appreciate the parking mess from a pink church. Guess he’s off seeking another portal. I still think 8915 Douglas is a Dallas icon.

What this means is that someone has put a contract on the home with an option to buy it. That option is until March 1, 2015. This is incredible news for the home, the owner, and the agent, darling Karen Luter, who has worked her fingers to the bones on this listing and gosh dang she has had it listed since February of 2012. And we have written about it since the beginning of time! Mary Kay Ash, who founded the amazing multi-level marketing cosmetics empire, bought the home from the builder while it was under construction.  She had moved out of the mansion to her other Dallas home off Boedecker prior to her death in 1981 2001.

The current owner is an OB/GYN physician, Dr. Karen Gillum, who lived in the home for more than 15 years. The poor mansion is now vacant and ready for some love, just in time for Valentines Day! (more…)

Deion's front

Photo: Shoot2Sell

Well this is a surprise. We told you, as we were told back in late November, that Deion Sander’s palatial 29,000 square foot estate sold at the November 18 Concierge auction up at 1280 Preston Road in Prosper for under $4 million.

Turns out the property is still available.

“The buyer can’t perform,” says agent Jonathan Rosen with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, but no fear: ” we are working with another buyer currently.”

Maybe someone shopping for Christmas? This happens: Deion’s signature estate is available with 9.5 ish acres (checking my last post to be sure…  ) and there were another 24 acres as a sort of buffer that were/are available to an interested buyer.

Previously marketed for $21 million, for the house plus 109 acres, Sanders’ home and land was valued at just more than $11.7 million by the Collin County  Central Appraisal District. The home has just about everything a professional athlete or the emperor of a small country could want, including a football field, tennis court, pools (one a lagoon-style), a 12-acre lake, basketball court, gym, barber shop, arcade, bowling alley, a guest house, and a huge theater/screening room, and sauna. There’s also an awards gallery, but the new owner could repurpose that as a wine tasting room or art gallery maybe? Who knows! The 29,000 square foot home contains ten bedrooms and ten bathrooms, a commercial-grade kitchen, and soaring two-story foyer. The master closet is the size of most people’s apartments, actually bigger, and there is a sunken sauna tub in the master bath. Don’t forget the turn-table floor in the foyer to the master bedroom. 

Deion Sanders master bath (more…)

Dave PM house

In an interview with darling Margaux Anbouba over at D Home — who I will always love because she was in court with me, as a reporter, and as confused as I was —  our Dave Perry-Miller talks about how he got into real estate (he was 6) and his deep, long time love of homes and real estate. What he didn’t tell Margaux is about his many second homes across the U.S.

Well, I will spill the beans: Dave has a home in Nantucket, and house in Virginia built in 1929 that is on the National Historic Landmark, the same designation that Mount Vernon has. (That Mount Vernon, not our’s.) He also has had a home in Palm Springs, Arizona and Bisbee Arizona. At one point I teased him about having a key party: throw all those keys into the middle of the room and let us pick which one we want to stay at! (more…)

4459 Lena extI don’t know if thinking about how big and scary Igor Olshansky looked when he played for the Dallas Cowboys, with those tattoos and all, can make us feel any better about last night’s tragic game. Oh. My. God. 20 to 17 in OVERTIME!

Igor is selling his Irving home in Fairway Vista. Maybe if you buy it, it will bring some magic football fairy dust to the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday. (more…)

Deion Sanders rear exterior Oh boy, I guess that bed is included. We so predicted this, didn’t we?

Now it’s official: former Dallas Cowboys football star and perpetual Dallas legend  Deion Sanders‘ Prosper estate — the one sold to  Bloomfield Homes, Inc. out of Southlake — will head to the auction block with ZERO reserve on November 18.  ZERO! The deal will be done with super agent Jonathan Rosen of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty. Oh and the place has a name now: Lone Star on Preston. Kind of a nice ring, no?

Deion-Sanders-19.jpg-Candy-bed (2) (more…)