Preston Tower - Small

About a week ago I wrote about a lawsuit filed by an owner at Preston Tower against the HOA and Intercity Investments (ICI).  The case came about after a catastrophic flood in the building resulting from a blown water booster pump on the penthouse level that sent water cascading throughout the building.

It was decided by the HOA and their management company that the costs to repair damages to individual units was to be passed on to individual’s homeowner’s policies instead of making a large claim against the building’s blanket insurance policy.  Court documents show an email from the building’s insurance company to the HOA board and Intercity Investments suggesting the move to avoid paying the building’s $25,000 deductible.

See this partial email from Rod Medlin of Scarbrough-Medlin Insurance:


Preston Tower - Small

Do homeowners’ associations (HOAs) have the ability or right to hold their buildings blameless when an accident occurs that the building is admittedly responsible for?  At first blush, I’d have thought that they were on the hook.  After all, part of what homeowners pay in HOA dues goes towards funding large insurance policies for just such occurrences.  I’d have also thought they couldn’t scamper away because if the same damage were caused by a neighbor, it would be the neighbor who paid to repair any damages. Why would an HOA be any different?

We may well get a good indication of this legal construct soon.  A case has been winding its way through the Dallas courts for over a year involving Preston Tower and one of their owners.


Multigenerational living

At The Shelby Residences’ recent fall social event, pictured above, residents of all ages mingled on the rooftop deck together. All photos courtesy of The Shelby Residences.

Multigenerational living is a big buzzword in the housing market, as Baby Boomers move in with their kids, adult children move in with their parents, and everyone figures out how to live together harmoniously.

But in the world of condos, that’s rarely the situation. Most condo buildings seem to have a demographic they attract, and residents tend to be around the same age.

That’s not the case at The Shelby Residences in East Dallas’ University Crossing neighborhood. We recently attended their fall social event and noticed the huge range of residents, from college students to folks past retirement.

This is a big achievement for The Shelby, a 55-unit building just renovated with phase I sales starting in the summer of 2015. The building had been apartments, but the Marquis Group purchased it and decided to do an overhaul into chic condo living, said Denise Edmondson, Principal Broker and Sales Director for PowerPlay Texas, which works with Marquis Group to sell condos at The Shelby Residences.

“It’s an interesting case study, seeing everyone meld together and get along as one community,” Edmondson said. “Everyone has a common thread with healthy, active urban living—The Shelby Residences appeal to all ages.”


6452 Bordeaux a

With our North Texas market moving at its current pace, finding a home for under $200K can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

But they do exist! Today, we’ve found a super cute place in the Bordeaux Village Condos near West Mockingbird Lane and Inwood Road that’s got tons of personality, superb location, and a friendly price tag. This area is just south of tony neighborhoods Bluffview and Greenway Park, close to the Park Cities and Medical District, and a block and a half west of the Dallas North Tollway.

The condo at 6452 Bordeaux Ave. Unit H was built in 1951 and the personality from that era shines through. But they’ve also done renovations to make it appealing to a modern buyer, like updating the kitchen.

This condo has two bedrooms, one bathroom, and 1,029 square feet on two stories.


Drexel Park HighlanderNew doors, windows, copper roof, a security system better than Fort Knox (or at least Cowboy Stadium) and miles of mortar joints going under a microscope!

Starting this fall, the Drexel Highlander Condominium on Oak Lawn is getting an overhaul, a major overhaul — to the tune of $4 million plus.

It’s even getting a new name: the Park Highlander.

This is the pretty pinkish-red brick, eight story building on Oak Lawn at 4240 Prescott where every single unit has several charming Juliette balconies. It was developed by notorious Dallas developer Robert Edelman, who commenced the project in 2006 after serving time in prison for trying to hire a hitman to kill his first wife. With a partner, Glenn Wiggins, Edelman built the Drexel Highlander, a 48 unit luxury condo building, through the Drexel Highlander Limited Partnership. Then he went on up to develop the Drexel Park Hollow West Behind the Pink Wall.

But in March 2011, Edelman and his second wife, Diana, were sued by Drexel Highland Limited Partnership and Wiggins, for various offenses ranging from fraud to living in the building rent-free. The court awarded the plaintiffs $4.5 million in damages, carving the award out of the Edelman’s bankruptcy filing. A subsequent lawsuit for shoddy workmanship was directed at Drexel and the contracting company, the mason and architects, etc. That was settled for a confidential, but substantial, settlement.

According to John Vestal, a resident and also Vice President and Director on the Drexel’s Park’s Board, Edelman split with Wiggins and has been long gone from the Drexel Highlander, and the developer’s control expired earlier this year. So the owner’s board is now in charge. 

Drexel park 7D

7D, $699,000

And they are going to town. (more…)


061516 WT Sales Center (11) - Courtesy of Windrose Tower

“The bedroom communities of Dallas have matured.”

This is pretty unprecedented: the Windrose Tower at Legacy West, the first new luxury high rise condominium to be built north of LBJ in years, reached the one-quarter sold phase after the sales center opened four weeks ago on June 10.

I mean, dang.

“The neighborhood is totally selling it,” says Al Coker, Al Coker & Associates, the real estate sales firm marketing the Legacy highrise. He is referring to the $3.2 billion dollar, 255 acre Legacy West development at the northern tip of Plano, which is, as we all gleefully know, home to the new North American headquarters of Toyota and FedEx Office as well as the regional headquarters for JP Morgan Chase and Liberty Mutual. More than 15,000 employees zipping around this once prairie make it one of the largest new job centers in the state.

“This is the most walkable neighborhood in Dallas (North Texas),” says Al. “The draw is really the neighborhood, where everything you need and want is right there. And with all the jobs pouring into Plano/Frisco, it’s convenient to work as well.”

Who is buying? Al says mostly downsizing empty nesters from Plano, North Dallas and Frisco tiring of home maintenance, but he is also seeing a LOT of 40 year olds. Two couples, one from Hong Kong, another from Taiwan, have bought units as second homes.

“These people have raised their kids, or their kids are in college, and their jobs are a mile away,” says Al. “The bedroom communities of Dallas have matured.”


McDreamy Bathtub


townhome sales

Condos and townhomes are hot properties in DFW so far this year.

North Texas condo sales increased 3.8 percent year-over-year to 1,536 condo sales during the January to May 2016 timeframe. Townhome sales increased 8.2 percent to 1,019 townhome sales during the same period, according to the 2016 Texas Condominium Mid-Year Sales Report by the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR). DFW is the only major metro in the state where townhome sales increased.

“Many young urban professionals and newly retired baby boomers are buying condos, as they provide an affordable alternative to single-family homes and townhomes,” said Leslie Rouda Smith, chairman of the TAR. “These Millennials and retirees don’t want the upkeep of a traditional, single-family home and want to be close to nightlife and amenities.”


Museum Tower (3)

Word just in that the ink is dry on yet another contract pushing Museum Tower’s sales up over the 60% point, as I predicted it would soon be back in May, when we did our PartyLine show there.

“With homes closed and in escrow, Museum Tower is over 60% sold on both sale-able square foot basis and unit basis,” says Steve Sandborg, Managing Director, Sales & Operations.

Meanwhile, the Dow is coming back up as we realize that Brexit isn’t going to be so painful, not to us at least. Shall we take a wager on when MT hits 70% in sales? I’m gonna say around September 30….