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…)

5307 Morningside ext longThis just has to be Tudor week in my head somewhere, probably because my son and daughter-in-law are in London and Ireland visiting Downton Abbey! William Davis Realty just listed this absolute angel of an M-Streets rock Tudor that moves and grooves. I have this thing about rocks — diamonds, sapphires, even rock crystal. But this home has the hook: located on a premiere block on Morningside, you get the location gold standard down from the start. (more…)

I345 image006.jpg Dallas metro

Yesterday,  Ed Woodson, a Dallas attorney, and Aren Cambre, a computer scientist, gave us part I of their insightful, well-researched counter to Patrick Kennedy et al’s passion to tear down I-345 in downtown Dallas, an elevated highway they believe is choking urban living, creating a schism of disruption between neighborhoods and sucking up dirt that could be developed as housing units. Etc. Today, Ed and Aren bring you part two of their post, asking what makes Dallas a “World Class” city? They also ask, if we tore down I 345, where would the traffic go? A very interesting question as I spent the morning looking at development proposals and learning that Northwest Highway is already choking from extra traffic as people avoid LBJ/635 construction. A NCTCOG traffic study reports that Northwest Highway, essentially our city’s cross-town expressway, held 56,659 cars per day in 2011. With the current LBJ re-routing, that number is probably closer to 67,000 cars per day today. Traffic is like water: while a small amount may evaporate, most just finds the route of least resistance: (more…)

I-345 MeetingDallas is a fascinating place to live right now. Downtown, urbanists are lobbying for the tear-down of a short but squirrely elevated highway they believe is choking urban living, creating a schism of disruption between neighborhoods and sucking up dirt that could be developed as housing units. Go north of the Park Cities to the junction of Preston Hollow and University Park, an entire neighborhood is battling MORE housing units: a proposed luxury, 220 unit apartment complex that would replace dilapidated, tired housing built in the 1950′s. “No” signs can be seen all the way north to Forest Lane, west to Midway Road. Homeowners with ranches valued from $300,000 to $3 million dollar plus estates are so worried about increased traffic, so protective of the peace of their neighborhood, they have hired a seasoned attorney to represent them before the Dallas Plan Commission. Even former mayor Laura Miller is piping in, demanding a new proxy City Councilman to replace the current proxy. East of Central Expressway, investors want to build a restaurant on park land at the northern end of White Rock Lake, just off Mockingbird Road. Though they are just “feeling out” the neighborhood before plowing ahead, most of the feedback has been pretty negative, especially in a neighborhood known for fiercely defending it’s urban lake. Two years ago this ‘hood battled a plan to mow a meadow called Winfrey Point and turn it into a commercial parking lot. Don’t mess with Lakewood. (more…)

1034-Windomere-ext-575x383

It’s Tax Day, and while you’re frantically double checking your forms to make sure you got every single deduction, don’t forget that there are a slew of tax benefits to being a homeowner. We scoured the IRS site and the web to compile this list of deductions many homeowners can claim. For a more exhaustive list, check out this “Taxopedia” from Kiplingers.

For a the top 10 deductions for homeowners, jump!

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Best Neighborhoods for Millenials Niche Graphic

Being a Millennial, I think there’s a lot of truth in this listicle from Niche.com, offering insight in the top 25 cities where adults ages 25 – 34 want to live. Some of it is kind of cliche, including New York (Brooklyn, natch) scoring a place at No. 1 , but other spots are accurate and insightful.

Austin nabs the No. 2 spot and Dallas/Fort Worth comes in No. 8, with Houston trailing far behind at No. 21. Austin and Dallas are in good company among the top 10 cities for Millennials, with “world-class” cities such as Washington, D.C. (No. 3), Chicago (No. 4), San Francisco (No. 5), Boston (No. 6), Denver (No. 7), Minneapolis – St. Paul (No. 9), and San Diego (No. 10).

So, why did our little Texas towns make the list? According to the story by Forbes:

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In the Park Cities, homes are often "spoken for" as soon as there's a sign out front.

In the Park Cities, homes are often “spoken for” as soon as there’s a sign out front.

From the accounts told by Realtors over cocktails, you’d think buying and selling a home in Dallas was a bloodsport. But whether agents, buyers, and sellers are turning around enough offers and counters to die a death by a million paper cuts is under some dispute. That is, if you’re one to believe studies from national sources.