Valley View Mall courtesy of Aerial Photography

I drove by Valley View Mall again the other day, and cannot wait for Dallas developer Scott Beck to get his show on the road for this place. Been trying to get in touch with him for an update but alas, Candace Carlisle at the Dallas Business Journal caught up with him FIRST and snagged an exclusive interview. Great interview: Candace works her behind off. Scott told her plans are still on to  redevelop Valley View Mall into Midtown Dallas, the huge 430 acre live/work/play community  he told us all about back in 2012.

Alas, time has passed, property and building costs have all gone up, and Beck has had to “re-imagine” the new Valley View aka Midtown. (Maybe no gondola rides to the Galleria — I don’t know, Candace did not ask him about that. Sad.)

Dallas-Midtown-gondolas-225x400

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NBC trucks

Seems like Robert Durst almost, ALMOST returned to Dallas to live AFTER he was acquitted for murder in Galveston. CandysDirt has learned that Robert Durst called inquiring to rent another space at the Centrum AFTER he had been living in Galveston. In fact, he may have lied to the police in Galveston, telling them he still lived at the Centrum.

Durst called and asked if there was space available to lease. At the time, there was not. Guess he really liked Dallas. (more…)

Frisco ice 2

I mean, how do you show homes in this kind of weather? My pool is surrounded by ice! Share your secrets for schlepping clients on icy roads. Here’s the winter weather update from Dallas — is everyone just staying in today around a nice cozy fire? This is how icy it is up in Frisco, thanks to our correspondent Brad Holden. If you can, stay off the roads, and stay home. House-warming house porn coming right up!

Frisco ice 3 (more…)

Adam and Alicia Rico. Photo courtesy Ryan Ray

Adam and Alicia Rico. Photo courtesy Ryan Ray

Adam and Alicia Rico are trendsetters of sorts, and quick to spot an opportunity when it comes to expanding their business reach.

The Brooklyn couple relocated to Dallas and opened a floral shop, Bows and Arrows Flowers, on Lower Greenville in 2009. Their gorgeous bouquets and arrangements quickly became one of the must-have wedding details for many Dallas brides.

They moved their shop to Bryan Street in old East Dallas in 2011. Last July, the pair spotted a dilapidated mansion in the neighborhood that, to their eye, would make a perfect wedding chapel once renovated, replete with the kind of stylish, high-end details they already offer with their flowers.

They live nearby at N. Fitzhugh Avenue and Live Oak Street and know the area well, so they purchased the property and spent months renovating the space and clearing trash and debris from neighboring lots. They built a new outdoor courtyard, added new exterior features, and were at work on the interior, as well.

But to make the wedding chapel legal, they needed to rezone to property from residential to commercial. And that’s where they ran into problems, Adam said.

“We knew that the process of zoning takes a while to go through, so we estimated four to five months, knowing that it could be challenging at any point,” said Adam. “But we didn’t expect to run into so much opposition from a few neighborhood associations.” Jump to read more!

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CaseShiller Oct 2014

Graphic: The Dallas Morning News

So here’s the reason why a lot of Realtors, I do mean a lot, will be drinking Veuve Cliquot tonight: Dallas is one of the top five markets in the country for home price increases, according to the folks at Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller.

The numbers from October home sales are in, and Dallas home prices rose 7.6 percent in October from the same month in 2013. Makes me kind of proud we are right up there with Miami, San Francisco and Las Vegas — the only cities with higher price appreciation than us.

The October appreciation was almost identical to the annual increase we saw in September,  7.4 percent.

“We are seeing hints that prices could end 2014 on a strong note and accelerate into 2015,” S&P’s David M. Blitzer said in the report. “Two months ago, all 20 cities were experiencing weakening annual price increases.

“This time, 12 cities had weaker annual price growth, but eight saw the pace of price gains pick up,” he said. “Seasonally adjusted, all 20 cities had higher prices than a month ago.”

And you may need a sip or two of bubbly to comprehend this fact : Dallas-area home prices are 13 percent higher NOW than they were before the recession hit. That’s right, we have out-bubbled the bubble.

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The Renaissance Collection Official Shot

The Renaissance Collection (Photo: Bret Redman)

With its trademark shape and fantastic location, the Renaissance Dallas Hotel has been a landmark venue since 1983, however, it was showing its age a bit. Thanks to a fantastic multi-million dollar facelift, the hotel is now LEED Silver certified and boasts 30,000 square feet of meeting and event space, with a 16,000-square-foot grand ballroom, a 10,000-square-foot rooftop terrace, and breathtaking views of downtown.

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Graphic: Realtor.com

Graphic: Realtor.com

Riding on the tail of Leah Shafer’s post yesterday on the past year in Texas real estate, today Realtor.com released its predictions detailing predictions for 2015. In their top 10 list of real estate markets to watch for next year Dallas-Fort Worth is expected to make big gains.

So, why is Dallas-Fort Worth slated to have a breakout year in 2015, with sales volume forecasted to increase by 7 percent? According to Realtor.com, it’s because the first-time homebuyer is back in a big way.

“The growth expected in 2015 is widespread, but as we put together our forecast, ten local markets stood out as especially primed and ready for significant acceleration across housing metrics in 2015,” said Jonathan Smoke, Realtor.com’s chief economist. “The markets on this list range from big cities with older housing stock, big and mid-size cities with substantial levels of new construction, and up and coming markets appealing to young professionals for their job growth and high affordability.”

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Troy Aikman's home on Normandy in Highland Park went up in price within the first week on MLS, showing strong demand in the luxury market. (Photos: Shoot2Sell

Troy Aikman’s home on Normandy in Highland Park went up in price within the first week on MLS, showing strong demand in the luxury market. (Photos: Shoot2Sell)

I find it so interesting that just after our boy Troy Aikman upped the price on his Highland Park abode by 12 percent, CoreLogic released its HPI saying home prices are up 6.1 percent year-over-year from October 2013 and 0.5 percent from September to October 2014 nationwide.

In Texas, though, our market is seeing record gains that, while slower than last year, still show moderate growth. The Lone Star State is among four other states to post year-over-year gains with an HPI 8.7 percent higher in Oct. 2014 from a year ago including distressed sales, and 8.1 percent higher without distressed sales.

“Home price growth is moderating as we head into the late fall and is currently running at half the pace it was in the spring of 2014,” said CoreLogic deputy chief economist Sam Khater. “However, there are still pockets of strength, especially in several Texas markets, as well as Seattle, Denver, and other markets with strong economic fundamentals.”

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