Neither Teixeira Duarte Version is Awaiting Planning Approval

Neither Teixeira Duarte Version is Awaiting Planning Approval

On July 26, Teixeira Duarte and Masterplan had what would be their final meeting with the neighborhood to negotiate a better plan for their lots on Hood and Dickason tentatively called Turtle Creek Haus.  The following week, Masterplan presented to the Oak Lawn Committee about the progress being made.  All seemed to be progressing well.

Apparently not.

In September, Teixeira Duarte filed plans with the city for a within-zoning (by-right) plan for the lots.  Because the plans have not been approved, the public can’t see what’s going to be built.  The permitting office told me it was to be an 18-story apartment tower. Another source who’s been through permitting a time or two told me that a September by-right plan still awaiting approval is a little odd.

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Exterior 1

Toll Brothers’ Latest Plan for 2728 Welborn

Before even entering last night’s Oak Lawn Committee meeting I knew it was gonna be spark-able.  See, I parked in back of the off-duty Dallas policewoman hired to keep the peace. We walked in together … my first armed escort (check that off the bucket list).

A typically packed agenda really revolved around a single issue … Toll Brothers’ plans for 2728 Welborn (yes, yes, two minutes were also spent on Reverchon Park’s baseball field turning 100). The site, south-ish and west-ish of Welborn and Congress, is just north of the Plaza high-rise condos.  The Toll Brothers project is slated for rental units.

About a year ago, this project, destined to be a high-rise, was knocked down by neighborhood pearl-clutching to a squatty, lump of a building. Well, destiny won.  A 21-story high-rise is now penned for the site that will include 271 units whose average size will be 938 square feet (63 larger than required).  It will contain a mix of one- and two-bedroom units with a smattering of penthouses and nine street-level townhomes.  Nearly a third will be two-bedroom units.  So far, there are four penthouses, but that may increase as the interior floor plates are fleshed out and if the market tells them the larger units would be leasable.

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5218 Denton Drive

5218 Denton Drive

Looking around the secret pocket of northern Oak Lawn called Maple Springs that’s bordered by Maple, Cedar Springs, Inwood, and Maple Springs Blvd., and I see two homes listed for just over/under the 6-month mark. In our hot market?  What up with that?

Both are freshly renovated and so move-in ready. Both are the coveted three-bedroom, two-bathroom configuration sailing in around 1,700 square feet.  Both are between $400-450,000.  Both are listed with the same agent (a coincidence I didn’t notice until I was half done writing this).

Let’s look …

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Bud Oglesby Designed Condo | CandysDirt.com

Architect-designed living isn’t just for the wealthy. We’ve found a midcentury condo for under $200K, designed by Bud Oglesby, one of the most important Dallas modernist architects of the 20th century.

Oglesby and his firm, Oglesby Greene Architects, were creators of the Mahanna Condos at 3116 Mahanna St. in Oak Lawn. Apartment 5 just went on the market and it’s a beautiful example of his work.

Located near Cedar Springs Road and the Dallas North Tollway, these condos were built in 1958 and offer a lovely midcentury aesthetic on the exterior. This is an intimate, private, gated complex with landscaped common areas and a swimming pool.

This condo has two bedrooms, one full bathroom, one half bathroom, and 1,073 square feet on one story. Let’s take a look!

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4053 Throckmorton's darker brick denotes its earlier build

4053 Throckmorton’s darker brick denotes its earlier build

Sometimes you happen upon reminders of the different courses your life may have taken.  Back in 2000, I was in the process of moving to Dallas from California and had settled on a shell townhouse in Oak Lawn on Throckmorton Street.  I’d signed the contract and met with the builder to discuss my customizations and high-spec finishes. I’d even put down a $5,000 non-refundable deposit … that really was non-refundable.  But 2000s dotcom bust swept me right along with it, delaying my Dallas debut until 2007.

That life not lived would have been next door to 4053 Throckmorton Street, a development whose life didn’t go as planned, either. The first set of townhouses were water-tight albeit slow selling.  The second group’s wood frames and Tyvek flapped in the wind for years before being finally finished and occupied.  This property is from the first pair, when the builder was much more optimistic.

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Downzone 1

“Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn, and caldron bubble.”

In Macbeth, Shakespeare’s witches were casting a spell to double Macbeth’s toil and trouble.  It seems some Oak Lawn residents are looking to double developers’ trouble by asking the city Plan Commission to downzone parts of Oak Lawn covered by PD-193.  I’ve written about these proposed developments here, here and here.

I’ve been sent emails dating back to April 2016 from a townhome owner diagonally across from the proposed Toll Brothers apartment building on lots at the southwest-ish corner of Welborn and Congress. Those lots are currently occupied by aging three-story structures but are pretty well surrounded by mostly 1990s or newer townhouses.

The April emails have some of the propaganda, bombast and petitions typical of protesters … laced with claims the other side says are false. In this of all years you should know this story cold.  But I will say even in my lay capacity, the down-zoners do seem to inflate. Here’s just one example …

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Toll Brothers latest proposal for Welborn and Congress

Toll Brothers latest proposal for Welborn and Congress

On Tuesday night I attended my first Oak Lawn Committee (OLC) meeting.  For those unaware, the OLC was founded in 1982 as the neighborhood forum to guide development, maintain the area’s vibe, and generally improve the area.  Their “yea” or “nay” offers weight to Plan Commission’s deliberations on new projects seeking zoning changes.

OLC Map SM

The OLC’s coverage area resembles a gerrymandered voting district that spans City Council Districts 2 and 14, covering 15 square miles. The main boundaries are Woodall Rodgers, Harry Hines, Inwood, Highland Park and Central Expwy. Basically encompassing Oak Lawn, Uptown and West Village.

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TC Haus Map Labels v2

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the second meeting between local neighbors and Portugal’s Teixeira Duarte, Masterplan and architect Javier Espinoza, the team developing the so-named Turtle Creek Haus high-rise at Hood and Dickason in Oaklawn.

Last night there was a third meeting and to borrow from Dan Savage, it got better.

First, Masterplan brought out heir-apparent Dallas Cothrum to open the meeting with more finesse.  His goal was to relieve some of the negativity that permeated the last meeting.  Thankfully the threats of “Plan A” were largely history with the assumption that neighbors … and the developer … wanted something better than a dormitory. With that empty-threat mostly dispensed with, neighbors were able to discuss the real-world impacts a neighboring high-rise would pose and how to mitigate the jolt to nearby residents as much as possible.

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