FLW Rogers Lacy 2

Having run around a lot of high-rises in Dallas over the years as a potential buyer, open house voyeur, and CandysDirt.com roving reporter, people ask me what I think of “X” building. With that in mind, here’s my list of the top Dallas high-rises in different categories.

1. Best Unbuilt high-rise: Rogers Lacy Hotel

Long before I moved to Dallas, I saw the Rogers Lacy Hotel images in a 1985 book about architect Frank Lloyd Wright titled, “Treasures of Taliesin: Seventy-Seven Unbuilt Designs” by Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer.

The 64-story mixed-use building was to have housed a hotel on the first nine floors before transitioning to a stepped-back high-rise column containing residential condos/apartments.  Wright didn’t think much of Dallas summers or its 1940s cityscape and so the glass exterior was to have been double-thickness with translucent insulation between the panels.  This way, light was transmitted without having to see the outside.  Some panels were moveable and some were operable windows, but the general “face” of the building was towards the interior where an amazing atrium was to have been. Lush plants and interior-facing windows offered what Wright thought were the best “views” of Dallas.  The building was never built because during negotiations to convince oilman Rogers Lacy of the daring design, Mr. Lacy died.

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Bubbles, Margaritas and Beautiful Views

Bubbles, Margaritas and Beautiful Views

Ya know, I probably could have thought a bit more about the potential logistics of having a Cinco de Mayo event on top of a large Mexican restaurant. To say that parking was an event in itself, even with a garage and valet parking, would be an understatement.

That said, 66 brave souls charged the gauntlet and were treated to two wonderful homes that prove my contention that the higher the home, the closer to paradise.  It was a Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty double play with unit 1208 hosted by Pam Brannon and unit 1304 (wo)manned by Gayle Schneider.

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21 Exterior

The first installment of this transformation story can be found here.

Aside from the hard-dollar utility bill savings, this overhaul delivered other benefits to residents as well as uncovered some interesting history.

Temperature Control

In 21, the building at 3883 Turtle Creek, units on one side froze in winter while the other side baked in the summer.  Some residents had gone so far as to install auxiliary HVAC units on their patios.  After the upgrade, owners happily removed those units.

They told me another part of the issue was that back in the 1960s, HVAC building codes only called for air-conditioning to lower indoor temperatures by 20 degrees.  On 105 degree days, 85 degrees was A-OK. Codes have changed and that just doesn’t fly today.  Sitting in front of an open refrigerator, TV propped in on the vegetable bin, is no way to live.

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Judy Pittman Flanked by Candysdirt.com Staff who stayed a pinch past sunset!

Judy Pittman surrounded by CandysDirt.com staff who stayed a pinch past sunset! (Photos: Lisa Stewart Photography)

Tuesday night, 64 of our closest CandysDirt.com friends spent the evening exploring the Claridge and celebrating the first anniversary of the Staff Meeting events.

As you recall, this was a humdinger event with four simultaneous open houses in the beautiful Claridge on Turtle Creek and Lemmon Avenue (my “Four R” homes).  We all ended up in the wrap-around penthouse for a stunning sunset champagne toast (or two … with a little chocolate, natch!).  For those who may have missed an “R” or two:  REHAB, REMODEL, REFRESH and REJOICE.

Before we see more party pics, I must praise the Claridge staff who valeted all those cars and long-time manager Shirley Black for being so very gracious to our event and guests.

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Renaissance - Poston Map

In January, the lots located at 3407 and 3409 North Hall Street were reported in DCAD to have been sold to TDRE Lee Park LLC. The actual owner is currently masked behind the LLC with a local address of 4100 Spring Valley Road, Suite 310, in Dallas. However, TDRE Lee Park is a Houston registered LLC, set up by Houston attorney John W. Wood who acts as the registered agent for over 200 LLCs largely located in Houston. Wood is a pretty successful guy who lives in the tony Tanglewood section of Houston – meaning the Poston plots are unlikely to have been purchased by a Mom and Pop looking to restore the property.

TDRE Lee Park LLC is one of three TDRE-named LLCs all registered by Wood and include TDRE Hood LLC that was registered on the same day as TDRE Lee Park LLC (Dec. 22, 2015) and TDRE Investments LLC registered on April 2, 2015. Like all LLCs managed by Wood, they all share the same Houston address (which is meaningless as it’s no more than a mail drop). None of the three list any officers and I suspect they are owned by the same person/organization.

TDRE Hood LLC may hint at a property acquisition on Hood Street, but there is currently nothing in DCAD about any TDRE ownership outside the former Poston properties on Hall Street. Pure speculation, but … there is certainly room along Hood Street to tear down redevelop any number of aging low-rises in this VERY HOT area of Turtle Creek.

In reviewing zoning, lots 3407 and 3409 North Hall account for a sliver less than a half-acre. Given a residential MF-2 listing within the PD-193 area, this limits the parcel to 60 units per acre unless it’s designated commercial, which DCAD says it is. In this case, commercial-designated parcels within PD-193 can accommodate 160 units per acre. However, setback requirements have scuttled deals in the past.

Stay tuned to CandysDirt.com for more as it becomes known.

Remember: Do you have an HOA story to tell? A little high-rise history? Realtors, want to feature a listing in need of renovation or one that’s complete with flying colors? How about hosting a Candy’s Dirt Staff Meeting? Shoot Jon an email. Marriage proposals accepted (they’re legal)! sharewithjon@candysdirt.com

claridge condos for sale

The place to be at sunset

This is part last in a four-part series. Read parts onetwo, and three, and join us at our CandysDirt staff meeting here on March 22!

Capping off our Four R’s series is this endcap double-unit penthouse at the Claridge. For those just tuning in, four Claridge units, each featured in a previous posting, will play host to the anniversary Staff Meeting event for Candysdirt.com on March 22nd.

Unit 18CF is marketed by Judy Pittman, this 4,810 square foot, two bedroom, 3.5 bath is on the market for $2.7 million. Frankly, about all I’d need to move-in and die happy would be fresh undies and a toothbrush.

The views? Take your pick. You have 180 degrees to choose from. About the only thing not visible is the Turtle Creek and Lemmon Avenue intersection to the north. Fireworks? You’ll see them all framed in every room of the home. Need a little extra cash? Surely some radio or TV station would pay for live weather and traffic updates visible from this home.

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Claridge condos turtle creek

This is part three in a four-part series. Read parts one and two, and check back tomorrow for part four!

The Jefferson’s were all about “movin’ on up,” and that’s exactly where we’re going with this third in our quad-fecta of Claridge condos that will set the stage for the March 22nd anniversary of the Candysdirt.com Staff Meeting event.

This 2,876 square foot home is a full three bedroom, 3.5 bathrooms listed with Ebby’s Penny Rivenbark for $1.395 million. Located on the 15th floor, we’re eight-to-ten floors higher than our first two homes. Add to that a more north-facing view from the opposite side of the building and the views obviously change dramatically. Instead of a distant city there’s more in-your-face drama from neighboring buildings along with winding Turtle Creek views. And how many can boast a view of one of Dallas’ few Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, the Kalita Humphreys theater?

I’m calling this unit a “refresh” because while your wallpaper steamer may be working overtime, the fundamentals are very nice. (Although Rivenbark told me one of the first prospective buyers loved the wallpaper, and you might too!) There’s only really one minor project for me (and you’ll faint when I tell you).

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claridge dallas condos

This is part two in a four-part series. Read the first one here, and check back tomorrow for part three.

As part of our quad-fecta of Claridge listings celebrating the anniversary of our Staff Meeting events on March 22nd, we have unit 5D, another listing from Allie Beth Allman’s Sue Krider. This unit moves down the hall from last column’s 7E offering similar straight-on Turtle Creek and downtown Dallas views (albeit two floors lower).

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