Highland House

As we have mentioned, Luke Crosland, the man who developed The ilume, a mixed-use retail/residential project at Cedar Springs and Knight Street in Oak Lawn, is hoping to build an extremely high end, $100,000,000 residential apartment community into the very heart of Preston Center, south of Northwest Highway.

Crosland, principal of The Crosland Group, developed the 316-unit ilume, with 23,000 square feet of retail space, into one of the most successful apartment communities in Dallas. So successful, in fact, that he snapped up  four acres at Cedar Springs Road and Douglas Avenue, almost catty-corner from the original ilume, for another 240-unit apartment complex called ilume Park he recently completed.

Let me tell you, when developers name a second product after the first, you know they’ve hit a home run. Apartment developments are like movies: when one becomes a huge hit, a hundred clones follow. (more…)

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…)

8915 Douglas ext 2I cannot believe that this home is still, STILL, on the market. The agent, Karen Luter, is one of the hardest working agents in town, a genius who has marketed her fingers to the bone for 8915 Douglas. It’s the home of a Dallas icon for Lord’s sake, and now it has been reduced AGAIN to $2,799,999 from an original high of $3,300,000, which had been lowered to $2,990,999. I mean, what gives. Brian Hagan tells me that dirt is now running at $2,500,000 per acre in the honeypot. This property backs to the Dallas North Tollway has one house buffering it from the North Dallas Tollway, but you are getting 1.050 acres, so who cares? Located on a delicious part of Douglas your neighbors are: Angel Rangel, Baxter Brinkman x three, Lawrence Wolfish, and EyeMart Express honcho Dr.  Douglas Barnes, who has the best-looking grass on the street. It’s fake, and I love it! (more…)

It’s showtime: the case to rezone a critical portion of Preston Hollow to accommodate 220 luxury apartments at Preston & Northwest Highway heads to the Dallas Plan Commission and the City Council this week. Here is a video from the developer, Transwestern, narrated by Sarah Dodd, describing the development, the neighborhood, and all the stuff we have been reporting to you the last few weeks.

Of course, once the case is filed with the city, it could take weeks to have it scheduled at a City Council meeting, where supporters and opponents can speak. Homeowners have hired seasoned land use and infrastructure attorney P. Michael Jung to represent the neighborhood united behind the “No” signs. Mr. Jung declined to tell me who is paying his fee, but a recent memo circulating behind the Pink Wall indicated that homeowners were asked to contribute if they liked. I have been told that Howard Rachofsky was covering most of it. (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…)

Athena exteriorYou know all about the fracas Behind the Pink Wall, the “No” signs all over Preston Hollow. And you know that former Mayor Laura Miller (and former City Councilman Mitchell Rasanksy, both of whom live in Preston Hollow) have asked Jennifer Gates to get another proxy beside City Councilman Lee Kleinman because he isn’t “willing to listen enough” to homeowners who live up and down Northwest Highway who are concerned about increased traffic from this project, homeowners from as far away as Central and Midway Hollow. (more…)

NO-to-Transwestern-DealA few weeks ago we told you that Laura Miller, Mitchell Rasansky and a bevy of Preston Hollow  ”VIPs” had joined the debate over a multi-family complex in the early works over at Preston and Northwest Highway, Behind the Pink Wall. This development is the source of all the “No” signs cropping up in Preston Hollow as far east as Hillcrest, as far west as Midway Hollow, and as far north as Forest.

Well, now Miller, that is former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller, has taken it one step further. She WROTE an email to Jennifer Gates asking her to replace Kleinman, claiming he is unwilling to meet with Jennifer’s constituents. Well, she didn’t say he was “unwilling”: she said appoint someone who is MORE willing: (more…)