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Strait Lane has long been home to the largest most impressive estates in Dallas and a veritable Who’s Who has claimed residency here at one time or another. Luminaries like Nancy Dedman, Phil Romano, Jessica and Dirk Nowitzki, Robert and Laura Wilson – yes the parents of Owen, Luke, and Andrew –Lisa and Kenny Troutt, John and Ann McReynolds, Brint Ryan, Norm and Kelly Green, Ralph Oats, Mehrdad Moayedi, Naomi Aberly and Larry Lebowitz at 10210 Strait Lane, and, of course, Margot and Ross Perot have all called, or now call Strait Lane “home.”

Of course, this is also the street holding the beautiful home of Dr. Richard Malouf and his beautiful wife, Leanne, and their water park.

It is the dream of every world-class architect to design a home here. Philip Johnson, Bud Oglesby, and Cole Smith all built iconic mansions here, some of which are sadly no longer standing, but a new generation of architects continue to create lavish estates. Owning a home on Strait Lane means not only have you have seriously arrived, you arrived in a G5 jet.

PS: There is also a Strait Lane in Flower Mound.

Now if you have the money honey — just a cool $17.5 mil — we’ve found the house of your dreams. It was on the market for a bit last year when Candy toured it. (She says she was so blown away she lost her notes, dropped them along with her fingernail file.)

The house is simply stunning and hello, this is not Dallas right here at 1062 Strait Lane. This is the Wine Country under a Tuscan sun.

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Phil Romano’s gorgeous estate at 10660 Strait Lane is on the market with another agent, at another price: only ten million dollars.

Wait, whadda mean “another agent”? It’s Doris Jacobs, not just “another agent” but one of the tip-top agents in Dallas who sells multi-million dollar homes while perusing the sale racks at Neimans. In fact, Doris Jacobs had Phil’s listing initially in 2004, but priced the nearly 5 acre estate at $17.5 million. What can I say, those were the days, really the days. The 14,748-square-foot mansion that sits off Strait Lane is almost directly across from the WaterWorld Richard Malouf is building. Ross Perot is right down the street.

Phil is probably best known as the creator of Fuddrucker’s and Romano’s Macaroni Grill, but he is also leading the development of West Dallas, an area called Trinity Groves you will soon be hearing more about on this blog.

The 14,748-square-foot home is massive, and sits on close to 4.7 acres of land off Strait Lane. From a private lake and waterfalls, to a jogging trail, creek, tennis court and a resort-like pool and spa, this home has everything a multi-millionaire could dream of and then some. Like a professional cooking area in the already over-the-top gourmet kitchen.

The home has been on the market since 2007, at, as we said, $17.5 million. The estate is certainly nowhere near as big a white elephant as was Champ D’Or, which, by the way, is being turned into an entertainment venue. I just think the market pooped out shortly after Phil listed it. The home has some extremes, but nothing a good contractor could not change.

However, our market is in sort of a force-fed recovery from lack of inventory, and there just may be more interested buyers this time around. With the uber high-end market having few products listed at over $10 million, you just never know. As for location, this is blue chip prime.

Romano’s property includes a private lake, foundations, waterfalls, a creek, a jogging trail, tennis court and a resort-like pool and spa.

It’s about finding that right buyer, Doris Jacobs told people at an elegant Christie’s Great Estates party she hosted at the home while I was in California.

“This is a very unique property that has a gorgeous setting,” Jacobs said. “You have almost five acres. At this price, it’s almost land-value.”

A steal, she says

There aren’t too many estates in Dallas priced over $10 million,

Allie Beth Allman  is currently marketing Troy Aikman’s house, and I hear one Briggs-Freeman agent has shown it about five times. Someone’s circling: a wealthy family from Mexico, says the Briggs agent, and they love it.

Oh yes, if you’d like to see Strait Lane, just holler at Doris: the house is ready at the drop of a fingernail file as the Romano’s are now living over on Shadybrook.

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Right across from The Four Seasons Residence Club in beautiful Vail, Colorado, are the homes of Ross Perot, Jr. And Sr., right next to each other! (Ross Jr.’s is to the right of this picture, Ross Perot Sr. to the left.) Just back from a great weekend jaunt to Vail after attending NAREE in Denver. Lots to tell you. We may have to worry about hail and tornadoes in Dallas, but some poor Colorado residents are dealing with at least eight  scary forest fires that have burned thousands of acres of forest lands and are now threatening (and destroying) some vacation homes and tourist spots. Some major state highways were closed in southern Colorado. Passengers told me of seeing smoke from about a half-dozen fires across the state, some threatening places like Estes Park, home of the Stanley Hotel, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and even Boulder. And we saw the firefighters stopping in Georgetown, Colo. With the bone-dry, Texas-type weather conditions — Denver  is enjoying 100 degree plus temps — the whole state is under a fire ban. Some people were telling me the fires could have started because some residents are trying to rid the state of the annoying bark beetle that is killing off the tall lodgepole pine pine trees and markedly affecting the appearance of the usually lush, green mountainsides. The pest is thinning out the pretty pines with dying trees leaving piles of dead wood poles, the wood some say completely useless. Others, like our fly fishing guide, told me you can use the wood for furniture after it dries out and the beetles depart. Just don’t build houses with it! Local journalists told me the beetle is caused by global warming, as the critters thrive and reproduce in warmer climates. Do the beetles fuel the fires? Good question. The director of bark beetle operations in Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest says people are alarmed by the timber loss: 

“The beetles aren’t killing every tree,” Currey says, “but they are killing a majority of mature lodgepole pine, and we’ve lost half our limber pine, too.” More than 116 million acres in the North American Rocky Mountains have been affected. “People are beginning to understand that this thing is too big to stop.”

photo by Darrell Spangler

Vail was just fine, evidence of the bark beetle here as well, but Vail fortunately has a huge variety of trees covering it’s 14,000 foot-tall peaks, including those gorgeous Aspens. And Vail is undergoing a billion dollar plus enhancement, one of the most major nip/tucks I’ve seen. No wonder Texans and Dallasites like the Perots love to vacation here come summer or winter. Check SecondShelters.com soon for a look at some of Vail’s most glorious second homes… soon as I unpack!