12/13/18 7:07pm

The attempt to get a Plan Commission re-vote on the Lincoln Katy Trail project has spectacularly failed. As reported on Dec. 4, Christopher Lewis, Plan Commissioner appointed by District 8 Council Member Tennell Atkins, filed paperwork to get the project reconsidered after it initially failed CPC on Nov. 15.

Today’s CPC session brought up the motion to reconsider with District 10 appointee Tipton Housewright seconding the motion. Almost immediately, Commissioner Deborah Carpenter motioned for discussion to be halted and a vote to re-vote simply held. That motion didn’t pass, which I’m sure caused a few white knuckles (including mine).

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Have you noticed we have a bit of a building boom going on? I haven’t seen this amount of construction since the 1980s. It’s very exciting, and there may not be anything more exciting than watching what’s going on with Centre Living Homes. I live in East Dallas, so I’ve had my eye on their Caddo + Munger development for a few months now, and I’m excited to present this fabulous project as our Inwood Home of the Week feature.
Centre Living Homes

But before I reveal all on the Centre Living Homes Caddo + Munger development, let me tell you a bit about Centre Living Homes. They have 16 projects that are under development or in construction right now. They are primarily in East Dallas, Bishop Arts, and the Cedars, all hip, happening areas. I spoke to Trevor Brickman, president and CEO of Centre Living Homes, and was more than impressed. Brickman grew up in the business. His dad is the CEO of Green Brick Partners. Their website puts it more succinctly than I can:

Green Brick Partners, Inc. is a publicly traded company listed on The NASDAQ Capital Market under the ticker symbol “GRBK.” Green Brick Partners, Inc. is a diversified homebuilding and land development company that acquires and develops land, provides land and construction financing to its controlled builders, and participates in the profits of its controlled builders. Green Brick provides expertise and capital to build neighborhoods with timeless, classic architecture interwoven with the latest technological advancements, and in turn provides a superior long-term return for its investors, residents, and cities it builds in.

In other words, the dinner table discussions growing up in Brickman’s home were more likely centered on cost-effective building than what was on TV that week! I have always maintained regardless of the preferred topic you learn a lot through osmosis at the family dinner table. Brickman proves my theory is correct, as his career path was clear. He went straight into construction management and real estate finance. He loves the business.

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affordableEarlier this week, we mentioned the October housing report from the Texas A&M Real Estate Center, which provided this interesting tidbit: While home sales may be slowing down in the higher price points, the most affordable price points are still doing robust business.

“The market for homes priced less than $200,000 remained the exception, where the MOI held at 2.8 months with constant pressure downward,” the report said. A balanced market, economists say, is closer to six months of inventory.

So for this week’s CandysDirt.com Open Houses of the Week, we thought we’d take a look at this price point, and what you can get for that.

This week, our homes range in price from $155,000 to $200,000. Which ones will you visit? (more…)

12/13/18 9:30am

The US Census Bureau, along with researchers from Harvard and Brown universities, tracked the economic trajectories of 20 million children beginning in the mid-1980s (aged mid-30s today). The result is the Opportunity Atlas, an interactive map that overlays multiple data points onto each of the 70,000 Census tracks in the country (a Census tract contains 4,200 people). Data tracked includes parental income level, race and gender along with incarceration rates.

The most interesting conclusions showed that while average neighborhood income is certainly a key indicator, neighborhoods with similar incomes, in close proximity, produced startlingly different outcomes for children. It’s here where I’ll say that while the data collected can be used by policymakers to influence spending and programs, there is no specific “eureka” that turns around the economic trajectories of a neighborhood’s children. Bethany Erickson already looked at this issue thoroughly, but there is more to be said about the numbers.

The major levers are neighborhood income (what I’ll call “hope”), two-parent households (familial stability), rates of incarceration (despair) and, of course, race and gender. What’s interesting is that easy conclusions can’t really be made. There’s a “secret sauce” at work.

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12/13/18 9:15am

Buckner TerraceThis week’s Thursday Three Hundred in Buckner Terrace is a testament to the power of a good Realtor (or two) — it totally escaped our attention when it was with a discount broker a few months ago, and is now on the market with Lauri Ann Hanson and Aimee Schreiner of Dwell Partners with Dave Perry-Miller and Associates, who immediately reached out to us to pitch this great listing.

“We want to get it all the attention it deserves!” Schreiner told us.

The three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home sits on a corner lot at 3209 Sharpview Lane, which means, of course, plenty of trees and lots of backyard space.

Inside, an open floor plan makes for a great entertaining layout, with the heart of the plan at the kitchen, where an oversized quartz island overlooks the dining room and two spacious living rooms. (more…)

12/13/18 9:00am

Our Splurge: Lauren Meader of Far West Texas Realty has listed 208 E San Antonio Street in Marfa for $1,500,000.

Marfa – to know it, is to love it. And there’s so much more to this tiny West Texas town than its famous Prada installation. This week, we showcase two incredible Marfa properties in our latest Splurge vs. Steal, each with stand-out architecture and cozy interiors, but with price points that are miles apart. Ever consider going off the grid? On the hunt for a place with a hip, artsy, down-home kind of vibe? Perhaps Marfa is for you.

Splurge: Claesson Koivisto Rune Designed Abode For Business Or Pleasure Offered At $1.5M

You may recognize this head-turner from its debut in the August 2015 issue of Interior Design magazine, or from the time it graced the pages of the June 2016 issue of Architectural Digest. It’s a showstopper on a 0.29-acre lot that is just begging to be scooped up! (more…)

12/13/18 9:00am

Last Friday, Highland Park resident and philanthropist extraordinaire Lynn McBee threw her hat into the ring to run for mayor of Dallas. Lynn is  the CEO of the Young Women’s Preparatory Network, a former biochemist researcher who is known for her strong fundraising chops for many of the city’s leading nonprofits. Her press announcement came with built-in support from many area heavyweights:

Lucy Billingsley, CEO, Billingsley Co. and Trustee, Southwestern Medical Foundation
Clay Cooley, CEO of Cooley Auto Group
Lisa Cooley, Board Member, Callier Center at UT Dallas and Young Women’s Prep Network
Lyria Howland, Founder, Howland PR, Board Chair, Friends of Barack Obama Leadership Academy and Board Member of Mayor’s Star Council
Tom Karol, CEO of Cornerstone Automation and Former Chair, Dallas Housing Authority
Jennifer Karol, Board Member, The Bridge Homeless Center
Carol Levy, Board Member, KERA and Trustee, Dallas Museum of Art
John Levy, Co-CEO of NCH Corporation and Former Chair, Dallas Zoo
Sarah Losinger, Board Member, Salvation Army and Advisory Council, Dallas AfterSchool
Richard Rogers, Former CEO of Mary Kay

Lynn has served on scads of Dallas area boards (on more than a dozen as we speak), from the Dallas International Film Festival to the Family Place Foundation. She is currently the board chair of The Bridge homeless shelter. The Dallas Morning News has lauded her and she is the recipient of the Texas Trailblazer Award, given out by the Family Place, one of my favorite organizations. Lynn helped the non-profit raise almost $17 million in under two years. Clearly, Lynn has philanthropy in her heart and I cannot wait to interview her on why she is running for Mayor of Dallas.

The only problem is that Lynn is a resident of Highland Park. And to be mayor of Dallas, you have to live in Dallas. So Lynn’s Highland Park house is now officially on the market with Anne Oliver of Allie Beth Allman. (more…)

12/12/18 3:45pm

Last week, CandysDirt.com reported the unusual move by one Plan Commissioner to call for a re-vote on the contentious Lincoln Katy Trail project. We can now report the request was made by Christopher Lewis, newly appointed by District 8 Council Member Tennell Atkins.  I noted at the time it was an unusual move for someone so new to the position.  It also has the potential to set a very dangerous precedent for the City of Dallas.

The last (easily discovered) time reconsideration was used was back in 2013 when some wanted to frack in the Trinity River floodplain. The CPC said “no” but then CPC chair and fracking supporter Joe Alcantar asked for a reconsideration. Seems a game was afoot to game the system because of who was missing from the first vote and who would be missing from the second. You may recall the city manager and city attorney were fired during the scandal.

The reason for the re-vote was the same as Lincoln Katy Trail. A CPC loss translates into a 3/4 majority at City Council for passage.

Interestingly enough for history buffs, three council members wrote to Alcantar urging his to reconsider the re-vote. Scott Griggs, Sandy Greyson and … Angela Hunt, who now sits with Lincoln on the Lincoln Katy Trail case.

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