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More No’s? Laura Miller, Mitchell Rasansky, 13 Neighborhoods & VIPs Now Interested in Transwestern Deal Behind Pink Wall

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You know those “NO” signs all over Preston Hollow? Maybe you’ll start seeing them out as far as Central Expressway and as far west as Webb’s Chapel. Laura Miller and Mitchell Rasansky, both former Dallas City Council persons, Rasansky 6 years on the Council, Laura Miller 4 plus a Mayoral term, now think folks who live along Northwest Highway ought to have a say. They contacted City Councilman Lee Kleinman, District 11, who is pitch-hitting for Jennifer Gates, District 13, who recused herself because of a conflict of interest,  to tell him he needs to expand the group scrutinizing the proposed Transwestern multi-family development at Preston and Northwest Highway to other neighborhood associations from Central Expressway to Stemmons. (Taking a breath, that sentence was about as long as Northwest Highway.) The following letter sent to Kleinman was also signed by John Carona, Steve Wolens, Will Hartnett, and Mike Cantrell. Miller apparently proposed a 600 people strong meeting to cover the entire Northwest Highway area and development. They want total community input on a master plan for the little strip of land Behind the Pink Wall. And they would like Kleinman to be there to listen. I spoke with Lee Kleinman. Stay tuned.

Letter from Councilman Lee Kleinmann

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Candy Evans

Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters, bloggers and consultants. She reports on Dallas real estate for WFAA-TV’s Daybreak with Ron Corning, and is frequently called as a real estate expert by other Dallas media. She is also a real-estate editor for CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, the Katy Trail Weekly and the White Rock Weekly. She even has her own web-based Real Estate show called, The Party Line. Candy has written for AOL Real Estate, and is a guest blogger for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News plus a host of national sites. Candy was a longtime contributing editor to Dallas’ D Magazine and sister pubs, and in 2007 founded the wildly successful Dallas real estate blog, DallasDirt. That’s where she broke the news on where former president George W. Bush bought his Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of an exciting platform of Dallas-based real estate sites including SecondShelters.com, devoted to the vacation home market, and her signature CandysDirt.com, everything you need to know about real estate in North Texas. And yes, we are still psyched about the GOLD! In 2013, CandysDirt.com was named Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations, and the only association for journalists covering real estate, home and urban design. We snatched silver in 2015, and who knows what 2016 brings...

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Comments

  1. Lew Wood says

    Typical response from the likes of Laura Miller. I think the original plan is better for the neighborhood. DHA should build 60 units of very low income units to help out the poor folks.

  2. Preston Hollow Resident says

    Transwestern has graciously reached out to EVERY homeowners group in the notification area AND BEYOND. There have been more than 20 public meetings that Transwestern hosted and attended to field EVERY conceivable question and comment made by anyone who wished to comment. Previous plans have now been amended to accommodate concerns that arose from these many many meetings.
    This letter actually confirms that the effort to collaborate with the surrounding homeowners and associations has been met with fear and resistance to any sort of change what so ever. Transwestern asked if they wanted more trees, green space and landscaping between homes and the new development, the answer was no! The reaction to this developer is setting a dangerous precedent for the future. NO DEVELOPER will ever reach out to these neighborhood groups, which we have suspected are a little crazy, they have gone and confirmed it! They should not have a say in the future of our city and the need to IMPROVE one of the ugliest corners in Dallas!!! Shame on these current elected officials and past for putting their name on a letter without knowing the facts.

  3. J. Peter Livingston says

    It was 1955 when the undeveloped 50 acres at the Northeast corner of Preston Road and Northwest Highway was rezoned from single family to multifamily. Before that time beginning in 1947 the owners, the Prather family of Highland Park, had platted the land as sections of their Northridge single-family addition that included Del Norte Lane to the North. After eights years passed with no takers for the estate sized lots, the land was sold in 1955 and zoned for multi-family.

    At the time, 50 contiguous acres of land zoned for multi-family was something that Dallas had never seen. In fact at that time this type of planning was rare outside much older and larger major American cities. As a modern, progressive and thoughtfully run city, Dallas and its top-flight developers were ready to offer the right product at the right location at the right time.

    From 1955 through 1964 approximately 450 of the finest “Luxury” Garden Apartments in the city were built by the best in the business and leased to many affluent former homeowners who now chose to lease. The product offered at this best of the best location realized the highest rents in the City, those who lived there and those who lived near considered the “Pink Wall” neighborhood somewhat of a Shangri-La.

    In the 1970’s another group of Dallas’s best real estate men bought the aging apartments and converted them to condominiums. At that time history was made again, as there was no other location in Dallas where condominiums sold more briskly or at higher prices.

    That was then, and this is now. Those same buildings stand today, the Shangri-La of yesteryear is long gone, and as the high rents and condominium values have declined 100% from their highs. Surely, had the condominium conversions never happened, the original apartment buildings would be long gone and replaced with a product for the times. Instead the aging condominium communities remain with the constant need of repair, maintenance and looming assessments. One only needs to drive by Northwest Highway, Preston Road, Averill Way and Bandera to see the crumbling brick, the rusted and bent carports, the broken alleys and the architecture and design long obsolete.

    The time is now, if not long past, for something new behind “Pink Wall” and those who have lined up against the quality development being proposed by Transwestern represent a curious crowd. The majority of the opposition seemingly lives in the affluent neighborhoods to the North and behind the “Pink Wall” the residents of the high density and tallest tower in North Dallas! Yes, the residents of the 1965 built Preston Tower are leading the local parade against the Transwestern Development.

    Curious when defined as “unduly interested in the affairs of others” fits as the definition of most of those responsible for the opposition and “NO” signs surrounding this timely effort.
    I am surprised to see a progressive leader such as Laura Miller join this curious crowd. Although I am not surprised to see Senator John Corona’s signature, as his company manages quite a few on the “Pink Wall” condominium communities that would ultimately be prime redevelopment sites.

    One simple fact is that the entirety of the 50 acres known as behind the “Pink Wall”, inclusive of the high density towers has a total Dallas County tax value of just over 100 million. The Transwestern project would have a tax value of 75-80 million, almost a double of the remaining 46.5 acres. The demand for new multi-family residential product at this location could produce billions of tax value to a city in need. Todays DMN profiles the story about the need of $900 million to fix the Dallas streets, and there is no money!

    This 50 acres is not only the potentially most valuable multi-family land in Dallas, it is probably the most potentially valuable in the State! Is it truly right for a curious few to impede the progress of a great city and deny those who wish to sell their obsolete condominiums to developers at a price worthy of the location?

    This story is all about a big picture for a great city, not a small, loud and curious crowd who have attached themselves to the easiest word in the human vocabulary, “NO”. I think it is time for the best of the best in multi-family product to once again dominate a best of the best location.

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