Luxury homebuilder Mickey Munir is no stranger to the Preston Hollow area—he’s been building remarkable houses there and all over Dallas for 35 years.
As founder and CEO of Sharif & Munir Uncustomary Custom Homes, Munir is spearheading another development in the area, Iris Hollow. The eight houses in Iris Hollow, which start at $2.35 million and range in size from 5,300 to 6,200 square feet, are built on land with a Texas-sized story and are perfectly suited to one of Munir’s fastest-growing buyers: the empty-nester.
The 3.5-acre estate at Hillcrest and Forest lanes belonged to Charles Elmer Doolin (and later his widow), a legendary Texas businessman and the inventor of the Frito corn chip and Cheeto.
Doolin bought the patent and 14 customers of a Mexican man in San Antonio selling extruded, fried masa chips at a gas station during the Great Depression in the 1930s. Doolin started selling the corn chips at his San Antonio confectionery shortly thereafter, and spent years working on the recipe. He even hybridized his own strains of corn, hiring Texas farmers to grow his special varieties so he could perfect the taste of his chips.
Part of Doolin’s big plans for his little chips involved opening a “Casa de Frito” in Dallas (and another in Disneyland in 1955). He and his wife, Mary Kathryn “Kitty” Doolin, lived at their house at Hillcrest and Forest. She invented many of the famous recipes printed on the backs of the corn chip bags, like Frito pie and Frito jets (the corn chips dipped in chocolate).
C.E. Doolin passed away in 1959 and Kitty lived on the estate until her death in June 2009. During her life, she cultivated more than 110 varieties of irises, thousands of which were planted on the estate; thus the name of the new development, Iris Hollow. Many of her bulbs were saved and replanted along the front wall and center of the cul-de-sac.
The street in the development is called Doolin Court.
It seems some of the Doolin business savvy has stayed with the land, because Iris Hollow is almost sold out.
“We’ve been building in that area since 1979 and we’ve bought seven or eight whole cul-de-sacs and developed all the houses in them,” said Munir. “Every one of them has been a home run, but Iris Hollow is one of the most successful neighborhoods we’ve ever built out.”
Of the eight lots, all are sold except one, as well as a spec house and the model house, which are still available for sale, but won’t be for long.
Unlike most of the developments nearby, Iris Hollow lots are each one-third of an acre instead of zero-lot line, and the community is gated.
Munir says their primary buyers are people who are downsizing from larger houses and properties.
“Virtually 95 percent of whom we have sold to in that neighborhood are empty-nesters,” he said. “They are scaling down in size and scaling up in quality.”
The Iris Hollow houses are pure luxury, including:
- Natural stone exteriors with cast stone and cut stone architectural details
- Berridge metal standing seam roofs
- Jeld-Wen custom entry doors with glass panels
- Double pane insulated Jeld-Wen wood windows
- Eight-foot solid core doors with custom plaquing and designer hardware
- Sub Zero/Wolf kitchens with Miele dishwashers
- Patterned marble flooring and tub surround in master bath
- Elaborate master closets with extensive shelving and built-ins
- Leutron lighting systems
- Outdoor living area with grill and fireplace
- Full-sized swimming pool and spa
- Three-car garages (although one custom-build has an eight-car garage)
The last lot in Iris Hollow is selling for $490,000 and both the spec and model homes are selling for around $2.595 million.
That last lot has snagged the attention of Candy, who keeps mumbling about “right-sizing” her Preston Hollow home someday.
“What I love about Iris Hollow is the location – you cannot beat this part of town for ease of getting everywhere,” said Candy. “And these homes are built with Sharif-Munir’s custom touch of quality on every square inch.”
This may be the land that corn chips built, but now it’s the land where Sharif-Munir gave Kitty her due.