The Beat: Biggest Penthouse in The Cedars

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"Island Living" with the City as your Oyster
“Island Living” with the City as your Oyster

Jim Croce sang that “the south side of Chicago is the baddest part of town.” And now, thanks to years of work, Dallas’ South Side district, otherwise known as The Cedars, is the baddest part of Dallas. is bringing you the exclusive pre-listing peep at the most unique space in the neighborhood.

Unlike the cardboard streetscape of West Village, The Cedars retains many original structures, dominated by the South Side on Lamar warehouse condo conversion. This gives the area a rough-and-tumble, more organically grown vibe. Sure there are new buildings like The Beat, the first high-rise south of Interstate 30 in memory, but it’s not all there is.

The area was full of warehouses and light industrial along with some ’60s and ’70s satellite corporate offices. The Beat is even across from an aging IBM outpost. Given the unkemptness of the building, one supposes it houses the remaining OS/2 Warp tech support team (brownie points if you get THAT reference! Cheaters gonna cheat.).

The Beat also borders light rail, making commuting to the city core and beyond a breeze. A few second walk to Lamar Street opens up many hip dining and “joint” options (Cedars Social, Poor David’s). For those uncomfortable with hip … well, there’s always “corporate hip” Gilley’s.

Note: Before imbibing in the area, line up a nearby Cowboy Cab or designated driver. There’s a big ol’ calaboose anchoring the area.

NYLO Rooftop Pool for Lounge Chair Lovelies
NYLO Rooftop Pool for Lounge Chair Lovelies

There’s even a neighboring corporate-hip hotel called NYLO (New York London, I believe). Of course, corporate hip is never really hip (there’s a Plano outpost for gosh sakes), but it’s often nice. How corporate? These acronym lovers have a credo summarized by DELIVER – D is for Design, E is for Entertain … (barf). But in addition to the accommodations, hotel bar and restaurant proximity, it’s the rooftop pool that’s the true amenity for The Beat. You see, the tragically hip are often young lovelies who parade around in skimpy swimming costumes. Beer and a well-placed telescope fulfill some Beat owners’ needs on a summer’s afternoon.

Anywhooo …

The Penthouse Basics
In the thick of all this activity is penthouse 1104. At 2,622 square feet it’s, from what I can tell, the largest and highest high-rise residence south of I-30. The home is currently configured as a three-bedroom, three-bathroom and occupies the whole western end of the building and affords 180-degree views of Dallas, Oak Cliff and whatever trendy name will be slapped on the area to the south of the building.

Day or Night, Killer Views
Day or Night, Killer Views

The View
Unlike the rest of the Beat, the penthouse enjoys 14-foot-tall ceilings and nearly top-to-bottom walls of glass. Walking into this unit is walking into Dallas’ backyard. It takes a second to get your bearings as “northerners” are used to seeing the Reunion lollipop on their right. In this baddest part of town, the cityscape is reversed.

Being a view bigot, I pointedly asked listing agent Fernando Gonzalez of Alcoker and Associates who owns all that yard space between The Beat and the city? Turns out much of it is owned by the same developer who brought The Beat into existence. He feels a buyer would be safe from view-robbing development for (at least) the near future – at best, anything built would likely block the view of I-30 and be a bit of a bonus. Also, given the economics of the area, it’s doubtful a 20-30-story building would be built south of I-30 to worry about.

The unit will be listed for $699,000 and prospective owners can go three ways.

One Way: Love it as-is. The home’s reclaimed flooring is in great shape and fabulously retro. You may want to do a few things in time, but it’s move-in ready. If WHITE isn’t your thing, maybe you slap some paint on the walls. Spend $300 on a painting party stocked with friends, beer and pizza.

Two Way: Do some work now. A little master bedroom closet rejiggering here, a little third-bedroom expanding there. Maybe a new vanity and sink in the bathrooms. Spruce up the kitchen with a spiffier cabinet depth fridge and a less HGTV backsplash. Spend $50K and live like royalty in your aerie.

Three Way: Gut it and start over. Reclaim the reclaimed floor, completely redo the kitchen and baths, move a few walls. Spend $100K and wait for the area to appreciate while you enjoy your life exactly the way you want it.

No matter what you choose, the unit has motorized solar shades in the living spaces that will impress visitors and give you that ta-da moment. Competitive geeks can even choreograph the shades to enhance the nightly LED light shows from Reunion, Omni and BofA buildings.

Great, Big, Wide Living Area
Great, Big, Wide Living Area

Unlike some newer buildings with narrow living areas, this space is wide and deep so your furniture has the space to float in the room away from the windows. Cooks can show off their skills and still be the life of the party.

The Framed City: Best Artwork Ever
The Framed City: Best Artwork Ever

The views from the kitchen are killer. Guests will forgive a distracted cook’s burnt offering because they’d be just as bamboozled by the views. I also like that the flooring is the same everywhere. It connects the space and makes it feel even more expansive.

Master Bedroom’s Menage et Bath
Master Bedroom’s Menage et Bath

The reclaimed wood continues into the master bath (if generations of sweaty high schoolers didn’t kill it, it’s indestructible). Nice double vanity and plenty of drawers. Separate shower and tub round out this oversized privy. Refresh this space with individual over-sink mirrors, upgraded lighting and paint.

Small Project: Replace Backsplash and Install Counter-Depth Fridge
Small Project: Replace Backsplash and Install Counter-Depth Fridge

Like I said, the kitchen could use a counter-depth fridge and a less-busy backsplash. Remember, I told you how to get a bargain on top-shelf appliances here.

Me? I’d get it for the views … of downtown, not the NYLO pool!


Remember: Do you have an HOA story to tell? A little high-rise history? Realtors, want to feature a listing in need of renovation or one that’s complete with flying colors? How about hosting a Candy’s Dirt Staff Meeting? Shoot Jon an email. Marriage proposals accepted (they’re legal)!



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Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson is's condo/HOA and developer columnist, but also covers second home trends on An award-winning columnist, Jon has earned silver and bronze awards for his columns from the National Association of Real Estate Editors in both 2016, 2017 and 2018. When he isn't in Hawaii, Jon enjoys life in the sky in Dallas.

Reader Interactions


    • Jon Anderson says

      Ummm, what? First, the term “baddest” is often used to mean the most hip and cool area. Secondly, have you been to the south side of Chicago lately? I have. Many neighborhoods are being gentrified and showcase a plethora of trendiness, just like The Cedars. Absolutely no disrespect was intended as reading the rest of the post should have made clear..

      • Dallasite says

        Your use of “baddest” was correctly understood. It’s your implication that there are “hip” and “cool” things that are equal to Dallas penthouses that is incorrect. Neighborhoods like Englewood and Gresham and West Pullman are fighting for their literal lives among unprecedented violence and a desperate lack of services. Schools are being closed forcing parents to decide if they should risk sending their kids to the next neighborhood (see above: violence) or just take them out of school completely. A 4 year old was shot in the head playing bus driver in her mother’s car. This is not an area where people are deciding to just live in a Penthouse or spend $100K to gut it. Also, a quick Google search could have sent you to a very recent report where Chicago’s most vacant neighborhoods are predominantly south. Empty neighborhoods doesn’t sound trendy. I realize this “dirt” is mainly a glorified questionnaire asking Uptown Realtors what kind of car they drive, but please, think twice when trying to actually write something.

        Also, think twice before challenging a reader to the last time they visited somewhere as I can guarantee you I’ve been south of 35th street in Chicago more recently than you have.

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