Came across this really great piece from D CEO, a question session with a really great man, the president and CEO of Centurion American, who is about to make his presence known in downtown Dallas with his “ambitious redevelopment of the iconic Statler Hotel and Residences.”
Ambitious? Not for Mehrdad. Personally, I think Mehrdad is one of the most important developers in North Texas who has already been making his presence known in the real estate world: The Stoneleigh, The Creeks of Preston Hollow, and Phil Romano’s house.
Mehrdad, through Centurion, picked up the crumbling Statler structure in 2013/2014 from Leobardo Trevino after securing $46.5 million in TIF money from the city of Dallas. The story traces his unusual background of being a self-made man who saw the ups and downs of real estate development well before he became one of the biggest land developers in North Texas:
A native of Iran, Moayedi came to North Texas in the late 1970s while he was in high school. After the Iranian Revolution halted his family’s ability to continue sending him money, he began working in landscaping and eventually started his own business mowing lawns, building retaining walls, and the like. His client base grew as his company built a solid reputation. Moayedi eventually met Fort Worth homebuilder Herman J. Smith, who shepherded the young entrepreneur into the development business. Smith also introduced Moayedi to Ross Calhoun, who worked on Smith’s executive team. Calhoun began shuffling some development work to Moayedi, who took it on with a brave face.
“The first development I did on my own was called the Windsor Forest in Grapevine, probably in about ’86 or ’87,” Moayedi says. “That one didn’t make money; we actually lost about $600,000, so I had to go to the next one just to make up for my losses.”
Mehrdad loves buying troubled properties at bargain basement prices: he bought the Stoneleigh Residences for $4.55 million out of bankruptcy from those Prescott/Apollo peeps in 2009.
“Mehrdad is the biggest lot developer in D-FW and probably in Texas,” said Ted Wilson, principal with Dallas-based housing analysts Residential Strategies said of him.
Mehrdad owns most of the Creeks of Preston Hollow, a beautiful super high end gated community on the cusp of Preston Hollow originally developed by Hillwood and populated with mega million dollar mansions owned by Hunter Mahan, Selim Bassoul and at one time even Mehrdad himself! (He now has a modest 5900 square foot home on Del Roy.)
Mehrdad also purchased the iconic Phil Romano house on Strait Lane (across from Richard Malouf) and has set about revamping the 4.5 acre, 14,500ish square foot property into amazement.
A few years back, I got to witness Mehrdad address a group of angry, wealthy homeowners in the Southlake area, a story I am saving for my book (should I ever write one). We were meeting in a humongous 15,000 square foot log cabin home with an open kitchen and bar right in the middle. The homeowners were worried about apartments Mehrdad was planning to build not too far from this chi chi hood, the focus of their consternation. He held himself so well, was so articulate and genuine, he totally disarmed them.
A trusted source told me long ago that Mehrdad Moayedi is the kind of guy you can shake hands with on a business deal, and the deal is done. Not too many of those left, but I suspect that has a lot to do with the success he is enjoying now.