This is part one in a four-part series. Check back tomorrow for part two!
Every time I enter The Claridge, I like it more. It may be a round-y 1980’s building surrounded by Lemmon Avenue, but the interior spaces are large, well thought out, and the views are wonderful. That’s why, for our March 22 anniversary CandysDirt.com Staff Meeting event, we’ll be celebrating a quad-fecta of homes at The Claridge!
As they say, there’ll be something for everyone (with a $1 million-plus budget). I’m calling these units the four R’s: “Rehabilitate,” “Remodel,” “Refresh,” and “Rejoice.”
If the valet didn’t tip you off, you know you’ve arrived upon entering The Claridge lobby. Everything is top notch — it’s formal without being fussy. And the staff are always Johnny-on-the-spot to help owners and visitors alike. Off the lobby is a paneled club room with views to the pool that’s a perfect nook for reading or meeting friends.
Yes, The Claridge has a pool and a well-appointed workout room, but it’s the outdoor hot tub that’s the head-turner with a waterfall. At the end of every work week, you’d certainly find me there with the water pounding the week’s stress from my shoulders.
For unit 7E, “rehabilitation” is the word. It’s a very generous 2,811 square feet with two bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms listed for $1.15 million by Allie Beth Allman’s Sue Krider. At $409 per square foot, it’s the bargain in the building waiting for a keen renovator to make it stunning. Since it seems every sale is a renovation, here are my dreams for the new owner.
The layout of the generously sized rooms is great. From the entry you’re welcomed into the oversized living room complete with great hardwoods and expansive views of downtown and Turtle Creek. I’d dump the faux fireplace and window treatments and open up the wall into the dining room (where you see the chandelier) for a more open feel.
Notice the dimples in the ceiling? The Claridge is a sprinkler building in case of fire, something missing from older buildings.
As I said, knock out the wall to the living room, remove the wallpaper and window treatments. Depending on your style, replacing the chandelier is also an option. Removing the left, out of picture, wall that separates the dining room and kitchen would give a new owner a full open-concept living area capable of being at once intimate and easily hosting all your jealous friends. After all, George Herman noted 400 years ago that “Living well is the best revenge.”
To continue my mental plan, knock out this wall and install a large island. Pick whatever materials suit your taste. Buyers with transitional tastes may like a white/white kitchen with Shaker custom cabinetry or perhaps sleeker matte wood cabinetry (Bulthaup has a particularly nice selection) or more traditional cabinet styles. Whatever a buyer selected, an open kitchen, dining, living room would offer joyous long views coupled with that all-important guest interaction component.
Accessible by the kitchen and dining room, the butler’s pantry is one of two perfect locations for a wine cellar. It’s plumbed for water for a sink, ice machine and perhaps a dedicated stemware dishwasher (because I’m lazy). The other location is off the entry and is currently used as a silver room.
In opening up the living areas, the balcony off the kitchen is no longer a “secret” from the rest of the home and increases the entertaining space outdoors. And let’s face it, high-rises are about the views. Have a bunch of friends over and you’ll find that as the sun sets, everyone silently migrates to the view (like the birds we eerily see lining up on power lines each night, except with wine glasses).
The bedrooms are an easy refresh with new paint, window coverings and flooring. However you’ll want to keep your cabinet builder a bit longer to sort out the bathrooms.
Trader-uppers will think The Claridge a fabulous odd duck because master suites in lesser high-rises don’t come with his-and-hers bathrooms and closets. What I find strange is that the “his” side has the shower while “hers” has a bathtub. In today’s world, I think “her” is going to be using “his” shower quite a bit. But the floor space is tremendous for each and likely where a big chunk of a renovation budget will be spent. A complete re-working would produce an incredible bathroom with endless closet space that I’d want my room service delivered to.
And once you’re done with the master bath, there are still two and a half bathrooms more to go! And for those bitten by the design bug, there are all sorts of fun you can have.
What I like about unit 7E are the downtown views and that the rooms are in the right place. Like all high-rises, plumbing, foundation, and structural issues are largely non-existent. Therefore, a buyer’s budget goes almost exclusively to pretty things to see and use every day. Sure, depending on your open-concept leanings, there are a few walls to knock-down, but in the grand scheme that’s pretty minor.
“Priced to sell” is a Realtor trite-ism, but “priced to imagine”? That’s what thrills me about 7E.
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)! firstname.lastname@example.org