You haven’t been in The Centrum in years (or ever), right? Well, you should, and you can. On May 5, CandysDirt.com will be hosting a double open house “Staff Meeting” event at The Centrum we’re calling Centrum de Mayo – with Mattito’s on the ground floor, how could we not? Watch your inbox for your invitation.
History Lesson: The Centrum certainly has a history stretching back to the days of 1980s grey melamine cabinetry. The Centrum was developed as a mixed-use building with floors below 12 being office and those above 12 being residential. From the exterior, the boxy part is offices, the stair-steps residential.
The Centrum started life in 1985 on the eve of Texas’ banking crisis which would push nearly every bank in the state to insolvency by the end of the decade. As Judy Pittman told me months ago, at that time you couldn’t give a condo away. Mirroring our recent recession, units in The Centrum were pushed into service as rental units.
Fast forward to 2005, and new owners took over the residential units, gutted (most of) them and gave them a high-end finish with Sub-Zero Wolf appliances and Downsview cabinetry. And then a recession hit this building once again. In 2007, 16 of 34 units went to auction and snagged bargains representing about 25 percent off their original list prices on average.
In February 2015, Quadrant Investments purchased the separately operated Centrum office space with plans set in motion to update the 1980s exterior. Hurrah! This will add value and interest to the entire building.
Thickening the plot, the 4,403-square-foot 1703 unit was auctioned by the US Treasury in September 2015 for $1,225,000 (we know because the feds disclose). The Treasury seized the property then owned by a member of a North Texas gambling ring. How many of you can list the “United States of America” as a previous owner of your home? Being as my hometown of Chicago is synonymous with gangster, I’d frame all the press clippings. Nefariously nifty.
Class Dismissed …
The first unit we’re featuring is unit 1208, a 2,127-square-foot, two bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom home listed by Pam Brannon with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s. It’s currently listed at $699,000 after a $46,000 drop … music to a buyer’s checkbook.
Being someone who likes to cook, let’s talk about the kitchen, which for a high-rise is pretty large. It’s very fully kitted out with great cabinetry (lots of drawers) and the dark cabinets contrast nicely with the light floor. I know many want the hospital white-white-white look, but just as many will appreciate the richness and quality of this combination. As I said, you’re looking at Sub Zero refrigeration and Wolf cooking, so very top drawer.
The kitchen also open to the living and dining areas. For those who believe there should always be a window over the kitchen sink (even though we mostly use the dishwasher), with a view outwards to the 30 feet of windows, you will not be lacking for a kitchen sink view. If you were to turn around in the above picture, you’d see an eat-in area that comfortably seats four.
The main event, so to speak, is the combo living and dining area that stretches about 30 feet. As you can see, there are wood floors and a very nice, very high, popcorn-less ceiling! You also get a peep into the eat-in kitchen. The opening on the far left leads to the front door.
In a high-rise it’s about glass, and this home has it along with a full-length and quite deep covered patio. It’s on the north-facing side of the building, which gives you glass-of-wine views of Oaklawn that are unlikely to be impaired given the building’s relation to Love Field. Double-pane windows quiet any disturbance. For those with a tendency to peer, there’s The Melrose hotel ripe for telescopic views of, well, you know!
Patios have an almost brutalist, structural railing that is substantial … and in truth fits with the more modern flare of the building. A bar-height table and chairs and the views over the railing are priceless, including front row seats to several parades and fireworks displays each year.
The master bedroom is quite spacious and clearly light-filled. You get vista views looking north, but the other window offers the drama of nearby high-rises. I also like that the railing design from the patio is repeated here. It gives an unexpected shelf for items that aren’t sun-sensitive.
Speaking of neighboring high-rise views, the bathroom is as light-filled as they come. You’ll notice the partly drawn shades for privacy when needed. Separate showers always get points from me as I’ve grown to dislike stepping into a bathtub to shower (call me spoiled). There are dual sinks and a make-up desk in the drawer-filled vanity.
Finally, what’s also great about the master suite is the closet space. Being built in the 1980s, it’s new enough to have been built to serve our more modern clothes horse needs.
Mark your calendars for Centrum de Mayo!
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