Jon’s Completely Biased Residential High-Rise Awards; Part 2

Stoneleigh-lobby 2

Quiet corner of the Stoneleigh Residences

Part 2 continues my self-serving, completely subjective high-rise awards based on equally dubious categories.  Click here if you missed Part 1.

4. Most Over the Top: The Stoneleigh Residences

Stoneleigh Lobby. Windows from upper level clubroom/bar seen in upper right

Stoneleigh Lobby. Windows from upper level clubroom/bar seen in upper right

I’m told the public spaces took $5 million to outfit in a quarry of stone, crystal and wood.  After seeing them, I have no doubt.  It’s a VERY hotel feeling with double-height lobby, large-format stone mosaic floors, and graceful furnishings.  Not a lobby for lingering, but rather where you wait for your lunch date with the dirty “maid’s on vacation” home or the valet to bring your car around.

Stoneleigh Clubroom overlooking lobby

Stoneleigh Clubroom overlooking lobby

This could be a bar at a petite Mandarin Oriental hotel.  Very opulent.  Even if I could afford to live here, I’d think I didn’t belong and everyone knew it. Call me crazy, but if I need therapy to feel at home in my home, I’d better stick to visiting my more mentally robust friends.

Stoneleigh Meeting 1

In addition to the space taste here, there are a selection of other spaces decked out like the best boardrooms in the world or a society wedding-worthy ballroom complete with catering kitchen.  That’s in addition to the assumed pool, fitness center, and the like.  Definitely OTT.

5. Best Starter High-Rise TIE: 21 and Turtle Creek North

"21" located at 3880 Turtle Creek

“21” located at 3880 Turtle Creek

Being well into my housing dotage, I’m past the basic one-bedroom of my youth.  But for those looking for reasonably priced starter condos on Turtle Creek, 21 has a renewed life.  Sure there are two- and three-bedroom units, but there are a lot of one-bedrooms.  Between the new double-pane windows, balcony refresh and infrastructure improvements, 21 is on the up after many years on the down.  It’s got a younger vibe as well as a can-do attitude about making the building the best it can be.  Since 2010, prices are up 286 percent.  To get the full scoop, click here and here.

Turtle Creek North at 3701 Turtle Creek

Turtle Creek North at 3701 Turtle Creek

Turtle Creek North is a smaller building with a mix of one- and two-bedroom units.  All have nice balconies (some of which have unfortunately been enclosed).  Units are not grand, nor are the bathrooms, but for a starter condo, it works.  There have been several units in recent years showing what can be done to faded interiors for a new generation of owners.  I especially like the HOA dues, which are quite reasonable considering they include all utilities.  While I never bought here, I did lose a battle for a unit.

6. Best Curb Appeal, TIE: “Limited Edition” and Turtle Creek Gardens

Fairmount and Turtle Creek. All curb appeal

Fairmount and Turtle Creek. All curb appeal

These neighboring properties are the definition of curb appeal.  The Limited Edition at 2505 Turtle Creek is in for a re-tooling expected to be announced in the autumn.  For now it remains what it has been for a decade, an empty lot.  Next-door Turtle Creek Gardens is about to become an empty lot with its recent sale (before high-rising).  They win for “Best Curb Appeal” because that’s all they have!  LOL

Kidding aside, the future buildings are bound to be attractive and both are in a sweet area.  They’re filthy with park land.  They’re in the shadow of the Katy Trail without the Katy Trail Icehouse and Company Café noise. They’re a quick walk to Uptown restaurants.  They’re close enough to I-35E to see it and access it without hearing it.

7. Wish You’d Bought Years Ago: Warrington

Warrington 1

There was a time when agents couldn’t give away Turtle Creek condos.  Even as recent as the recession, The Warrington had a few foreclosures at bargain prices.  I recall looking at one enormous fourth-floor unit in need of de-’80s-ing.  The only thing that stopped me was its low location on the backside of the building overlooking the tennis court.  I could just imagine the thunk-thunk of early morning weekend tennis matches, and so I passed.  If the unit was 10 floors higher, I’d have grabbed it.

The Warrington that got away. (I never throw anything away)

The Warrington that got away. (I never throw anything away)

At first glance, The Warrington appears to be a simple pair of towers.  Closer inspection reveals it’s a single building with a slight jog connected via a glass spine on the front of the building. Units are long and graceful with balcony space on every side.  End units get balconies facing two directions.

What was once within financial reach is no more.  Had I purchased that unit and renovated it, I’d be in a much better position to buy-up in the building.  Coulda, woulda, shoulda … the lament of every real estate buyer.

Stay-tuned for part three where I finish dispensing my “awards” for curb appeal, traditional, renovation-ready, “wished you’d bought” and more …

Remember:  High-rises, HOAs and renovation are my beat. But I also appreciate modern and historical architecture balanced against the YIMBY movement.  If you’re interested in hosting a Staff Meeting event, I’m your guy. In 2016, my writing was recognized with Bronze and Silver awards from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.  Have a story to tell or a marriage proposal to make?  Shoot me an email


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