Follow the creative work force and you’ll always find the next cool place to live.
Photographers and artists originally pioneered repurposing historic warehouses into studios that doubled as homes. It happened in Deep Ellum back in the 1970s and ‘80s. They were eventually priced out, and moved on to another warehouse neighborhood — The Design District. It’s become the new hip place to live and it’s where we found a Design District “wow-house” warehouse.
With 7,775 square feet of the most well-thought-out space we’ve ever seen, a state-of-the-art Pulse security system, indoor parking for five cars and a view of the Calatrava Bridge from the back garden, you’re probably wondering just where we’ve wandered. It’s so spectacular we hesitate to call it a warehouse so we’re calling it a “wow-house”!
Sunday afternoon, Candy and I popped over to see 1105 E. Levee Street, listed by Gerald Solomon with Western States Realty Partners and Nancy Guerriero with Guerriero Law & Wood at Dallas City Center Realtors for $1.495 million. From the outside, it’s your typical warehouse look, but once that door opened we knew we were in for a treat.
Stephanie Elliott, better known as Chef Stephanie Elliott and the owner of The Savory Artist, welcomed us into her home and her fantastic commercial kitchen. A Dallas native, Elliott is a Renaissance woman. Not only is she a chef and sommelier, she’s renovated historic buildings and run art galleries. She was at the forefront of the move to repurpose those Deep Ellum historic warehouses. One of her projects was the conversion of a 1918 abandoned pawn shop into an art studio, gallery, and residential loft space. So she knows about making a warehouse look like anything but a warehouse.
Elliott has at various points of her life lived in the countryside and also in Preston Hollow. “I knew I wanted to be down here because of the warehouse factor,” she said. “I wanted to get something I could rebuild and give new life to and it was always my intention to live where I worked.”
The beauty of a warehouse is you can create whatever you want. And with a space designed for commercial usage, i.e. commercial shut off valves, you can simply shut down the entire building and go on vacation without worrying about a thing.
The space has 11-foot ceilings — complete with triple insulation — in the front of the building, which houses the office space and a half-bathroom. They climb to 14 feet in the commercial kitchen, which occupies the center of the building, and in the luxurious residential space in the back of the warehouse.
Elliott has her personal residence set up in an open-plan layout, with a central support wall. Every other wall can be moved, so the space can be easily modified from the existing one-bedroom, two-bathroom, gigantic closet configuration to anything your heart desires.
It was hard to get Candy out of that gigantic closet. She was in awe remarking, “Look at the space, it’s a dream closet, you could live in here!” Eventually we pried her out to see something just as fantastic, the 14 x 14 safe room. Seriously, everyone needs one of these, and this one is perfection with its own electrical and ventilation systems, wireless, and, should you ever want to put in a bathroom, it’s plumbed. You could basically throw a small dinner party in there.
Not that you have to worry about security. “We have a neighborhood patrol but there has never been a problem in the three years I’ve lived here,” Elliott said. “It’s serene at night and on the weekends. We walk on the levee up to Trinity Groves, have dinner, and walk back and it’s so peaceful.”
There are about 50 homeowners in the immediate area, and Elliott said they all get together once a month to have dinner and socialize. Bowlounge is nearby, The Meddlesome Moth and Ascension Coffee are just across Riverfront — everything you need is nearby and you’re centrally located. It’s perfect. So what’s up with Chef Stephanie? Why is she leaving this perfect world she’s created? Well it’s all about love. Sigh.
“I just thought I’d stay here forever,” Elliott said. “Then I fell in love and we have an opportunity to go to Colorado. So it’s time for a new beginning.”
We’re going to follow her on that new beginning, because she’s already told us about starting it out with a “glamping” experience and we can’t wait.
So stay tuned! Meanwhile if you are looking for the ultimate, hip “wow-house” warehouse, better hurry because we have a feeling this one won’t last long! It’s not in MLS, so give Nancy and Gerald a call.