Attention Renovators! Athena Unit Ready For Your Dumpster and Designs

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Athena Exterior 1

Yes, I’ve recently written a lot about the Pink Wall (the fire and all) including an Athena double-unit listing at $1.1 million, and normally I’d be loathe to write about the same building so soon, BUT …

Unit 915 at the Athena is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit with 1,543 natural square feet that picks up 230 more feet from an already enclosed balcony.  HOA dues are $1,037 per month but in addition to all the usual high-rise maintenance and such, also includes all utilities, cable TV, and internet.  It’s listed for $249,900 with Diana Boswell of JP & Associates.

That’s $141 per square foot. No high-rise in Dallas is trading at that rate.

Of course there’s a reason.  While the agent says, “With a little bit of TLC…” I’d say, “It’s a dump” … but in a good way.  To a renovator, “It’s a dump” means, “Tell me more.”

Athena 915 - View 1

Before I freak you out, here’s the view over Preston Hollow … you know, the thing you can’t renovate your way out of.  In the summer, it’s a verdant forest all the way to Galleria and beyond.  Fingers-crossed the Midtown development adds some high-rise bling in the distance for nighttime twinkling.

Athena 915 - Living 1

Bad photography aside, this is the large living room (with enclosed balcony).  The wrinkly carpeting is a hint of things to come. Behind the right wall should be the second bedroom. Extend the wall to the windows and rework the doorway, and the bedroom is back … or pull the windows back in and restore the balcony for 30 feet of outdoor space. Lay wood floors (everywhere) and skim-coat the walls to cover the dreadful “crows foot” texturing.

Athena 915 - Living 2

Looking back towards the front door you see the tiled dining area with mirrored back wall.  Ditch the mirrors and the stub wall near the front door. Continue flooring throughout.  The back-center door leads to the kitchen.  Open the doorway top-to-bottom and edge-to-edge to open it up.

Athena 915 - Kitchen 1

Speaking of kitchen, back up the dumpster. Cheap 1980s redo needs to just go. There are a lot of doors and pantry alcoves here.  Take it back to the walls and ceiling (empty soffits) and rebuild. It’s actually good size kitchen without its current bad layout. Doubt me? Look at the $1.1 million kitchen, it’s essentially the same space.

Athena 915 - Kitchen 2

More of the same, this picture proves there’s zero to salvage here … although I’d call ReStore and offer them any cabinets, sinks, vent hood any of the doors to keep them out of landfill.

Athena 915 - Bedroom Bar 1

Remember that lost second bedroom?  Here it is.  Ditch the carpet, move the door and get rid of the built-ins.  Behind the built-ins you’ll discover the original bathroom that’s been converted to a junky bath and a wet bar … because who doesn’t want a toity next to their toddy?

Athena 915 - Bar 1

Again, nothing to keep here. Donate the cheap cabinets, counter and sink. In fact, it looks like someone already started donating the upper cabinets. That sink is where the original bathroom sink went.

Athena 915 - Bathroom 1

Here’s what’s left of the bathroom.  Donate the vanity … and donate the wallpaper to a blind friend.  Again, the bathrooms are good-sized for a high-rise … especially one built before the cavernous bathroom era.

Athena 915 - Bathroom 2

Here’s the master bathroom.  Original 1966 cabinetry … and a bidet?? That’s not original to the building. As you can see in the mirror, there are a lot of doors.  Simplifying the layout nets you a generous (though not extreme) bathroom that’ll comfortably accommodate double sinks and a large walk-in closet.

So here’s the deal.  It’s listed at $249,900. Toss in another well-planned $100,000-$110,000 and where would you get a fully-customized 1,773-square-foot high-rise condo in Dallas for that kind of money?  Nowhere, that’s where.

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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Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson is's condo/HOA and developer columnist, but also covers second home trends on An award-winning columnist, Jon has earned silver and bronze awards for his columns from the National Association of Real Estate Editors in both 2016, 2017 and 2018. When he isn't in Hawaii, Jon enjoys life in the sky in Dallas.

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