Here’s something you don’t see every day. A Goldilocks trio of quite different units in the same stack at the Stoneleigh. You’ll recall, the Stoneleigh began life as a DIY building of unfinished shells. Some buyers gravitated to the complete freedom of designing their own interior without the added strife of actually designing a full home from the foundation to the roof. Turns out that a lot of folks just aren’t interested in doing that, so the Stoneleigh announced last year that they would be finishing out some of the remaining shells to give move-in buyers something to buy.
Now, if you’re not skint of a $3.6 million budget to buy Rick Carlisle’s unit, move along, nothing for you to see here. If you’re a couple of mil short, read on …
Turns out “C” units are pretty popular because of their western, sunset views enjoyed from their 308-square-foot balconies. Having been in a few Cs, I can see why. That’s not to say if I were gifted with another unit, I’d demur (commenter Bob Stoller doesn’t think I’m demure 🙂 ). Anyway, there are currently three of these units on the market that tell a story …
Unit 20C is on the market with Denisa Ulloa of Clay Stapp for $1.57 million (originally $1.75 million). It has 1,828 square feet containing one bedroom and one full and one half bathrooms. It’s the least expensive finished unit for sale on the highest floor (and best C-views). Well, that doesn’t make sense, right?
The reason is that unit 20C lost its “Master” suite. You see, when buildings are new, often buyers want a little more space than is in the original unit configurations. The solution is for developers to sell off all or parts of adjoining units. In 20C’s case, the neighboring unit purchased the original master suite that would have been located behind the kitchen area. The one bedroom it does have is the original guest room.
These types of units can be a boon for those looking to get into a building that might be out of their league because the spaces are too large/expensive. Think of it as having the cheapest house on the best block. In Realtor-speak, location matters because, unlike paint, you can’t change location without moving.
So what is the bedroom situation? The bedroom does lack the temple feel of many modern master suites. But remember, a bedroom is where your eyes are typically either closed or rolled back in your head. I’ve got one of those jumbo master bedrooms that’s 15 by 21 feet, and frankly, I could hold a dance on the empty space. What’s interesting about retaining this bedroom versus the original master is the view. Located on the western side of the building, as you enter the room you see the west skyline of downtown Dallas, including the green Bank of America building, the Reunion ball, and a Calatrava or two. Not a bad way to greet the sandman.
The bathroom has all the mod-cons, with a double vanity, shower (I’m not a tubber), and water closet. One thing worth noting for the shy or the coupled … the wall separating the bathroom and the bedroom is frosted glass. Any night errand might light up your formerly-sleeping partner.
What’s great about this unit is that the living areas are full size. And really, isn’t this where you spend the bulk of your waking hours … the bulk of your entertaining? Being a cook, I really like the way this unit placed its kitchen. On the back wall, it creates great views for the cook and guests. It highlights the expansive width of the space.
Also, it has a little Will & Grace inspiration. Off the kitchen there’s a paneled TV den offering a more intimate space away from the crush of the main room. Brits call these rooms “snugs.” Will & Grace watched many a Lifetime movie in theirs.
Unit 20C is perfect for those wanting to be in the Stoneleigh without starting with a shell … whether full- or part-time residents … or an SMU student (you laugh, but …). It’s for those who don’t want overnight guests they’re not sleeping with to be so close (raises hand). The Stoneleigh hotel is close enough, right?
DIY in Unit 9C
Moving down the stack, we have unit 9C co-listed with Lisa Besserer and Pogir Pogir of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s for $1.56 million and, as you can see, this is another one-bedroom unit. But 9C has the original master, instead losing its guest room. As you compare this to 20C, remember, when you’re starting with a shell, floor plans are simply suggestions. Unit 20C moved their kitchen, laundry and half-bath along with re-jiggering the guest bedroom.
Unit 9C remains a shell … but the $1.56 million includes the finish-out … so a new homeowner can choose to configure however they want. For example, I’d copy 20C’s living areas while retaining the master in the original plan except moving the bedroom doorway out of where I’d put the kitchen.
I “C” the wheels turning. “Why would I pay $1.57 million for 20C instead of 9C that’s $10,000 less and a pinch larger?” Because of what’s outside the windows. It’s the difference between 9th floor views and the 20th floor views. Because you want to choose your finishes and you’re patient. Because, of how you feel about having the original master or if the guest will suffice. Otherwise, potato, po-tah-toe.
Finally we have unit 12C, a full-sized, 2,456-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom C unit. Oh, and it’s finished out and move-in ready and listed by Lisa Besserer and Pogir Pogir of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s for $1.687 million. Net-net, $110,000 to pick-up the second bedroom.
As you can see, in 12C, the kitchen is placed as suggested in the original plans. Compare it with 20C’s placement. Which works better to you? This picture also highlights my Stoneleigh quandary … literally the stone. You see, I’m typically a wood floor kinda guy, but at the Stoneleigh, I’m definitely Jones-ing on the stone flooring.
In both configurations, the cook is still quite involved in the scene when entertaining. They also face windows in either location … one of the big points to being in a high-rise. I mean if you’re going to high-rise, you don’t ever want to be away from a window, except … you know.
I mean, this is the view … you want to see it … all the time. You can watch Bleu Ciel get finished and new neighbors move in. You can see sunset for most of the year. You can see Harry Hines and the Tollway, but not be next to it. Pretty spiff.
Since a bedroom is a bedroom, here’s the master bath you miss in 20C. If you’re a tub person, it’s a no-brainer. If, like me, the shower is enough, perhaps it doesn’t matter.
And that’s the point of this article. One man’s confusion is another man’s choice. If you’re looking to spend a cool $1.5-ish million, the $110,000 for the full-sized, extra bedroom-ed unit isn’t likely to deflate your wallet. So the decision comes down to preferences. Do you need the second bedroom? Which views work for you … 20th, 12th, or 9th floor? Do you want move in ready or customized for you? How do you feel about master bathrooms and closet space?
In the end, these are the kinds of choices you make in buying any home. In a high-rise, those niggling choices are only an elevator ride away.
In suburbia they say, “Drive until you can afford it.” In a high-rise, ride the (elevator) rails until you like it.
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 Candysdirt.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.