At least one person is less than thrilled about new builds going up in Northwest Dallas‘ Forest Knoll Estates neighborhood, north of Royal Lane near Midway Road. The first clue is the giant word “GREED” scrawled in spray paint on the Snow White-facing side of this Hockaday Drive spec build from ICF Custom Homes. The second clue is the barrage of posts on NextDoor speculating just who would do such a thing.
It’s not the first time this home or its neighboring new builds have been tagged, either. As Robert Wilonsky noted in his report on the incidents, the rising tides of property values and the gentrification of Dallas’ close-in neighborhoods was likely the reason for the perpetrator’s short, but highly visible screed.
Wilonsky ran into ICF Custom Homes co-owner Tom Wagner during his drive-by look at the graffiti and heard this from the Frisco-based builder:
A few months back, he said, when the house was still a shell, someone X’d out the signs out front. Same thing happened to the other new build across Hockaday, from Plano-based Laguna Homes — one of those white-and-black-brick jobs that look like dentists’ offices built out of Legos.
But in all Wagner’s years of home-building, he said, he’s never seen anything like this. He said it will cost a few thousand to replace the bricks and install cameras. And, yeah, it could be kids. Because sure, anything’s possible.
“But I just don’t see a kid writing ‘GREED,'” Wagner said while we stood there, staring at the intruder’s handiwork. He’d already called the cops, who were going to phone back to take a report. “More of an adult …” He paused. “I don’t want to … It’s potentially someone in the neighborhood.”
That sentiment, that the perpetrator could be someone in the neighborhood, was echoed on NextDoor discussions regarding the rather hostile defacement on the home.
Many neighbors are none too pleased with the trend toward teardowns in Forest Knoll Estates and throughout Northwest Dallas. Developers know that these new two-story structures are bound to cause some chafing, though no one expected such aggressive tactics (as Wilonsky said in his piece, passive aggressive is really more the style of the neighborhood).
Another suggested motive was that the perpetrator could have been a bidder on the former structure — a one-story cottage shaded by copious mature trees — and was more than a little miffed by losing out to a builder. DCAD has the appraisal at $400,000, though with the stats of ICF’s current structure. The home was sold about a year ago, marketed for $450,400 as a lot. When complete, the five-bedroom, five-full-and-one-half-bath home will have about twice the square footage of the original structure, and will likely be marketed for around twice the price of the lot’s former 1962-built occupant.
And as most threads on NextDoor go, there was plenty of sarcasm to go around:
However, this defacement that has Forest Knoll Estates in a tizzy is part of a bigger question:
What should builders do, if anything, to mitigate their impact on neighboring homes? Is there such a thing is an overbuilt spec home? And should builders make concessions to nearby homeowners when they choose to tear down and build in a neighborhood?
Sound off in the comments!