How Architect Allan Ross Designed the Spectacular Bentley Place for Downsizing

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When Dallas architect Allan Ross conceptualized Bentley Place in Greenway Parks, he designed the eight-villa luxury development with at least one specific type of home buyer in mind: downsizers.

At last month’s Staff Party, we gabbed with the noted architect about a mind-boggling virtual reality tour of Bentley Place (seriously, mind-boggling!) and discussed some of the trends in new downsizing properties. Ross, principal of Waal Architecture, is an accomplished creator with four decades of experience in the design, development, and construction of award-winning projects for private sector clients throughout the United States, Canada, Caribbean, North Africa, and the UAE.

We tapped into that brilliant mind of his to share the most sought-after features that downsizing homeowners are looking for in a smaller home:

1. Lock-and-Leave Living

Ross says part of the whole appeal of downsizing is maintenance-free, lock-and-leave living, where you can spend your summers up north and your winters in Texas without worrying about the home you’re leaving behind for weeks at a time. So, when you’re evaluating a new home for your empty nest years, think about services or amenities that come with a residence, such as maintenance-free exteriors and landscaping. You don’t want to have to worry about a yard back home when you’re miles and miles away.

2. Large Principal Rooms

Estate homes come with estate-sized furniture, so look for a home that has large, spacious living and dining areas. That’s something downsizers often overlook until they realize their grand dining table doesn’t fit their new space. Ross says he’s worked with several home buyers who were sold on Bentley Place for its spacious entertaining spaces, both indoors and outdoors, and dining rooms that are big enough to fit their dining room table.

3. Ample Secondary Bedrooms and Living Space

Just because a home is smaller doesn’t mean you should have to skimp on bedrooms. Ross says home buyers need ample secondary bedroom space to house family and guests who are sure to want to visit your new home. That means plenty of room for visiting adult children, grandkids, and frequent house guests who’ll appreciate the breathing room that secondary living rooms offer.

4. Quality Finishes and Fixtures

Ross says downsizing homeowners look for high-end, quality finishes and fixtures in their new homes, similar to the bespoke quality they’re accustomed to. That means no skimping on basic quality fixtures, countertops, showers, and cabinetry. And I’m sorry, I gotta say it. If I’m forking over a million for a downsize home, I’m not going to accept American Standard toilets in the bathroom.


Candy Evans

A real estate muckraker, Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters. She is also the North Texas real estate editor for, CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, & the Katy Trail Weekly. Candy has written for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News, plus a host of national sites. Constantly breaking celebrity real estate news, she scooped former president George W. Bush's Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of her signature, and, devoted to the vacation home market. Her verticals have won many awards, including Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations. Candy holds an active Texas real estate license but does not sell. She is on the Board of Directors of Braemar Hotels & Resorts (BHR).

Reader Interactions


  1. Dr. Timothy B. Jones says

    These homes are nice but the developer failed lessons in location which is why this development is selling so poorly despite having been on the MLS most of this year with regular price reductions! No one, and I mean no one will pay a million plus to literally sit 20 feet off Inwood Drive. He says lock-and-leave…..what he means is when you leave, the bad guys have easy in and out access to each house sitting right on Inwood. Lock and Leave mean secure and this development provides little protection. Nice finishes but the whole layout of the collection of homes needs to be rethought. It’s almost as bad as the townhomes built on the corner of Hall and US 75 that never sold and now are rental units. I looked at Bentley Place when I decided to build my new home. It was too loud and way too busy. Sorry to disagree Candy.

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