Does VisitDallas CEO Phillip Jones Live in Dallas or Southlake? (And About that Loan…)


A very good question: why does someone promoting Dallas, receiving almost a $700,000 salary funded by taxpayers to in fact promote Dallas, live and raise his family in Southlake?

Well, Mr. Jones actually does live in Dallas at The House, by Philippe Starck, where he and his wife, Patricia, own a 1,487 square foot condo on the ninth floor.

We should also clarify something else that has been a source of confusion, by the way: Funding for VisitDallas comes from a tax paid by visitors when they stay at Dallas hotels, not taxes from local residents.

Years ago, in 2004, Phillip Jones and his wife, Patricia bought a new house at 930 Deer Hollow Blvd. in Southlake. The house is now valued by the Tarrant County Appraisal District at $652,000. The home, in an area called Southlake Woods, is 3886 square feet on almost .60 of an acre. And this is where they raised their two children, who are now young adults.

About four years ago, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings apparently told Phillip that he really should live in Dallas, not Southlake,. So in 2014, the couple bought a unit on the ninth floor at The House by Philippe Starck. I’m told that Phillip actually rented the condo for seven years, then bought it.

The unit was not in MLS, indicating it may have been an off-market sale since he was leasing it. 2014 was actually a great time to buy at The House, two years after the original developers, London-based Yoo Ltd. and Dallas’ Hillwood, filed for bankruptcy. In 2012, Dallas’s chief foreclosure expert, George Roddy, told us  “I think it’s the biggest residential foreclosure posting we’ve ever had in Dallas.” Since DCAD has the Joneses condo appraised at $483,280, I’m guessing they got a good deal on it. Dave Perry-Miller’s Claudine King sold a similar unit on the fifth floor for $595,000 in November that was pretty decked out.

Unit 507, what great views!

But the Jones are taking a homestead exemption on the Southlake property, probably because it is the higher priced of the two props. VisitDallas’s Senior Chief Marketing Officer, Frank Librio, promptly got in touch with me Monday to confirm that the Joneses indeed have two homes, but the House condo is where Phillip lives four or five nights out the week.

“Phillip is very visible in Dallas and on the Katy Trail,” said Frank (Phillip is an avid cyclist and triathlete). “I reminded him of the homestead exemption on the Southlake property and he said, ‘yeah, I need to change that.’ The homestead is in the process of being changed.”

Turns out the Jones’ eldest son, who is disabled, prefers living in the Southlake home which is where Patricia often stays, caring for him.

There have been media reports of a pay advance loan that was given to Phillip of about $35,000 in 2015. When I saw that, I wondered immediately if it had anything to do with the purchase of the House condo. And since I’m a nosy dirt digger, I asked.

No, Frank told me. The loan was tied to a private family issue with the Joneses’ adult son, who is, again, disabled and enjoys living in Southlake.

I asked our education editor, Bethany Erickson, why Southlake?  She said that Southlake was probably attractive to the Jones family because of the schools. Dallas ISD wasn’t necessarily horrible in 2004 (although a year or so later the credit card scandal would start making the news) — it was rated “academically acceptable” by the Texas Education Agency, and only had two schools rated unacceptable.

But Carroll ISD, where Southlake students attend school, was rated Exemplary that year, the highest rating you could get at the time. In fact, all of its schools were either exemplary (seven schools) or the second highest rating, recognized (four schools).

“If I was moving from out of state, and just looking at the two districts on paper, I would probably have opted for Southlake as well in 2004,” Erickson said. “Especially if the people hiring me never said living in Dallas was a requirement for the job.”



One Comment

  • If I am hiring you with a six figure salary to promote DALLAS, I shouldn’t HAVE TO TELL YOU TO LIVE IN DALLAS!

    School districts notwithstanding.