Lute Riley Sells Penson Property on Armstrong Parkway for $500K Less Than He Paid for It

It’s one of the most beautiful lots in Highland Park, and the home upon it was a critically acclaimed Midcentury Modern masterpiece.

Keyword: Was. However, it may very well be again.

On September 27, 2016, the famed Penson house at 3756 Armstrong Parkway sold at auction for a cool $4.95 million. People at the auction spotted a handsome gentleman with white hair. He was Lute Riley of the Honda car dealership fame and he was the buyer. Lute walked out of the house that day smiling broadly, his agent by his side, Allie Beth Allman.

Lute Riley bought a home that had almost a Camelot-like presence in Dallas. I thought of the Penson home, in fact, when I was visiting my daughter’s alma mater, The Hockaday School, Saturday. The home at 3756 Armstrong Parkway was built for Jack and Nancy Penson in 1954 and remained one of architect O’Neil Ford’s largest residential projects. The home was designed in one of his favorite styles, Texas Regionalism. The 9,800-square-foot home survived very close to the original design with the exception of a second story addition, a massive, indulgent master bath expansion (ONYX!), and enclosure of a rear porch. 

The home was 62 years old when it was razed on December 13, 2016. The lot was placed on the market almost immediately for $5.950,000.

It had been named by Preservation Dallas as one of the major Dallas buildings in danger of destruction. And the lot sat for more than two years.

After the first couple of years, Riley proclaimed his desire to sell it by hook or by crook. “MOTIVATED SELLER,” wrote his agent, Allie Beth Allman, in all caps, to whom the Penson home was the gift that kept on giving sales opportunity.

Wonderful building opportunity a gorgeous 0.83 acre lot in Highland Park. Cleared lot situated high on a hill with incredible views of Lakeside Park and Turtle Creek.
Public Driving Directions:SE corner of Armstrong and St. Johns Drive

Well, talk about burying a lead: The property was purchased on March 29, 2019, by… 

3756 Armstrong 

Christopher and Toni Parvin.

Chris is the President and CEO of The Parvin Group (TPG), home to several growing businesses spanning various industries in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex.  It appears the 2006 SMU Law grad began with a thriving law practice, which has now parlayed into several business entities.

“Chris and Toni’s impending move to Highland Park was driven heavily by their desire to be closer to their growing businesses in downtown Dallas,” wrote Mary O’Connor, Chief Marketing Office of The Parvin Group. 

The cornerstone of TPG is the Parvin Law Group, a boutique law firm located in downtown Dallas that delivers expert counsel across estate planning, probate and business law.  Chris is the President and Managing Partner of the practice. 

The other TPG companies include Knob & Key Realty (Michelle Ozymy at K&K brokered the deal on this property), Trinity Abstract & Title Co., Parvin Properties, White Rhino Coffee & Kitchen, and, coming in the fall of this year, The Sidecar Bar & Lounge.  Knob & Key Realty and Trinity Abstract & Title Co. recently opened downtown Dallas offices to better service the Dallas market.  White Rhino Coffee & Kitchen is expanding north into Bishop Arts, where a forth location will be opening this fall, alongside The Sidecar Bar & Lounge, a new craft cocktail lounge. 

“While Chris and Toni have called Cedar Hill home for more than a decade, they are looking forward to moving to Highland Park and becoming an even more integral part of the Dallas community,” writes Mary. “Giving back and making a difference in the community in which they reside has always been a priority for the Parvin family.”

Chris Parvin explains his company’s mission this way:  “We exist so that we can build profitably growing companies, so that we can give to the Kingdom of God, make the world a better place, and enrich our employees’ lives.” 

Almost sounds like Howard Schultz. We already think he is a genius for getting this choice property at such an amazing price.

To bring the story full circle, the Parvin’s new home will be in the excellent hands of the architectural firm of Bernbaum/Magadini

Bernbaum/Magadini property

Bernbaum/Magadini property

Bernbaum/Magadini property

“Bruce Bernbaum and Patricia Magadini bring a wealth of experience in thoughtful and innovative design to the project,” writes Mary. “Chris and Toni are excited to work with them to design a modern home where they can raise their family, including daughter Olivia (12) and son Harrison (11), and entertain  friends.”

Lovely. A happy ending is coming to this property. Perhaps the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was mistaken: Camelot can return, just with a different architect: “Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot.” 


6 Comment

  • Thank you for writing this piece on our lot. We are eager to join the community and be near all the best restaurants!

  • Candy, I am deeply touched by your poignant words regarding my family home/property. I am shedding a tear looking at the beautiful photos you posted of our former home. I was devastated to see it razed. I hope to meet the new owners and watch their creation of a new glorious new home for their family. My very deepest thanks, Read Penson Gendler

    • mm

      Thank you. I know how important the home was to your family, and it pained my heart to see it razed. This story gives me hope that that blessed dirt is going to, again,cradle a whole new generation or two of happy family love!

    • Read – we would love to meet you. You have my word we will treat this wonderful place with love, integrity, and respect.

  • Beautiful home-Love to see these magnificent structures revitalized and put to hospitable use! Parvins will be great stewards of the vision.

  • Well, since I’m a Cedarhillian, it’s my pleasure to share the news of the wonderful addition HP now has in The Parvin Family! They have been and always will “our people”. They’ve been those kind of folks who give everything their all! Enjoy them, HP!