Coming Soon: Studs-In Athena Renovation Renews A Classic

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Photos courtesy Full Package Media

The Athena is one of those buildings with really good, quite large floorplans coupled with HOA dues that pay for everything including utilities, cable, and internet. Located in Preston Hollow, it’s perfect for those downsizers not wanting to leave the area as well as those seeking easy access to the Dallas Tollway and Central. However, being an older building, finding a renovated unit isn’t always easy.

Enter unit 1111, soon to be on the market. And if I seem to be a bit enthusiastic about this place, I come by it honestly — it’s the home I put my heart and soul into remodeling. A new job means it’s time to move on to my next renovation (in the Metroplex).

What was once a three bedroom, three bathroom unit has been reconfigured into a more spacious two bedroom and three bathroom unit. It boasts 1,899 square feet, plus it is one of the rare units with its glorious 28-foot long balcony intact.

Note: Those familiar with the Athena will know the original walls were heavily textured (crow’s foot) – this unit has smooth walls and no popcorn ceilings. The property will be listed by Robert Blackman at Solvent Realty Group.

As you can see from the picture above, there’s a lot more that’s was done during its stem-to-stern renovation. Let’s have a look …

Since I love a floorplan, let’s begin there. First thing is that this is a corner unit with windows on two sides. But you first enter the unit on the lower right into a reasonable foyer. I like the wall in front of the door so you don’t feel like you’re in an apartment. This is a home. Turning left you enter the main open-concept living-dining-kitchen area resting in back of a wall of windows. Should a buyer wish a third bedroom, shrinking the living room and reinstalling the wall is simple.

The master and guest bedrooms are separated by their respective bathrooms which aids in sound deadening. A separate laundry room is attached to the guest bedroom. As you can see, the master bedroom is large, but you’ll be thrilled to see the size of its closet.

But back to the tour …

To the right is the foyer that leads into the dining area capable of easily seating eight. In the rear-middle of this picture, you can see the 70-bottle Gaggenau dual-zone wine refrigerator. You also get a glimpse of the wall of windows.

Turning around from the dining area you see the opened kitchen. A wall was removed to open it up and install a large peninsula. On the left you can also see the front door to the unit.

As I said, the living room is generous, open, and bright – for perspective, the television is 65-inches and the carpet measures 14-by-18 feet. Ceilings are 9 feet. The doorway at the rear of the picture accesses the master bedroom. Seeing that doorway, it’s worth mentioning that all but two doors in the unit are pocket doors. I find them efficient as well as more easily operable by those with mobility needs.

As mentioned earlier, the kitchen has a large 5-by-7-foot peninsula that acts as a breakfast bar or as a buffet when entertaining. Unseen in this picture is the unexpected number of electrical outlets. While there are two (and one light switch) in the backsplash, the entire undercabinet area is lined with invisible outlets. Pretty slick. At the rear of the kitchen, you can just make out the pair of Gaggenau ovens with side-swing doors for easy access (along with the built-in microwave).

This is no pokey apartment-y kitchen. There’s a five-burner induction cooktop with a flush-mounted vent hood that doesn’t block the view. The cabinets are white shaker with inset doors.  Almost all the lower cabinets are drawers making them very easy to access with no crouching down to find something hidden in the back. At the far end is an LED-lit pantry behind a reeded glass pocket door.  The other doorway leads to the guest bedroom.

Seen from the other direction you can just make out the built-in 36-inch stainless steel Viking refrigerator-freezer. What you can’t see is that just this side of the refrigerator are two drawers that are in fact Sub-Zero freezer drawers for added cold storage.

Before heading into the master bedroom, let’s take a moment and look at the view over Preston Hollow. The table and chairs at railing height provide diners with unobstructed views to Galleria and beyond. It’s worth noting that Athena units that face north do not suffer from Northwest Highway noise nor are they toasted by the southern sun. “Quiet and cool” is what the north side is called.

The master bedroom is quite large at 14-by-21-feet. For reference, that carpet is 17-feet long. This picture may be saying the owner has no curtains, but there’s another secret: Motorized blackout shades are tucked into a ceiling recess. One click and it’s lights out.

Believe it or not, the master bedroom was made slightly smaller. A foot was shaved off the bedroom’s width and given to this now wider bathroom. Couples will appreciate the dual Kallista sinks, Toto toilet, and a walk-in double shower with regular and rain shower heads, each having separate temperature controls. The floor, shower and back wall are lined in Carrera marble. Note: Tall people will appreciate the raised shower heads in all bathrooms.

I don’t usually post closet pics, but this one is quite generous for a condo. It’s 12-feet deep with hanging and drawers on both sides. It’s also Elfa from The Container Store so new owners can reconfigure the closet to their needs and pick-up any extra parts across from NorthPark.

The guest bedroom, at 16-by-15 feet, is the size of many high-rise master bedrooms. Folding doors beyond the bed reveal the laundry room, and there are three closets in the room plus the en suite bathroom. That’s the thing about the Athena, every bedroom has a full en suite bathroom. Guests and roommates welcome!


The guest room’s bathroom has a large vanity with a bathtub-shower combination. The shower tile is Ann Sacks and includes a custom diamond-tiled shampoo niche to perk-up bathers. The diamond pattern is repeated in the marble floor.


And while laundry rooms aren’t thrilling until you need them, for a high-rise, the one in this unit is pretty big. The additional storage and hanging space are paired with the full-sized washer and dryer.

Finally, for those who’ve been reading about PD-15, this unit is well above any proposed area redevelopment, alleviating any concern of view blockage.

As I said, this is a “coming soon” listing and the ink isn’t even dry on the pictures. But if you are or a buyer interested in seeing this home, you can contact Robert Blackman at Solvent Realty Group. For more photos, check back here — the listing will be up soon!

Remember:  High-rises, HOAs and renovation are my beat. But I also appreciate modern and historical architecture balanced against the YIMBY movement. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, the National Association of Real Estate Editors recognized my writing with three Bronze (2016, 2017, 2018) and two Silver (2016, 2017) awards.  Have a story to tell or a marriage proposal to make?  Shoot me an email Be sure to look for me on Facebook and Twitter. You won’t find me, but you’re welcome to look.

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Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson is's condo/HOA and developer columnist, but also covers second home trends on An award-winning columnist, Jon has earned silver and bronze awards for his columns from the National Association of Real Estate Editors in both 2016, 2017 and 2018. When he isn't in Hawaii, Jon enjoys life in the sky in Dallas.

Reader Interactions


    • mmJon Anderson says

      Actually, I’m a serial renovator and have lived in my current home longer than any of the 6 homes I’ve lived in during the past 20+ years. I’ve been looking for a new project for well over a year. Blame a lack of inventory for taking so long.

      • mmCandy Evans says

        I’m still in the area! As is my daughter… and now we hope to bring sensible change to the area. I am coining a phrase called “nurtured development”, whereby neighborhoods stop saying blanket no’s but start working with developers (a lot like Jon has) to try and achieve better buildings. Was in NYC this weekend and could not believe the beautiful architecture there nestled right next to 100 year old buildings. We stayed in a totally vintage building, too. But we don’t keep old when it’s not built like a tank or dangerous to occupants. BTW our view at The Yale Club was of a fire escape. But when we went to the rooftop, we had the most magnificent view in Manhattan. Standing at Rockefeller Center gave me new inspiration for Preston Center, too!

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