All Aboard: The Terminal Brings $1K Per Square Foot Into The Station

Just one car on Fitzhugh?

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed The Terminal condos had hit MLS in pre-sale mode. What’s The Terminal?  It’s a new 19-unit condo building bound by Fitzhugh, Buena Vista Street, and the Katy Trail scheduled for completion in 2021. You may recall seeing it mentioned as one of the cases vetted by the Oak Lawn Committee last November (when it had 25 units).  Well, the renderings are final, the floor plans set and the prices (gasp!) have been announced.

As a quick review, the name is derived from the fact the Katy Trail was originally a train line. The architecture hat-tips that history with large, arched glass openings on the first and second floors. Those floors will be amenity space and public space for eateries abutting the Katy Trail. Along Buena Vista, one of the arches is a public walkway connecting to the trail. Along the far end is a pocket park. Keen eyes will note the power lines – we’ll talk about them later.

Of the 19 units, seven have been listed on MLS – typical ploy in new developments when you want scarcity to drive interest. Unit sizes range from 2,471 square feet (two-bed/two-and-a-half-bath) to the full-floor penthouse shell at 6,577 square feet with another 2,901 square feet of terrace. Prices for the seven MLS listings are from the oddly specific $2,527,445 to $6.65 million. Because of the differing sizes of the units, they’re actually trading in a very tight band of price per square foot of between $1,011 to $1,096.54 – for a mid-rise barely above a busy road with power lines so close you might almost be able to touch them. That’s some mighty high-cotton.

Listing agent Faisal Halum from Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s said this about The Terminal:

“This type of small-batch, mixed-use, high-quality development simply does not exist in Dallas. The developers, Capitol Peak Ventures and Laurie Sands Harrison, are building a project which will rival the grand buildings in the world’s other great cities. They are also in the process of acquiring additional parcels in the Fitzhugh Avenue corridor and are in conversations with some of the top operators in North America to continue the transformation of — and around — Fitzhugh Avenue.”

Of course, the renderings show lavish interiors (see all the renderings and floorplans here). There are a variety of kitchen options. Manly me likes a return to wood cabinetry (walnut?) with white stone. You’ll notice that the floors in the main areas are herringbone (essentially double the price of plank floors). In addition, all the stone is either book- or quad-matched to heighten its drama and price tag.

Bathroom renderings are similarly lush with lighter interior options shown. Note the stone mosaic floors and more book-matching in the shower. And, unlike some million-dollar new builds, the developer seems keenly aware of the need for shampoo niches.

This closet is a little country and a little rock-and-roll. The natural woods would typically be seen as masculine whereas this closet’s contents are clearly feminine – although I’m not sure how many closets have an Hermes Kelly handbag so close to a vintage motorcycle helmet.

All units have outdoor space, but because of the articulation of the exterior, some are more generous than others. Here we see a unit with a quite long terrace either overlooking the Katy Trail or Buena Vista Street. Terraces facing downtown also overlook Fitzhugh Avenue. Oddly, more guest bedrooms have access to a terrace than do master bedrooms.

The living room is similarly on-trend with brass-framed windows, white cabinetry, and Carrara marble wet bar. But you have to look closely for the power lines running past the unit.

Barely visible in this close-up, I think power lines will be a problem for a buyer shelling out $1,000 per square foot – in Dallas. For reference, a quick MLS search finds that there are just seven properties listed above $2 million asking more than $1,000 a square foot. There are penthouses in Museum Tower, W Residences and Bleu Ciel along with a 39th floor Museum Tower half-floor, 23rd-floor Bleu Ciel, a small 1,701-square-foot unit at the Ritz and the final Ritz Townhouse. Halum countered, “one of the many beauties of the project is that it is not a typical high-rise. The residences have been designed just like super-luxury single-family residences…”

Above is a picture of the existing lot. When I wrote about the project back in November, I noted that one reason the building jogged a bit on the Katy Trail side was because of the large (quad-decker) electrical pole visible above on the left. That set of lines runs past the Katy Trail side of the project. But I hadn’t realized that on the Fitzhugh and Buena Vista sides there are also power lines. In the photo above, realize that in back of the photographer there is a second set of power lines on the other side of Fitzhugh.

In total, three sides have some level of power line view encroachment.  And remember, power lines aren’t in a fixed position. In the summer heat they droop while in the winter they rise up (keep your anatomical comparisons to yourself).  In a high-rise, these lower floors would be the least expensive and a tougher sell.

You can see in their promotional renderings that the power lines following the Katy Trail magically seem to stop at the building – but of course, they don’t. The lines along Fitzhugh have similarly disappeared.

In real estate, it’s location-location-location. The building itself is more than fine. The expected finish-out will be stellar. But a midrise on Fitzhugh trading at over $1,000 per foot while also surrounded by power lines on three sides won’t be an easy sell — but Halum and his team are up to the task.


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 sharewithjon@candysdirt.com. Be sure to look for me on Facebook and Twitter. You won’t find me, but you’re welcome to look.

8 Comment

  • Exactly what are Capitol Peak Ventures and Laurie Sands Harrison smoking?

  • There may be some things to like about this project. Finishes seem attractive, location maybe.

    However, It seems that most of the square footage is dedicated to something other than living and dining. In one unit- a quick calculation of spaces suggest that of 3,250 sf, — the Live and Dine areas are approx 630 sf or roughly 20% of the total – yikes!. That means that 80% of the square footage is bed, bath, kitchen, pantry, laundry, entry, corridor etc. Even some of the master bedroom closets are almost the size of the master bedrooms. I guess by the time you find the closet and select an outfit maybe you need to lay down for a nap to recover. Add to that the need for 7-8 sinks or lavatories -wowzer loads of dirty hands to be washed amongst the two bedroom residents.

    Clearly I am not the intended market. But I wonder how intelligent or even responsible it is to tie up this much real estate in a condo and be left with only 20% of the space to actually live.

  • CORRECTED VERSION

    Nice piece Jon.
    I put this project in a different category….the category of delusional developers! You know….the category that includes properties such as:
    1. Bentley Place on Inwood! Designed for HP buyers downsizing to 4500 square feet OUTSIDE HP. No amenities, virtually no outdoor space and located just feet from busy Inwood. Priced originally started at $1.6M. Nothing sold in almost two years and I’ve been told ONE home is under contract for under $800k! (It has views of Tom Thumb!)
    2. The Centrum conversion to condos. The Centrum building has had issues since it’s beginning. Everyone scratched their head when it converted to condo even with its amazing views. The once queen of Turtle Creek, Judy Pittman, was hired to market it with a multi-six figured budget. Result….bad reputation of the building coupled with way out of line prices led to virtually no sales and almost all the units went to auction. The auction yielded sell prices between 40-60% of developer prices. Today…units move very slowly.
    There are others…3. A new mid-rise on Hall near the cemetery is priced just under $700 per foot with no views, little outside space and no amenities. 4. And 5. Two mid-rises on Bowser turned into rental buildings when new because the developer didn’t read the market correctly as did 6. the developer of The Dylan who originally thought that eyesore sitting next to Section 8 housing would demand over $300 a foot some 5 years ago!
    Just a sampling. I love Bueno Vista but I predict the penthouse shell of The Terminal is subdivided into smaller units and the average price the building yields is substantially less than HALF current asking prices when one finally sells. As it is, for what they want for their penthouse you can the penthouse at The Mayfair finished with full amenities and the best staff on a Turtle Creek catering to your every need. Good luck!
    Reply

    Please post this revision.

  • Can i just have the closet?