Yes, Lee Kleinman’s Dallas Estate is Still Up for Auction this Saturday

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The 7,154-square-foot Hillcrest Estates home of Dallas City Councilman Lee Kleinman and his wife, Dr. Lisa Umholtz, is still slated for auction this Saturday, September 28, 11:00 a.m. with no minimum reserve price at 11322 East Ricks Circle, Dallas, with Elite Auctions.

The final preview is scheduled for Friday (this afternoon) from 1-4pm, and registration begins bright and early Saturday morning at 9:00am.

Elite Auctions is the luxury home auction company whose signs you may be seeing more frequently around DFW. Elite successfully auctioned off the Vaquero properties of Vanessa Swarovski, then later Mark Texeira, and the Highland Park home of Michael Young, among many others.

But Saturday, it’s all about North Dallas and a pristine enclave that some call Preston Hollow, which is really more Preston Royal, the official neighborhood name being Hillcrest Estates. Comprised of about 90 minimum one-acre home spreads, a few select homes along East and West Ricks Circle, Wander Lane and Belmead, actually boast larger than acre lots.

The Kleinman home is one of them. And a week ago, I learned that the home’s unique contemporary design actually inspired the Kleinman’s daughter to a career in architecture.


Built in 1993 by AIA Fellow Gregory S. Ibanez, the five-bedroom, six-full, two-half-bathroom home was also a fixture on the Raymond Nasher Tour of Homes back in 1996, as well as the Northaven Tour of Homes. The home was first listed with Kyle Rovinsky of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate for $4,567,890, then lowered to $3.95 million.

Ultimately the home’s price came down to $3.795, first with Rovinsky, then with Allie Beth Allman and Christine McKenny. The home is now listed by Cliff Freeman of eXp Realty.

Though it is being sold without reserve, the asking price is $3.5 million.

“The asking price is a good guide for what it would take to buy this house, prior to auction,” says Elite Marketing Director Alicia Chmielewski.

The clock is ticking! The property is one-of -a-kind, two acres on a quiet creek loaded with fruit trees — much of Ricks Circle was an orchard at one time — plus Japanese Maples, and Azaleas.

Greg Ibanez told me he realized immediately that the home would have to showcase the property, which is why he designed soaring ceiling-to-floor windows, and had every room take in the property.

“The master is upstairs because the view is a tree-house effect,” says Ibanez, who says that 11322 East Ricks Circle is ideal for a family with children who appreciate the North Dallas footprint, and will utilize the vast outdoor areas with friends.

“I was so moved when the young lady who grew up in this house told me that living in the lines, experiencing them every day,  inspired her to a career in architecture,” he told me. “This was the second home I had ever designed, and the family wanted a focus on rooms for the family to enjoy.”

With tall ceilings, an open circular staircase, formal rooms are spacious with hardwood and tile floors, plus the huge vista windows. The gourmet kitchen has stainless steel appliances and a center island bearing both gas and electric stove and grill. There is more than enough ample storage in custom-crafted cabinets.

In the back is a full backyard sheltered pavilion overlooking the pool, spa, and jacuzzi. There is also a fireplace, outdoor kitchen, and a pizza oven. The covered porch kitchen views the creek line, and gentle steps take you to the oversized swimming pool.

The master bedroom has an office and spa bath and is upstairs. A guest room with en suite bath is downstairs, off the formal areas. It was built, says Ibanez, to house elderly parents on the main floor. Could easily be converted to a second master bedroom.

And the home is green in more ways than one: there are solar panels on the standing seam metal roof.

The beauty of the property location is the remoteness, with absolute proximate to everything in Dallas. Located near the Preston Forest crossroads, the lushness of the land takes you away into a pastoral escape the minute you steer your car onto East Ricks Circle.

It is not only the rare and coveted creek-side property location that makes the home so unique: the home design itself is classically modern.

“The house was designed to open up geometrically, as you approach it, from the front,” said Kyle Rovinsky, the first listing agent. “It’s a visual treat for the owners daily, and perfect for entertaining.”

The property, he says, was the drawing card for most buyer interest, as we have no doubt it will be at Saturday’s auction. 


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).

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