Fire at 21 Turtle Creek Friday Evening Confined to One Unit

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3883 Turtle Creek Boulevard

A fire broke out Friday evening at the building locally referred to as “21 Turtle Creek,” which is actually located at 3883 Turtle Creek. The condo building experienced a minor fire on the eighth floor the day after Thanksgiving.

The building was evacuated at 5:30 p.m. Friday for a few hours due to intense smoke from a kitchen fire on the 8th floor, in a unit in which firefighters had to break down the door to access so that they could extinguish the blaze.

Worth Ross is the property manager, who wrote me the next day:

Last night there was a stovetop fire in a unit on the 8th floor, which impacted the back wall of the kitchen and created quite a bit of smoke. Fortunately, the newly installed smoke detectors and alarm system worked perfectly.  Residents evacuated the building just like we practice during fire drills and no one was injured.  Blackmon Mooring is now onsite cleaning all common areas affected.

The building we know as 21 Turtle Creek has quite a history on the boulevard, considered the Gold Coast of luxury condo living in Dallas. In fact, prior to about 2000, Turtle Creek was the only place to snag a luxury high-rise in Dallas. (The Bonaventure in North Dallas was built in the ’80s.) This was pre-Ritz Carlton Residences, One Arts, Museum Tower, Azure, and The Stoneleigh buildings that sprung up more or less about the same time in the early 2000s.

But Turtle Creek has boasted high-rise condo living since the 1950s.

Built in 1963 using quasi-modern architecture, 21 Turtle Creek is one of the more affordable buildings on the Gold Coast, with monthly HOA dues of $771 that include 24-hour concierge and security, underground parking, swimming pool, gym, library, and meeting rooms. You can get in for $195,000.

Some of the units are super Plain Jane buys for second homes and Dallas pieds-a-terre, while others are incredibly decked out. This can be a great starter building as well, though it’s still a two-pipe HVAC system and baths/bedrooms tend to be small.

Notable tenants have included Jennifer Flowers (she also lived Behind the Pink Wall), designer James McEnroe, and Charles Birdsong. We know that Rob Brinkley, director of PR at Briggs-Freeman Sotheby’s International Real estate and former editor of Fashion!Dallas, lives there, along with Kyle Talkington (son of the late Virginia McAlester), designer Alice Cottrell, Valerie Sokolosky, motivational coach Anthony Russo, and Dallas PR whiz Barbara Buzzell.

Lushly landscaped exteriors

Building Buzz

The exterior may look a little plain, because the building started as HUD apartments, then converted to condos. Some say the structure resembles an urban housing development on the south side of Chicago or in Brooklyn.

The two stories about the name “21”

One theory is that it was the name of a swanky club on the premises during the ’60s and the building was called that afterward. The other theory is that it sits on 21 acres, which used to be the property of Jesuit Catholic School before the campus was relocated to North Dallas.

Whatever theory you believe, those 21 acres are exquisite!

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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 Forbes.com, 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 CandysDirt.com, and SecondShelters.com, 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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  1. Dennis says

    Fire was way worse than that. Elevators were shut down. People on above floors couldn’t evacuate because stairways were full of smoke. Millions of dollars worth of damage has been done. Firefighters were going door to door … if no one answered …they hatched into doors. Wasn’t a small kitchen fire. Food was left in oven and fire was shooting out of oven and demolished entire unit and severely smoke damaged neighboring units.

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