Stockbroker Tudor

In the 1920s, architects educated in Europe brought the Tudor look to the East Coast. These grand homes were known as Stockbroker Tudors because the financially successful clients they were constructed for had made their fortunes in the stock market. If you built a Stockbroker Tudor, you were making a statement about not only your stability and wealth but also your sophistication and taste.

When I spotted this gorgeous example of Tudor architecture at 3545 Hanover Street, listed with Jonathan Rosen of The Collective Residential for $3.95 million, I was sure it was original. The steeply pitched roof, embellished doorway, and the second story with stucco and decorative half-timbering are the distinctive hallmarks of a 1920s Tudor.

“That’s exactly what we wanted you to think,” architect Larry E. Boerder said. “That was our goal all along, and most people do think it was built in the 1920s, not in 2006.”


3824 Centenary

A recent question in Quora posed, how do you find a home in this tight RE market before it hits the market?

Answer: Christy Berry. Berry tells me she has a hip pocket that is to-die-for great on Centenary in University Park that you might want to take a gander at: five bedrooms, four and a half baths, entertaining space galore and one of the prettiest HP pools I have seen. Asking is $2,349,000.

“The home is not going on the market until next week,” says Christy. “And it’s on one of UP’s most prestigious streets, with a Larry Boerder architectural pedigree.”

There are 5320 square feet of updated finishes with a large, bright kitchen, eat in breakfast area, and spectacular family room. Formals, of course. The second floor has all five bedrooms including the master suite, spa bath and laundry room. French doors open to the back yard, which is turfed, with a brand new pool and outdoor grilling area. There is potential for a finished third level and hence more square footage. This is Centenary: everything is an easy walk to the delights of Preston Center: Sprinkles, Swoozies, R&D Cafe, etc.

Come to think of it, I should buy this house and keep the kitchen pristine white by just dining at R&D every night… think I’d get a discount? Jump for more photos… (more…)

Gillon extCourse, that was a different market. We are talking January 2011. He plunked the contract on January 25, closed 3 days later. His Gillon home had been listed for $6,200,000 but he got it when it had been reduced to $4,400,000. Wow.  The home, like the Hicks previous home on Beverly,  was designed by Larry Boerder, built by Cy Barcus, who rocks. (They both rock!) The home is country French design on a huge corner lot, heavily treed. Smart: the master bedroom is downstairs, and opens to a private garden area. I love the master study and library, panelled in warm pecan wood. There is also a second bedroom downstairs, then three bedrooms upstairs with a game-room for a total of five bedrooms, five full baths and a couple powder rooms, plus six fireplaces including one outdoors. The main house has a great room, morning room, family room, a project room, both stone and wood floors. There is an apartment over the three car garage. And there is a swimming pool, of course.

I have heard that Andy has not changed it much since he bought it, and really, don’t you see why he loved Walnut Place (The Crespi Estate) so much? Very similar traditional style, just a bit larger: this home is 8673 square feet on half an acre. He’s moving to 25.5 acres and almost 50,000 square feet!

This home is not on the market, not yet anyways. I mean, the ink is still wet on Friday’s closing, right? Plus homes like these might go without ever touching MLS. Looks like Madeline Jobst with Dave Perry-Miller was both listing and selling agent, though I’m told Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Real Estate’s Tom Hughes handles some of Andy’s real estate transactions. Not the Hicks deal, that was 100% Allie Beth and David Nichols. Anyhow, pretty house and I LOVE those blue and white plates in the kitchen… (more…)

3640 Beverly DriveThey lived on Beverly Drive in Highland Park, at 3640 Beverly to be exact. The beautiful, 9,874 square foot estate built in 1985 was on almost one acre of prime Highland Park dirt, featured six bedrooms, six full baths and a couple powders, eight fireplaces (apparently the Hicks really love a fireplace in every room), formals, a grand entry with a double stairway, formals, kitchen with morning room, both a Butlers and walk-in pantry, the master suite had a sitting room and exercise room and his and her baths (as does Walnut Place), a third floor with two bedrooms and bath, plus huge 1808 square foot quarters/cabana and a pool, arbor, fountain. The home took a little time to sell, but sell it did courtesy of Allie Beth Allman. Over the weekend I heard that Allie Beth has known the Hicks since 1984, been his agent all that time even through a second marriage. There is a lesson for agents here.

Also, the home was designed by Dallas starchitect Larry Boerder, who also was the architect for Andy Beal’s home on Gillon. So both billionaires lived in Larry Boerder-designed homes before they bought Walnut Place, the Crespi Estate.

The home sold in October of 2004 for $7,900,000, which was asking price. It is now owned by Charlotte Jones Anderson, Jerry Jone’s daughter.


Realtors know it, builders know it, sellers know it, and you can be sure buyers pay attention to it, too. Curb appeal is an essential component to selling a house. Whether viewing a house online via photos, or driving through a neighborhood, the first impression is made from the street and with the landscaping.

Of course, our friends over at Harold Leidner Landscape Architects certainly know this well. They deal in curb appeal by designing and creating some of the most distinctive properties in the Dallas area. As an example, here are a few of their projects that are on the market now and certainly have the “Wow!” factor upon arrival. 

Jump for some fabulous examples of perfectly executed curb appeal!


3826-Maplewood-ext-575x382.jpg Brett HullThere have been a flurry of closings that I am bursting to tell you all about. Stay very tuned for them to come fluttering in the next couple weeks. Dallas mansions are turning like my fluffiest Sunday morning pancakes.

Recall that just over a year ago we told you that former Dallas Stars star player Brett Hull , now the executive vice president of the St. Louis Blues, put his stunning, 8505 square foot  Maplewood manse in Highland Park back on the market, asking $4.65 million. The price was tweaked down to $4,199,000 a few months ago. He listed with the dynamic duo of Jonathan Thayer and Gayl Braymer over at Dave Perry-Miller. The home is a true Mediterranean trophy, and the street name kind of says it all: 3826 Maplewood. The home was actually listed for a whopping $4,795,000 in 2011. Custom designed by Dallas starchitect Larry Boerder, it features an open floor plan with 8,505 square feet of beautifully finished out living space with five bedrooms, seven baths, a knocked out master suite with a fireplace and private staircase access to a backyard pool oasis. Oh my God, have you ever seen a bigger shower? Every single Star’s player would fit in there! I love the stately wood paneled library with fireplace, wine cellar, exercise room and sauna. The kitchen is totally over the top, great rustic cabinet finish. The yard is the real winning shot here because we know how rare it is to have a large pool and patio in Highland Park, but this home REALLY gets in all in. (more…)

4425 Highland DriveWe have talked plenty about Troy’s twin property purchases in the Park Cities. But who bought his Larry Boerder-designed home on Highland Drive?

They would be a MORENO, MICHEL B & TIFFANY. Deed transfer date is July 9, 2013. Now I have heard there was one other buyer lined up, so much that Troy actually called the movers and told everyone to get into action, he was moving (into a house on Lakeside)! But that deal fell through because the almost-buyer wanted more of a basement to park his vast collectible auto collection. This was right around the time Troy took the Highland home, listed for $14 million, out of MLS.

Mike morenoThen came the Morenos!

Anyhow, googling around I see that Michel Moreno is the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Green Field Energy Services. Looks like he’s from Lafayette, Louisiana. Originally from Cuba. Don’t know how long he’s lived in Lafayette , but he purportedly played baseball at USL for a while in college. Pretty darn good looking dude and just in his early 40’s. Green Field is an oil and gas services company for the fracking industry and has concentrated its hydraulic fracturing efforts in the Permian Basin in West Texas, the Eagle Ford Shale in southern Texas, and the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. Here’s what the company website says:

“GREEN FIELD ENERGY SERVICES has become this innovator for alternative fuel and technology, by learning from those before us and creating a better and more responsible energy future for those who come after. We are in the beginning of a new era in energy, where advancements in hydraulic fracturing can open doors and give America an independence its never had before.

But just Sunday, Green Field filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, hoping to reorganize its approximately $500 million in outstanding debt — about the same amount it lists in assets.

Leslie Turk of ABiz in Lafayette has the whole scoop:

“The man with the Midas touch, whose business deals almost always seem to end up in a heated court battle, might need to pull a rabbit out of his hat to get this venture out of bankruptcy.”

I spoke to Leslie, and she confirmed that the guy with the Midas touch is Mike Moreno.

Moreno is apparently a Realtor’s (and real estate blogger’s) dream. He likes to buy homes, big homes, multiple homes, and live the high life. Leslie tells me Moreno owns several multi-million dollar homes, including one at 2307 River Oaks Boulevard in Houston, and one stunner in Lafayette, LA, in an upscale neighborhood called River Ranch:MorenohousephotoLafayetteLA2

That Lafayette home is stunning.

But you should see the Moreno’s Houston mansion: 11, 236 square feet, five bedrooms, eight full and three half baths, a stunning Italian estate located on toney River Oaks Blvd. The home was built in 1951 but has been totally updated with gourmet kitchen, custom cabinetry, grand formals, marble-y master with dual  baths, custom closets, elevator, Lutron lighting, copper gutters, pool, spa and fountain, summer kitchen, apartment quarters and an exercise room. The home was listed for $7,900,000:

2307 River Oaks Blvd Houston 2307 River Oaks Blvd Houston foyer 2307 River Oaks Blvd kitchen 2307 River Oaks Blvd Houston master 2307 River Oaks Blvd Houston master bath 2307 River Oaks Blvd Houston pool 2307 River Oaks Blvd Houston rear

Gorgeous! Moreno also owns a gorgeous thoroughbred and the steed, named Moreno, is racing in this weekend’s $5 million Breeders Cup.

moreno-2013According to a source in Lafayette, Moreno also “has a major yacht and plane”. Well, duh! He also owns several companies and created a restaurant in Dallas near the Quadrangle, JoJo Eating House and Bar, featuring chef Laurent Poupart who was once his personal chef. According to the brilliant Teresa Gubbins at CultureMap, Dee Lincoln is “taking over the restaurant”.

He has certainly looked at a lot of real estate in Dallas. My LA sources tell me Mike Moreno is well-liked in southwestern Louisiana and is the kind of guy who always manages to make lemonade out of lemons in his business dealings. Once or twice he’s had a company in trouble, but pulled his way out. Once a company was “saved” by a hurricane.

It appears this bankruptcy is going to add some folks to the unemployment list, but I’m told Green Field was a company already in trouble when Moreno bought it in 2011. He, along with a group of investors, purchased the Hub City Industries in 2011, re-named it Green Field, and increased the manufacture and use of turbine equipment in the field. Since 2011, Green Field has expanded from 75 to more than 500 employees companywide, with operating districts in Lafayette, Texas and Pennsylvania.

Leslie writes “it’s unclear how many of Green Field’s 355 people at 14 facilities throughout Texas and Louisiana have been laid off. An ABiz source with information about its local operations says about half of the roughly 40 office staffers in Lafayette lost their jobs.” And the story is apparently just beginning:

The Wall Street Journal reports that of its Chapter 11 filing Sunday in Wilmington, Del., Green Field had $255.9 million in bond debt, an $80 million credit facility owed to Shell (the national newspaper points out that Green Field argues in court documents that Shell failed to perfect liens securing this debt, which the WSJ believes is a hint that a potential court fight could be in the making) and $98.6 million in trade debt. Green Field lost $74.6 million last year and $81.4 million so far this year.

Is the guy who bought Troy Aikman’s house taking on Shell Oil? Wow.

Sounds like Mike Moreno is the perfect new owner for a famous former quarterback’s mansion!


le274e043-m0o3801 NormandyTurns out that Troy closed on author/editor Jane Wolfe’s St. Johns home on August 16. The home, 4300 St. Johns Drive, was built in 1941 and has 6109 square feet. It was extensively remodeled in 1988, and Alan Peppard says Troy paid $4.3 million for the property, which I’m sure made Ms. Wolfe quite happy: DCAD has the home appraised at $3,305,170. This is yet one more home sale NOT in MLS. He bought this one month after he settled into Normandy, and though he is making some alterations on Normandy, word is he will be scraping the Wolfe home and building a new signature creation. Starchitect Larry Boerder designed the house on Highland, and I hear he was very pleased with the results. Before Aikman moved to Highland Park, he and his then-wife Rhonda lived in a Plano home built by Bob Thompson. I also hear that Aikman is the perfect client.

“He says, I’m an athlete, you’re the _____ expert (fill in area of expertise, landscape architect, architect, home builder),” one source recently told me. “Working for him is a true pleasure.”

Is St. Johns for himself or an investment? The new lady in his life? Will he stay on Normandy? Or is he just nesting there until the new home is complete on St. Johns. Or, as some claim, does he plan to get into the development of luxury Park Cities homes? A lot of wealthy Dallas movers and shakers do just that. Recall Kimberly Schlegel Whitman Homes? Al Hill II is a genius when it comes to building or even remodeling luxury homes. Generally, people who have basked in stunning properties all their life make excellent developers.

Developing would be a brilliant idea for Troy: he has a lot of experience building, great taste, fabulous resources, and his brand is stellar. Can you imagine the tag line: “This is a home by Troy Aikman.” Or, “Troy Aikman homes”. No no I’d do “Troy Aikman Luxury Homes” or “Luxury Homes by Troy Aikman.”