Our Splurge: 2300 Wolf Street, Unit 9A,  is listed by Sharon Quist of Dave Perry-Miller Park Cities for $3,300,000.

Nothings says “I have arrived” like living in a Dallas condo high above the city. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, a busy professional climbing the ranks, or an empty nester looking for the convenience of high-rise living, Dallas has something for you. Which is exactly why we chose Uptown for our latest Splurge vs. Steal.

Offering hip cocktail lounges, a posh shopping scene, and plenty of walkable, live-work-play stops along the way, Uptown is a place to see and be seen. Looking for an Uptown home to call your own? Here we feature two Uptown condos, each with updated interiors and a prime Uptown Dallas address, but with price points that are miles apart.

Tell us which one you would choose – the super luxe Stoneleigh splurge or the Brownstone State Street steal. We would love to hear in the comments.

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Wednesday WTFWhen you work in the world of media for any length of time at all, you will get PR pitches. Some of them are perfect pitches inviting you to check out some product or service that is completely related to what you write about.

But sometimes, they are not. Sometimes, they are about busting cheaters when you write about education policy for a living. Sometimes they are about heroin abuse treatment centers (maybe they do read the Wednesday WTF). Sometimes, they tell you hilarious things about the city you live in. (more…)

More families are choosing to live in Uptown and Downtown Dallas, and neighborhood organizations hope to connect parents with one another. (Photo: Justin Terveen)

More families are choosing to live in Uptown and Downtown Dallas, and neighborhood organizations hope to connect parents with one another. (Photo: Justin Terveen)

Mondays are hard, y’all, especially if you’re a parent. You get two days of no alarm clocks and late night shenanigans and then you have the blaring wake-up call that is a cranky kid who can’t decide if he wants Snoopy or Star Wars underwear and has a mental breakdown over what cereal to have for breakfast on Monday morning. And people wonder why I’m ambivalent about three-day weekends …

By the time 5 o’clock hits, most parents are hitting the liquor cabinet. *hiccup*

So isn’t it thoughtful that Uptown Dallas, Inc., along with other nearby neighborhood organizations, wants to get a bunch of urban-dwelling families together for a bit of commiseration over cocktails. It’s just one of the ways that the neighborhood organizations hope to foster a more tight-knit community of families in hopes to end the misconception that urban areas can’t be family friendly.

But why bother with families at all?  Uptown Dallas Inc. is working toward increasing diversity in the area.

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Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty has opened two new Dallas offices, in addition to their core second floor office on Lovers at Devonshire.

And oh let me tell you, Robbie Briggs knows how to throw a party! I have been trying to write this post for four days now since the way too fun opening last Wednesday evening.

The boutique real estate firm’s new digs are in Uptown at 2500 Cedar Springs Road, in the old Kenny Goss art gallery. BFS agent Pogir, an architect who worked in sales and interior design for Cantoni, designed and decked them out in bright, clean white and bold green hues with fabulous furnishings from, of course,  Cantoni. Pogir is married to the lovely Linsey Barnes, also a BFS agent, and daughter of EyeMart Express mogul Dr. Doug Barnes with a fab mansion on Jourdan Way in Old Preston Hollow.

8787 Jourdan Way

Guess what this office will focus on selling? Buying, leasing and development services in the Uptown and downtown Dallas market.

Go catty-corner across the street… and there you have my SecondShelters.com nirvana: an Uptown office to handle all of BFS’s ranch and land division, that’s at 2913 Fairmount. Talk about hog heaven: the firm is listing $100 million in farms and ranch property.

CEO Robbie Briggs says the offices are a way for Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s to re-invent the company and meet client needs in popular urban neighborhoods. I’m told that special tables will be made available for BFS agents to wine and dine clients at Nick & Sams right next door. Me, I wouldn’t want to leave the offices — way too beautiful.

There was an art auction going on, but I was too bust talking with every single Briggs agent and their toney clients — I saw Lewis Shaw, developer of Wilder on the Taylor, as well as every who’s who in town. Besides, the firm is attracting agents like bees to honey: Will Seale, Nancy Guerriero and Janelle Law are at Briggs now, and Jamie Adams, agent to all the sports stars, has been there for months.  Amy Detwiler is now at BFS!

Briggs-Freeman Sothebys has also recently expanded into Tarrant County, with offices in Arlington and Southlake.

Dallas has become one of the most competitive and scrutinized real estate markets in the country , and increasingly so for real estate brokers. First of all, our market is among the healthiest in the nation. Secondly, we have a core of high-powered brokers fighting over the priciest listings in Uptown, Park Cities, Preston Hollow and even Lakewood. Case in point: the merger of Ellen Terry Realtors into Dave Perry-Miller & Associates, an Ebby Halliday Company, Briggs-Freeman’s union with Sotheby’s, and Allie Beth Allman’s continuous push to own the market.

The Ranch team: David Burgher & Jim Brosche

Kelly and Robbie 2

Kelly Nyfeler and Robbie Briggs

It’s not that Kelly Nyfeler didn’t like Colleyville. She lived there for a few years with her family and built a brokerage she was proud of. But she never really felt like she belonged there.

“I’m such a Dallas girl,” she admits. When her daughter, Georgia, was accepted into Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, she and her husband, James, thought “This is our chance!” So instead of commuting back and forth from the suburbs, Nyfeler and her family came back home to Dallas. It was then that she found the courage to make a huge career change from real estate sales to management as sales director of the Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty Uptown Dallas office.

“I have not stopped smiling since we moved back,” Nyfeler said.

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2700 Fairmount church

It never ceases to amaze me what a difference a few miles make in real estate values. Here is a church in Uptown for sale that NO ONE wants to tear down!

Last week, we told you about the George Dahl-designed church at the corner of Kiest and Polk at 1010 West Kiest Blvd., diagonally across from the Barbara Jordan Elementary School, and across from the Kiest Polk Shopping Village, and how a new owner wants to scrape it to make way for a shopping center. Or something. We’ll have more on that soon.

That Oak Cliff Church building is architecturally, historically and culturally significant. It was designed by renowned Dallas architect George Dahl in 1953 as Church of the Master, Evangelical and Reformed Church serving a congregation of German/Swiss Immigrants of Oak Cliff who came to Texas by way of Galveston. While it’s not in the best of shape currently, I don’t agree with those who claim it’s not worth keeping.

Churches can have second, third or fourth lives. Here is a church at 27oo Fairmount in the heart of Uptown that has a significantly higher price tag — $8.4 million — yes, you read that correctly — and has been used as a creative office space. It could once again be an office space, company headquarters, home, multi-family living, my creative juices were overflowing last week as I toured it. It, too, is an architecturally significant historical church designed by Herbert Miller Greene (architect of the very first Dallas News building in 1897, the downtown Neiman Marcus and other local landmarks) and his partner James P. Hubbell. It was completed in 1910 when commissioned as Westminster Presbyterian Church. The Beaux Arts structure has been carefully preserved and creatively renovated into tasteful and eclectic office space suitable for a variety of uses.

Well, except when they were going a little cray cray with blue paint back in 2014. Remember? But look at her now!

Fairmount-and-Mahan

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Ritz ExtA Reader writes:

I am very interested in buying a condo near downtown Dallas in an exclusive, small building. The price is over $600 per square foot. I am doing this without a Realtor for personal reasons.

My question is this: I know that condo sales at the Ritz, Museum Tower and One Arts are also in that same price per square foot range, but I wonder if those are fair comparables? They are very different buildings. How would I go about finding comparables in an area saturated with big high rises? Thanks!

Dear Reader: Interesting question. Perhaps our vast real estate brain bank can help you out? I will caution you that while I totally understand not using a Realtor for this transaction, research shows that buyers tend to overpay when they buy without an agent. I also think comparing a smaller building to these large, amenity-loaded high rises may not be appropriate.

Go ahead, go nuts in the comments department!

Jessica Holland and Beverly Cardenas are The Uptown Girls.

Beverly Cardenas and Jessica Holland are the Dallas Uptown Girls. These two are experts in getting their clients the best rentals on the market in the Uptown, downtown, and surrounding areas.

For today’s “Love it, Lease it” feature, these super savvy apartment locators answered a few questions we threw their way on how to get the rental you want in Dallas.

Jo: What advice do you usually give clients who are looking for a rental? Are there any tried-and-true tips that you find yourself telling everyone?

Beverly and Jessica: 1. If you absolutely love it, don’t sit on it. It can get leased as soon as you walk out the door.

2. If you have several options you are considering and just cannot narrow it down, we suggest building an Excel spreadsheet to visually lay out your pros and cons.

3. Don’t completely omit a property just because of a few negative online reviews.

4. Start your apartment search around 60 days out from your move date. At this time, properties should know if they will have availability for your time frame. Any earlier could be a waste of time.

Jo: What developments or properties are most popular with your clientele? Additionally, what neighborhoods do your clients gravitate toward?

Beverly and Jessica: Many of our clients gravitate toward Post properties because of their great location. They own a number of properties along McKinney Avenue and neighboring State Thomas. This area give residents the convenience of The Mckinney Avenue Trolley, walking to restaurants and nightlife, and Katy Trail access.

Jo: In Uptown and the surrounding areas, are there any blocks or types of development where you see the most growth?

Beverly and Jessica: We’re seeing a lot of growth in the Design District right now. Dallas’ newest high rise, 1400 Hi Line, opened its doors in July and will house dining and retail on the first level of the building. Granted, we may be a bit biased because we both actually live in the neighborhood ourselves, but there’s always something fun to do. There’s Food Truck Wednesday, Four Star restaurants in walking distance, art galleries, and if you have a pet you’ll love all the greenery and landscaping. There’s another property currently being constructed on the west side of the neighborhood, and there’s rumor of a bowling alley in the near future.

Jo: What are people looking for in a rental right now? Luxury? Space? Accessibility? Walkability?

Beverly and Jessica: A walkable location is at the top of the list for most of our clients. The idea of being able to step outside their apartment, grab coffee while walking the dog, and return later for a mimosa, is priceless.

Jo: Tell us about your most memorable transaction/client.

Beverly and Jessica: We had a couple that contacted us from Kansas City and were looking to relocate to Dallas. They weren’t relocating because of a new job or family that lived here. They just wanted to try something new! They had visited Dallas once before and loved it. Neither had a job yet, but did have a lot of faith in the new chapter they were about to take on. A few months later I was headed to dinner in Uptown and saw the couple with friends hoping onto the trolley heading for a night out. It was satisfying to see our clients enjoying themselves in a city in which they knew nothing about.

Additionally, we relocated more than 20 teachers from Spain to Dallas this summer. The majority of them had never been in the US and were here to work for DISD. It was pretty awesome to help someone brand new to the US.