While I’m not an Oak Lawn Committee member and can’t speak, I am certainly free to roll my eyes. Last month, a proposed apartment building on the former Old Warsaw restaurant site showed up at OLC seeking support for an “adjustment” to their alley buffer requirement of 10 feet. They didn’t get it and so they returned last night with more paper shuffling – literal paper shuffling.

The answer to their quest is painfully simple. Design a building that fits within the parameters of your zoning or file a zoning case. This mealy approach of hitting up the Board of Adjustments to backdoor your way out of a full zoning case is a “poor door” to city planning. Kairoi Residential seemingly didn’t want the closer scrutiny of the OLC on their entire project. I say that because more than one question about the overall project was brushed off with “we’ll meet the PD-193 requirements” – never exceed.

And so it went, everything was the bare minimum. As I pointed out last time, certainly the design is bare minimum.

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Our Steal: Lauri Ann Hanson and Aimee Schreiner of Dwell Partners have listed 2200 Victory Avenue Apt 1902 for $849,000.

Uptown Dallas has never looked so good! Our latest Splurge vs. Steal takes you inside two of the best condos Dallas has to offer, each with sky high views and luxurious appointments, but with price points that are miles apart. Which would you choose, the Blue Ciel splurge or the Victory Park steal?

Splurge: Exquisite 18thFloor Blue Ciel Corner Condo For $3.495M

Our Splurge: Andrew Danna has listed 3130 N. Harwood Street Apt. 1801 for $3.495 million.

Modern Elegance

When you are looking for modern elegance and views, with all the bells and whistles, you go to Blue Ciel. And this week, we put the spotlight on one of its gems – an 18th floor corner unit affording some of the best views of downtown Dallas. Just ask listing agent Andrew Danna.

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Across Cedar Springs Road from the Ritz-Carlton and the McKinney & Olive buildings sits a half-acre, triangular parcel anchored by Pizza Hut and Comet Cleaners in a shopworn building. Last night, the Oak Lawn Committee saw renderings for an 18-story “lifestyle” hotel crowned by a restaurant, pool, and check-in desk.  Yes, the check-in desk will be in the top floor offering a cool experience I’ve seen in Mandarin Oriental hotels in New York City and Las Vegas (since renamed).

The unnamed hotel brand at 2025 Cedar Springs Road will house guests in 230 rooms and suites with a minimum of meeting rooms. This is important because the tiny lot would make large spaces less practical not only due to space, but the ability to supply parking for large meetings and events. As it is, parking needs for the small plot, will be housed in three and a half underground levels. Large meeting or banquet functions would require a much deeper parking hole.

Today, the site is easy to identify in the middle of a rapidly rising Uptown. The 2011 Cedar Springs condos appear to be directly behind the building, but in reality, the proposed building does a good job of folding away from their windows – something the condo owners should appreciate.

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Uptown

What do you do when every lot around you is redeveloped? In a single-family neighborhood, you hold out for last, assuming your lot gets more valuable with each sale and rebuild. However, when you’re in a commercial area, waiting too long often has a price, not a reward.

As you can see highlighted above, one lot is surrounded by the Gables Uptown Trail apartment building. You know that Gables tried desperately to acquire that Uptown parcel well before it came online in 2011.

Today, a new Marriott is under construction by Alamo Manhattan. When it was first announced, there was a lone holdout on the corner of their half-block parcel. It was an old house-turned-art gallery. Ultimately Alamo Manhattan persuaded the owners that selling was better than being an orphan on a tiny, un-developable lot.

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uptownWhen Leah Nolan told us she and her husband were listing their Uptown condo, she was a little wistful.

And that’s understandable. Her cozy one-bedroom, one-bath home, 3311 Blackburn St. #215, is a perfect spot for someone looking to enjoy some of the best Dallas has to offer, with an affordable price point that gives them entry into what can be a pretty spendy housing market.

“We walk or Uber to the grocery store, for haircuts, and to bars and restaurants,” she said. “It’s just minutes from the highways, we have great neighbors, a pool, and it’s steps away from the Katy Trail and West Village, for the same price that we were paying for rent.” (more…)

Uptown Marriott on Fairmount, with west-facing, fifth-floor pool deck.

There was just one project slated for last night’s Oak Lawn Committee and it was about a variance needed for a pair of awnings by the Uptown Marriott being built by Alamo Manhattan on Fairmount Street in back of Nick & Sam’s restaurant. The pre-awning project gained support from the OLC in December 2016. At first glance I figured the awning was a yawning – I mean one was for an 11-inch variance. Whoo-hoo! Stop the presses!

But when you go to OLC for one variance, any question becomes open mic night.

This past summer marked the migration from Las Vegas of the hotel day party by the pool. For a modest entry fee, lush bodies swerve to the thumping beats of an outdoor nightclub. Unfortunately, unlike Las Vegas, Dallas hotels aren’t located in entertainment districts. Some, like the Stoneleigh’s Splash parties, are in more densely residential Uptown.

It was with those sharp memories that residents (and OLC members) of the Stoneleigh Residences asked Alamo Manhattan if Marriott would ban amplified music outdoors. Having lived through weekly raucous parties literally out their windows, they don’t want another hotel offering a similar noise issue.

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Uptown

(Photos courtesy Shoot2Sell)

If you love the walkability of the Uptown area, but don’t want to be in the thick of the hustle and bustle, this State Thomas townhome might just do the trick.

Located at 2912 Thomas Ave. and listed by Paige and Curt Elliott with Dave Perry-Miller – Park Cities, this three-story townhome has a generous 3,086 square feet of living space.

“It is walkable to McKinney Avenue and super close to the Nodding Donkey and State+Allen, but it’s located on a private drive off of Thomas,” explained Paige. “It has a huge amount of space, plus walkability, and we have a very motivated seller.”

The home is also an easy walk to Griggs Park, and is a quick drive to downtown on either surface streets or the highway.

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Our Steal: Clay Stapp with Clay Stapp + Co has listed 3699 McKinney Avenue Suite 586 for $479,900.

Two Uptown condos, high above the city, with fantastic amenities and views. The main difference? The price. If you’re on the hunt for an affordable Dallas crash pad in the heart of Uptown, we suggest two of Big D’s finest in our latest Splurge vs. Steal. Take your pick and let us know which one is your fave.

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