More than 80 neighborhoods across Dallas pay for off-duty police patrols in a bid to keep their respective crime rates down. As proposed changes to that system have been leaked and the rumor mill activated, 80 neighborhoods are now feeling some angst about the fate of the popular — and effective — program.

ENP is short for Expanded Neighborhood Patrol, a citizen-paid police patrol system utilizing DPD officers that has worked to lower crime in many North Dallas neighborhoods since 1991, when the Dallas City Council first established the program.

There are more than 80 across Dallas, from Midway Hollow to a nascent patrol in Lower Greenville, Oak Cliff to Preston Trails. More ENPs are developing to combat crime and guarantee rapid response times given the current slow response DPD response rates. The ENPs are paid and administered by private citizens through homeowner associations.

In fact, even newly-elected mayor Eric Johnson enjoys an ENP in Forest Hills. Full disclosure: my husband started the first ENP in Preston Hollow, the Preston Hollow North Patrol, in 1991,  and I am a past board member of our Northlake/Hillcrest Estates patrol. For many reasons, I have great respect for and strongly support the private neighborhood patrols.

The private neighborhood patrols also enhance property values, especially during periods of high Dallas crime. And they indisputably help lower crime, as this Dallas Morning News story from 2015 attests: 

In North Oak Cliff, crime is down by about 60 percent across several neighborhoods that have paid for off-duty officers to patrol since 2007, said Russ Aikman, president of the North Oak Cliff United Police Patrol.

“It works because they are proactive rather than reactive,” Aikman said. On-duty officers, he said, are “typically so busy responding to one 911 call after another that they don’t have a whole lot of time just to be driving around looking for suspicious characters, suspicious vehicles.”

That effectiveness is why ENPs make a home and its neighborhood more attractive to buyers.

Melshire Estates HOA

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The truth about Preston Center: Latest proposal for the parking garage

A couple of days ago, Phil Crone, Dallas Builders Association Dallas Division executive officer, asked for help plugging the DBA debate planned for April 4 at the division’s monthly meeting. Knowing that Jennifer Staubach Gates had canceled an earlier debate, I jumped on this and called executive editor Joanna England: we’ve got to live stream it!

We got to Maggiano’s, got set up, and were told that we had a problem: Neither candidate had agreed to video of any kind. Jennifer Staubach Gates was seated, and Laura Miller had not yet arrived.

I went right up to Gates and asked if we could live stream. She said yes, of course. The DBA asked Miller when she arrived, and she agreed. The Dallas Morning News was there taking stills. Knowing that residents of District 13 wanted to see this, we also decided to post the hour-and-a-half-long video here on the website.

Keep in mind that the DBA drafted the questions and yes, it was builder-oriented, which is very pertinent to the issues concerning D13: building, growth, density, big houses dwarfing smaller 1950s ranches, traffic, site views, density, highest and best use of land, and did we mention density? Crime and other issues were not discussed, but we will cover those in our soon-to-be published candidate questionnaires. (Ours were so detailed the candidates are all asking for more time.)

During the debate, Dallas Morning News writer Robert Wilonsky messaged me that it was riveting, then asked how I would score the candidates. 

The corner of Preston Rd & Northwest Highway, 2014. It has since been replaced by The Laurel Apartments, the first shot over the bow of the burgeoning Preston Road and Northwest Highway debacle.

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News comes to us that Lincoln Property’s bid for Oak Lawn Committee (OLC) support for their revised plan has failed. You may recall the Lincoln Katy Trail project was essentially told last month by enough Plan Commissioners return to the OLC before returning to the City Plan Commission (CPC). Sources tell me that the OLC vote was five short. This is a backwards slide for the project, which had previously enjoyed the support of the long-standing neighborhood group by a single vote.

What happens next?

So far, Lincoln is due to return to Plan Commission tomorrow to pitch this revised plan. I’m hearing that this is still the plan even without OLC support. It will be very interesting to see how CPC plays this. As I’ve written, it’s been decades since a plan unsupported by the OLC has succeeded in passing CPC – and that plan (for Victory Park) required mayoral intervention – something I don’t see happening here.

Should CPC pass this plan, it severely hurts OLC and disempowers a neighborhood comprising Oak Lawn, Uptown, West Village, and Knox. I can’t believe the city would do this.  It would encourage developers to do less for the neighborhood, banking on CPC overturning any OLC denial of support.

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5422 Montrose Drive in Greenway Parks is currently listed for $2,075,000 by Gretchen Brasch and Elly Holder of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty.

Pay attention folks, this listing is hot, hot, hot! Ideally situated on a gracious lot in Greenway Parks, the 1925 Fooshee & Cheek Spanish Colonial Revival was designed by the architects responsible for Highland Park Village, and just hit the market for $2,075,000!

“This is Greenway Parks at its finest,” says listing agent Gretchen Brasch with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty. “It is a sincere pleasure to represent a property of this provenance and architectural interest. I feel certain we’ll quickly find a ready buyer to help this Fooshee & Cheek gem live on.”

Gretchen co-lists the estate with business partner Elly Holder – the pair are known for representing fine luxury estates in Dallas’ most desirable neighborhoods.

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St. Michael’s 2016 plan to develop Frederick Square

Yesterday, Holly Haber of The Dallas Morning News’ Philanthropy page noted that the Perot family had donated $15 million to the Episcopal School of Dallas. The money is to help ESD’s younger students move from Saint Michael and All Angels Church (in Preston Center) to the main ESD campus on Merrell Road.  The $44.3 million in total contributions so far place fundraising over halfway to the $75 million goal.

All well and good, but how is Saint Michael’s going to replace the income lost from the school?

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HGTV

The father-daughter team of Doug Broadbent and Paige Poupart own the building and design firm The Masters Dallas. With their new show, Renovation Gap, airing Saturday, they may just be HGTV’s newest Texas team. (Photo courtesy Paige Poupart)

Paige Poupart was already busy — between owning the building and design firm The Masters Dallas with her father, Doug Broadbent, and motherhood, her plate was pretty full. But her days just might get a little fuller now that HGTV has come calling.

Poupart and Broadbent will get a chance to make a case to HGTV viewers Saturday when the pilot for their show, Renovation Gap, airs at 1 p.m. Central.

To say she’s excited is probably an understatement. The father-daughter team working together in the contracting business attracted the home improvement channel, but Poupart says that she and her father have been doing this for years and that she learned the renovation business practically from birth.

“So my dad has been a general contractor for ’35 years,’” she said. “This is such a used phrase (usually when correcting someone who is doing something wrong on the job site) that we actually have an inside joke about it.”

“I grew up renovating our homes with him and then selling them and moving to the next one,” she explained. “Many of these were in New England and historic homes, so I’ve really grown to love the historic character and sensibilities.”

One might think that just living in a state of constant renovation would teach a child enough, but the pair began working together on the jobsites pretty early, too.

“I started working on his jobsites with him probably about around age 10, he offered to pay me to keep the job sites clean, and I was an ambitious girl so I worked after school on his jobsites until he realized I could do more than just pick up track and vacuum sawdust,” she explained.

“He started to offer me more important construction jobs and I told him I wouldn’t work by the hour any longer so he had to pay me by the job.”

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It was a busy evening for Cole Avenue at last night’s Oak Lawn Committee meeting. There were a pair of unrelated projects proposed on the Knox Street and Armstrong Avenue cross streets.  First up, was Restoration Hardware … oops, they’ve gone all upmarket and now just use initials … RH. Oooh-la-la.

For those not in the know, RH has been on a tear upsizing their brick-and-mortar stores. Branded RH Galleries, shoppers will finally be able to see a lot of the stuff we previously had to cross our fingers and order blindly via the catalog or website. Amen. Currently there are just nine in the country, one of which is in Austin. Being a Chicagoan, I have to say the Chicago outlet is the most stunning.  It was built in the Three Arts Club building which housed female artists — musical, performing, and visual arts — beginning in 1914.  While the National Register building had been vacant for 20 years, revitalization proposals had included a hotel and a columbarium capable of storing 1,900 funereal urns containing many a great-aunt Millie. RH was definitely an improvement.

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Diplomat is top, right-center and red … oh and labeled Diplomat

Since August 2016, we’ve been reporting on different events surrounding the Diplomat condo building, beginning with a contingent contract and continuing with surveyors in November, quickly followed by soil testing in December.   You’ve likely seen the map above a zillion times, but it’s a shortcut to avoid tediously describing where a certain building is located in an area of nearly 30 multi-family complexes.

Avid CandysDirt.com readers will remember Friday’s tease about A.G. Spanos who is also involved with residential components of Dallas Midtown.  For less ardent readers, The Spanos family owns the Los Angeles Chargers football team along with the A.G. Spanos Companies who purchase, develop, build and manage apartments all over the place.  Locally, A.G. Spanos is managed by Spanos family member and Preston Hollow resident Dimitri Economou.

I had a chance to meet with the development team last week to understand their plans for the Diplomat property.  I must stress that while negotiations and plans have been evolving for a year, all plans and certainly any renderings of the new building are extremely preliminary.

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