P Place Fire Reifniguts 1

At around 1 a.m. Wednesday night, after days without a wisp of smoke, the Preston Place condos building once again erupted into flames.

Fire trucks were on the scene quickly. Ultimately over a dozen vehicles surround the area including a partial closure of Northwest Highway.

Watching firefighters douse the blaze for over an hour, the flames appear silent again.

Fire crews will spend another long night monitoring the area.

According to a Preston Tower resident, fire personnel may not have been summoned as quickly as possible.  Calls to 911 were placed on hold because of  a recent (unsolved) problem between Dallas E-911 services and T-Mobile.

Several news outlets have reported that when T-Mobile customers call 911, T-Mobile places duplicate calls.  So not only is 911 clogged by inbound ghost calls, but agents are also required to call back ALL 911 hang-ups. This combination causes havoc with real emergencies trying to get service.

Remember:  High-rises, HOAs and renovation are my beat. But I also appreciate modern and historical architecture balanced against the YIMBY movement.  If you’re interested in hosting a Candysdirt.com Staff Meeting event, I’m your guy. In 2016, my writing was recognized with Bronze and Silver awards from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.  Have a story to tell or a marriage proposal to make?  Shoot me an email sharewithjon@candysdirt.com.

ABA GoFundMe 1

Kyle Crews alerts us to a GoFundMe site that has been setup for three Allie Beth Allman agents who reside at the now destroyed Preston Place condos. The fund was set up by Pierce Allman and Travis Mathews. As you know, the building was consumed by fire late Friday night, destroying the entire building. It appears that fund is growing by the minute.

If anyone knows of other charitable funds that have been started, let us know and CandysDirt.com will post them for our readers.

UPDATE:  Preston Hollow South Neighborhood Association has alerted me that the Red Cross is accepting donations for the displaced residents of Preston Place at:

Park Cities Baptist Church – Mission House
3945 Villanova
Dallas, TX 75225

When: March 6th – 10th
Time:  9:00am – 4:00pm

Items accepted: clothing, small household goods, and non-perishable food items.

UPDATE 2: We’ve been made aware of another GoFundMe page for a Preston Place tenant without renter’s insurance. The single mother and SMU student lost everything.  Those wishing to make donations of cash or furniture can do so here: https://www.gofundme.com/fvwu9h-calla-spatz-house-fire-fund


The Fire Eventually Spread to the Chimney Stack and Stairwell Left of the Blaze

The Fire Eventually Spread Left and Right to Envelop the Entire Structure

A late Friday night fire continues to burn into the night at the Preston Place condos located at 6255 W. Northwest Highway (map). The three-story, 60-unit complex is located between the Athena and Preston Tower high-rises on the north side of Northwest Highway near Preston Road … very near the new Transwestern Laurel apartments currently under construction.

Dawn Begins to Show the Level of Damage

Dawn Begins to Show the Level of Damage

Update 8:30am: Morning shows the extent of the damage.  The entire perimeter of the roof and top floor units show signs of fire damage. Northwest Highway remains closed. Steam and smoke are still being carried by the wind.  It appears no embers spread to neighboring complexes. I’m no insurance adjuster, but the building looks like a total loss.

P Place Fire 9

Some nine hours after starting, firefighters still battle small blazes. The northeast corner still visibly burns.

P Place Fire 11

Update 10:30am: Smoke continues to clear and the extent of the damage revealed.  We were also alerted that last night good neighbors Preston Tower opened their community room to displaced homeowners and the Red Cross to coordinate aid.

P Place Fire 12

FINAL Update 3:45pm: Not much has changed visually since this morning.  Major flames are gone with the occasional flare-up (left side looked extinguished at 10:30am but has flared back). Steam and smoke will billow for hours to come.  You know how it is, turn over an “extinguished” log only to find red-hot embers.

What has changed are the number of news vans seeking to eke out a story by invading victims’ pain on the worst day of their lives.  A tear-stained face and a few choked-up words are chum to a voyeuristic public.

Northwest Highway has reopened and the Lookie-Lous are out.

Earlier I ran into Councilwoman Jennifer Gates who was seeking to aid her constituents on such a sad day.  Lives may not have been lost, but for these residents, life’s contents are now ash.

Certainly there will be more to report on this catastrophe and CandysDirt.com will he there. New items will be posted in stand-alone stories.

(Back to original report …)

What started as a few emergency vehicles quickly grew to dozens as the fire spread from unit to unit eventually encompassing five window segments of the rear, easterly face of the building bordering the Diplomat. The fire started about 11:30 p.m.


I doubt they're measuring for a Christmas Tree.

I doubt they’re measuring for a Christmas Tree.

Y’all may recall back in August I wrote about multiple reports that both the Royal Orleans and Diplomat buildings had approved a sale.  I caught some flack because as a result, the buildings denied any approval had been given to sell.

I’m feeling slightly vindicated today as the Preston Hollow South Neighborhood Association reports surveyors were photographed yesterday measuring the lot lines for the Diplomat.

From: John Pritchett, President
Subject: What’s Going on at Diplomat?

 The rumors of some nature of “deal” keep swirling “Behind the Pink Wall.” When word spread about a two-fer involving Diplomat and Royal Orleans a few months ago, RO flatly denied it. So is Diplomat going it alone?

 Not only is that rumor making the rounds again, surveyors were marking off the boundary of Diplomat yesterday. So more than rumor? One would think so.

On the upside, if it is just the Diplomat, it’s super unlikely to be a high-rise. On the downside, I like the Diplomat building architecturally.

The area in question

The area in question

Redevelopment makes the most sense within the PD-15 area.  Unlike the rest of the Pink Wall area, it’s not choke-held by decades-old deed restrictions.

Remember:  High-rises, HOAs and renovation are my beat. But I also appreciate modern and historical architecture balanced against the YIMBY movement.  If you’re interested in hosting a Candysdirt.com Staff Meeting event, I’m your guy. In 2016, my writing was recognized with Bronze and Silver awards from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.  Have a story to tell or a marriage proposal to make?  Shoot me an email sharewithjon@candysdirt.com.


Clearance FB Ad copyCapital Distributing, the biggest home appliance (and everything) showroom in town, is having a 1 day blow out sale at their Clearance Center at 9119 John W. Carpenter Freeway this Saturday from 8 am to 5 pm. This is your best chance ever to snag top name, top of the line appliances at SUBSTANTIAL discounts.

Example: few years ago, I needed a new ice-maker, a U-Line, to match my U-Line bar fridge. Guess where I found it for HALF PRICE? You will find GaggenauJenn-AirKitchenAidMieleThermador, SubZero, Wolf and many more. If you need appliances for your home, your investment properties, or even your kid’s dorm rooms, get thee to Capital this Saturday.

Warning: you will want to get there early, maybe with a sleeping bag. Shoppers have been known to camp out just to be first in line…

Sam Wyly 3905 Beverly Google Street View

Sam Wyly owns 3905 Beverly Drive, which is valued at more than $9 million by DCAD. (Photo: Google Street View)

It took the IRS and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Barbara J. Houser a month to figure out just how much Sam Wyly and sister-in-law Dee Wyly, widow of Charles Wyly and namesake of the Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus designed theater in the Dallas Arts District, owed in taxes after being found guilty of tax evasion in 2014 and declaring bankruptcy after the ruling.

The grand total between the Wylys? $1.1 billion.


Limited Edition Top 1

In response to a question at last night’s meeting for the Hood and Dickason high-rise (Turtle Creek Haus), Masterplan representative Karl Crawley lobbed out that The Limited Edition at 2505 Turtle Creek was being redesigned. I was there to catch that ball.

Turns out he’s correct.  Just as Turtle Creek Gardens agrees to a $43 million sale to JLL, its neighbor is having a rethink.  I’ve hinted for months that Dallas is over-saturated with luxury high-rises. What’s built is half empty. Bleu Ciel has started building out the pool deck on level 7, because 6 levels are now complete of the 33 story building. If it appeared that construction was “down under”, it was: they were working on the private garages within the underground, 5 level parking garage, which are exclusive to Bleu Ciel and the Azure.

Note: previously we reported that construction had stopped on the project, which was incorrect. It was not, however, visible.

Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s quietly stopped marketing the Limited Edition in February. It’s been reported that while owners Great Gulf are still very committed to Dallas, they’re reevaluating their concept.

This review obviously has everything to do with pricing.  In my opinion, this ultimately translates into smaller units with less swanky interiors that may, in the long run, be better for the area and the Dallas marketplace. Expect a relaunch in the autumn, perhaps in conjunction with more details on the rental building planned across the street that’s yet to be enrobed in even a construction fence.

I wonder if Limited Edition’s falter gave Bleu Ciel sales a boost or if the Stoneleigh and Museum Tower benefitted? Hmmm…

As always, stay tuned.

Winner Slug v1

Remember:  Do you have an HOA story to tell?  A little high-rise history? Realtors, want to feature a listing in need of renovation or one that’s complete with flying colors?  How about hosting a Candy’s Dirt Staff Meeting?  Shoot Jon an email.  Marriage proposals accepted (they’re legal)!  sharewithjon@candysdirt.com

Source DCAD (with author's highlights)

Source DCAD (with author’s highlights)

Way back, a rather large mansion occupied the northwest corner of Cedar Springs and … well … Cedar Springs (or Turtle Creek depending on your map). It’s sorta across the street from The Renaissance condos.  For as long as I’ve been coming to Dallas (the mid-1980s) it’s always been an empty lot.  Apparently that’s about to change.