Those of elephantine memories will recall my writing in 2015 about a 12,370-square-foot shell penthouse at the Vendome. Even though the Vendome was built in 2002, the home had never been finished out. The first owner had purchased three penthouses with the intention of creating a singularly spectacular home 20 stories above Turtle Creek. It never happened and was put on the market a decade later – after having paid an estimated $1.5 million in property taxes and HOA dues.

Flash forward and the combined space was purchased by an investor who has returned them to a trio of penthouses that are being finished out as you read. The framing and drywall are up and so it was time to take a peek. They’re still nothing more than large empty spaces so not a lot to see. But there are floorplans, which are immensely helpful to understand the flow of each unit.

(more…)

There are only two homes currently for sale at the Ritz Residences in tower one, and they’re both skirting 3,000 square feet. And they both have one-of-a-kind floor plans. And they’re both listed with the same agent – Sharon Quist with Dave Perry-Miller. And one’s on the 18th floor, the other the penthouse 19th. And yes, 51 square feet is (sorta) all that separates them.

Since we’re at the Ritz, let’s start at the top. Unit 1901 clocks in at 2,928 square feet with two bedrooms and two full and one half bathroom. Pretty standard stuff at the Ritz. But how about 12-foot ceilings, and as you can see above, 891 square feet of terrace. And yes, it’s a terrace. You and I have balconies. It’s co-listed with Dave Perry-Miller agents Sharon Quist and Curt Elliott for a straight $3 million.

I think it’s safe to say that in urban living and especially Ritzy urban living, that nearly a grand of terrace space might just be worth the $300,000 more than the other unit, but I’m outdoorsy. So outdoorsy that when I viewed the units with Quist, we decided to sample the amenities of living at the Ritz-Carlton — room service.

(more…)

New blood. That’s how neighborhoods change and progress. Child-friendly neighborhoods mature, children grow and leave, parents downsize, younger families move in – all very Lion King. High-rises have the same issues, but while interior renovations are under an owner’s control, the common areas are subject to the cheapness or largess of the community.

I’ve said in the past that Plaza I and II didn’t appear to be keeping up with other high-rises when it comes to renovation. That’s apparently changing. The sallow hallways are about to be refreshed with the outdoor Pavilion already complete.

One thing that doesn’t need a renovation is the view over the Mansion Park area of Oak Lawn. All that green you see to the right? It’s the yard for the modern home behind it. It’s like being across the street from a park. I know at street level, it appears to be an empty lot waiting for a mansion to land on it, but nope, it’s green space just for you (sorta). If you’re wondering about the coming Toll Brothers building, fear not, it will be out of sight around the corner.

On the inside, I had the pleasure of touring a gutted and renovated unit 501 with listing agent Sue Krider from Allie Beth Allman priced at $674,000. Krider knows CandysDirt.com readers thrill at seeing a good renovation, but before we get to the goodies, this unit contains 1,305 square feet within its one bedroom and one full and one half bathroom footprint. (I like to put all the details in one place for when you fall in love.)

(more…)

Built in 1966, the Athena has plenty of outdated condominiums waiting for a renovator’s sledgehammer. What’s doubly great is the units are big and the prices relatively small. As I write about new apartment buildings crowing at their 900-square-foot average unit size, I think about the older buildings.  For example, the average unit size at the Athena is 1,721 square feet.  If you figure that most balconies have been enclosed, that jumps to 1,950 square feet. Where ya gonna find that for under $300-large?

Unit 1313 is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom home with 1,770 square feet. Sure, the listing says 1,543, but that’s because DCAD is too asleep to count the enclosed balcony in their calculations. As you can tell from the photo above, most Athena balconies have been enclosed. As a balcony lover, I’ll also add that you can restore the balcony for some pretty big outdoor space. It’s not like a 1,543-square-foot, two-bedroom is tiny by any measure.

(more…)

Kyle Crews and the Allie Beth Urban Team with Allie Beth Allman right in the middle

Dear Diary,

Today I drove a Rolls Royce. Not only was it OMG big (like 20 feet long), but it rode so very unexpectedly smooth (I expected smooth, but it’s shockingly smooth). The new Phantom VIII was on display, and quite at home, at the Stoneleigh Residences in concert with the Allie Beth Urban team who’re taking over shell space sales. And you know me, I love to redesign a shell.

After my recent journeys through Southern Dallas, the city’s Market Value Analysis for affordable housing, and Housing First programs for the homeless, firing up the Phantom’s 563 horsepower, V-12 engine provided for some serious mental whiplash (the Phantom is far too polite to have caused physical whiplash).

(more…)

3525 Turtle Creek #7AB is currently listed by Elly Holder and Gretchen Brasch of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty for $2.15 million.

When a property this chic comes across your desk, you pay attention, and such was the case when Elly Holder reached out to me for help writing the property romance for her rare-to-market offering in the iconic Howard Meyer designed 3525 Turtle Creek.

(more…)

We all know the Gold Crest on Turtle Creek.  Even though it’s just 11 stories tall, its design overshadows many taller buildings on the boulevard.  It was built in 1964 by George Dahl and it was his home for the last decades of his life.

Fresh on the market after over 34 years with the same owner is unit 1101 on the penthouse level.  While other buildings belled and whistled their penthouse levels with jumbo combined units, the 11th floor of the Gold Crest is like any other. It’s a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit with 1,630 square feet and listed with Janet Rone of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate for $725,000.  Don’t bother clicking on the link for pictures, there’s one and it’s of the exterior. But I do have the floor plan and my crayons …

(more…)

The axis of 8181 Douglas’s U-shaped Unit 210

Between explaining the housing crunch (here, here), flooding, new Pink Wall development, Dallas Midtown, and of course the latest in the mayor’s Fair Park friends-with-benefits giveaway, I’ve been on a tear these past few weeks. It’s time to break free with a little party, and unit 210 at 8181 Douglas definitely provides the balloons (you’ll see).

You may recall, 8181 Douglas was part of my recent high-rise buyers guide series. At just 14 units, it’s the tallest and smallest high-rise in Dallas.  If you want a whole floor it’s 7,125 square feet. Otherwise, there are two units per floor that start at a pinch over 2,000 square feet and end up at around 4,472 square feet (Note: there is one ground-floor unit that’s 1,349 square feet).

(more…)