1112 Post Oak, Westlake: Was this the house NRA president Wayne LaPierre wanted?

  • Lobbyist group reportedly tried to buy a Vaquero mansion for President Wayne LaPierre’s use.
  • Vaquero is a tony, gated community in Westlake.
  • New York inquiry is part of an investigation into NRA nonprofit status.

North Texas real estate is a hot topic of conversation in the National Rifle Association’s growing legal woes, including the current inquiry into its tax-free status by the attorney general of New York.

The Washington Post reports that the NRA planned to purchase a $5.95 million Vaquero mansion (1112 Post Oak) for the use of its chief executive, Wayne LaPierre, last year. The 10,020-square-foot home’s purchase was never completed, and the property is still on the market with a new asking price of $5.25 million. (more…)

The Dallas Morning News called the District 13 election results a “trounce” by incumbent Jennifer Gates against former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller. And at a commanding 66 percent to 34 percent, who am I to argue?

Delving into the precinct-level numbers, an interesting picture appears. Miller was a one-trick candidate, focusing her campaign on anti-development messaging surrounding Preston Center and the Pink Wall. As you can see in the map above, District 13 is a lot more than Preston Center. The myopathy of Miller’s message wasn’t lost on voters outside the Preston Center orbit. Oh, and constituents really like Gates. By contrast, Miller didn’t even win her own precinct, where neighbors voted for her opponent, two-to-one.

In total, Miller carried just three precincts within District 13 – essentially the Pink Wall and Preston Center along with a tiny precinct out by Marsh Lane and Walnut Hill (although not as tiny as the 16-vote precinct to its right that was one of two reporting a tie).


mayoralSome Dallas mayoral candidates like historic, some like new, two don’t even own homes but rent. And they live north, south, east and well, not west. And, remarkably, some of the most expensive homes belong to the female candidates in Dallas’ mayoral race — but with a caveat.

Regina Montoya has the biggest, most expensive real estate of the group with a home valued at roughly $4.3 million. Lynn McBee’s Highland Park home at 3912 Miramar is on the market for almost $3.5 million, and she’s living in an apartment in downtown Dallas. (more…)

Saturday is election day, and this one revolves around real estate centered in one Dallas city council district: District 13, where 17.6 percent of voters have cast early ballots. That’s the highest voting percentage in any city council district.

There is the Behind the Pink Wall real estate quagmire, the condo owners and tenants who say they do not want increased density from the remaking of PD-15. PD-15 is an antiquated city document that permits a developer to go as high as he wants, but limit the footprint to 60 residential units to replace those lost in the seven-alarm Preston Place fire more than two years ago where a woman lost her life.

The fire has left the owners of Preston Place with nothing more than a parking garage. And now, owners of condos in the periphery of Preston Place find their HOAs are postponing repairs on those buildings that are most likely going to be snapped up by developers and scraped.


Farmers Branch

There is a very nasty political battle going on for Texas House District 115 — which covers Addison, Coppell, Carrollton, Farmers Branch and Irving. And part of that battle involves real estate.

Matt Rinaldi, incumbent

Republican incumbent Matt Rinaldi has a Democratic challenger, Julie Johnson. The two are facing off in what is being called one of the most heated Texas House races in northwest Dallas County.

Aside from many issues, Johnson chiefly doesn’t like the way Rinaldi behaved on the last day of the 2017 session, when protesters carrying pro-immigrant posters demonstrated against the sanctuary cities ban passed by the legislature and highly favored by Rinaldi. She says he is divisive. According to some lawmakers, Rinaldi walked over to Ramon Romero of Fort Worth and Poncho Nevárez of Eagle Pass, both Democrats, and told them he had called ICE on the protesters. An altercation between Nevárez and Rinaldi followed. Rinaldi’s admits to calling immigration authorities on people who were protesting in the House gallery and to threatening a fellow House member, but said he did not in any way start the fracas and whatever he did was to defend himself and his then-pregnant wife, who was also at the Capitol.

Julie Johnson, challenger

Rinaldi is questioning Johnson’s legal residency in the district, and she, his. Johnson, a Democrat, is believed by political observers to have moved into the district chiefly to run against Rinaldi. She says in a TV political debate on WFAA-TV she is living in an apartment in Addison, which Rinaldi doesn’t buy:

“Nobody believes Ms. Johnson lives in her little apartment in Addison and not her $1.7 million [home] in Preston Hollow,” Rinaldi said.  On the campaign trail, Johnson has said she is living in Addison. But Rinaldi pointed to a homestead exemption on a $1.7 million home outside the district.

But Johnson has told The Dallas Morning News, who endorsed her over incumbent Rinaldi, the $1.7  homestead exemption was for 2017 property taxes.

She has since bought a home in Farmers Branch, which she has torn down, at 3441 Golfing Green Drive, a few homes down from Brookhaven Country Club. Ms. Johnson and her partner are in the process of building a new home on the now-razed property. And it’s all public record on DCAD.

But while I was researching a story on the Farmers Branch demo/rebuild program, whereby the city offers homeowners and builders a graduated cash grant and tax incentives to tear down old homes and build new higher valued real estate, I wondered if perhaps Ms. Johnson was participating in the city’s program.


electionWhen Justin Henry received the most votes — but not enough to avoid a runoff election — in May, a mere 69 votes separated him and Dallas ISD District 9 incumbent trustee Bernadette Nutall.

Saturday night, with all 47 precincts reporting, Henry won by more than 600 votes.