Council Member Gates enjoying a cuppa with constituents

Top Pot, a name that might evoke the hopes of an herb-aceous electorate, is alas just a coffee and “hand-forged” donut shop at the edge of Preston Hollow. Begun in Seattle, the city of coffee’s rebirth, there are three locations in Dallas. I wonder if Dallas leadership called out Top Pot for a “just like home” vibe in their Amazon HQ2 bid?

I was there at the crack of 9 a.m. on Saturday to attend a drop-in chat session hosted by the Preston Hollow East Homeowners Association (PHEHA). Council member Jennifer Gates was their special guest. Unlike more formal settings, this meeting was literally coffee and donuts, no set speech or presentation. It was an avenue for local residents to have a low-key interaction with their council person to discuss whatever was on their minds.  Think of it as a cocktail party with caffeine and crullers instead of champagne and caviar. I’m sure other council members do this too, I’ve just never been invited.

Gates handled queries ranging from the city’s homeless problem to more local issues including neighborhood walkability, and, of course the PD-15 circus.

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When Karen DeGraffenreid bought her home inside Waterford on the Park, it was thoroughly ensconced in everything 1980s. The 3,434-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bath home was an uninspiring time warp. 

“It was a 1980s home when we bought it, and there was no surface that was left unrenovated,” DeGraffenreid said. “For the past almost 12 years, I have loved every room in this home.” 

Of course, the bright blue door at 7249 Helsem Bend foreshadows the colorful San Miguel de Allende-inspired style DeGraffenreid favors, with custom finishes and eye-popping shades of every hue.

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In an area known for trying to impress with excess, it’s nice to see a property that’s comfortably glamorous.  Sure, when you drive by 6607 Desco Drive you wonder. Area homes are a mix of 1950s ranches and cliché McMansions. Like much of Preston Hollow, land values have tripled in the past 15 years as the neighborhood retreats upmarket with tear downs.

This home is “new” but no stereotype.

Between bold architectural shapes and a lack of roses and wisteria, you rubberneck as you slowly drive by (gone unfortunately are the prior owner’s neon bicycles).  With plenty of lawn, it’s not completely xeriscape, but it makes use of a lot of drought-resistant plants. For me the place has a bit of a Mexico City vibe.  When I got home and poked around, I found the original ranch home was gutted, added to, renovated, and most importantly owned by interior designer Ana Seyffert.  Buying a designer’s home lets you live in their world without the vacillations of a client to dilute the vision.  The work, begun in 2008, took two years and swept away the 1950s and brought this tropically urban home.

A home like this screams for press coverage.  When Seyffert first sold the home in 2014 to the current owner, Candy was there.

The home is listed with Erin Mathews of Allie Beth Allman for $2.599 million.  It has 5,589 square feet on a pinch over half an acre with four bedrooms and five full bathrooms.

The inside is cool, but let’s stay outside for a bit …

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What is it about a Friday night that makes you want to grab a glass of wine or a beer, and catch a simple meal somewhere in your jeans. Somewhere close. The last thing you want to do is turn on the Viking. That’s why I am so psyched to see Preston Hollow Village filling up with a variety of restaurants and eateries. There’s Blue Sushi Sake Grill, the second location in Texas, following the first in Fort Worth, Modmarket, the first Dallas branch of the Colorado-based chain, following Flower Mound, Plano and Southlake, and there’s Vertskebap, the Austin-based wraps concept. There’s Blatt Beer & Table, part of the Omaha, Nebraska-based Flagship Restaurant Group, and the first Blatt outside of Omaha. (Wonder if Warren Buffett eats there?) Flagship is also the owner of Blue Sushi Sake Grill. Blatt is a craft beer bar and restaurant with “elevated beer hall fare” and a Germanic twist: housemade sausages, burgers, chicken and waffles. This is the stuff hearty Midwesterners eat when the mercury dips below zero.

And the Thai restaurant Pakpao recently opened their second location (other than the Dallas Design District) next to Frost Gelato. We popped in Friday evening and found one of our son’s high school buds, Tea Acuff, working with owner Richard Ellman. I was curious why he chose this particular location to move into Preston Hollow — really, the location is NOT Preston Hollow, but we will let that slip because on Friday, it seemed half of Preston Hollow was there… listen up ye restauranteurs of Preston Center: a grocery store brings out the consumers:

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Contemporary Home, 6722 Norway Road, Dallas, Texas

Fantastic photography by Sean Gallagher

NorwayOnce in awhile we publish a house that is so fabulous, we say it’s the “O-Alert”. When I give out the “O-Alert”, you know this is one piece of House Porn you just stop everything for and LOOK!

Feast your eyes on this fresh listing: a simple 1950’s ranch at 6722 Norway, between Thackery and Preston, prime Preston Hollow .36 acre verdant lot, that has been remodelled and tweaked to ab-soul-lute perfection. Built in 1950, it was remodelled first fairly significantly in 2008, pool added in 2011, and then more remodelling was done in 2015. Basically, this was a two-bedroom, 2800 square foot home that was added onto, yielding 3800 square feet, four bedrooms (one is used as a study) another full bath, and many, many beautiful additions.

This is our Dallas version of Fort Worth’s Palm Springs swank!

Contemporary Home, 6722 Norway Road, Dallas, Texas

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6009 Del NorteThis Rogers Healy listing is right in the hotbed of controversy over the proposed, and now City Plan Commission-approved, Transwestern development for the western edge of the area known as Behind the Pink Wall. For $699,000 you can have a .46 acre lot — Del Norte does have some hefty slabs of nicely treed dirt — and renovate or tear down.

You’d be living on the northeast corner of De Norte and Preston Road, right across from Ashley and James Parks.

The 2611 square foot home was listed with Rogers Healy back in May/June for $725,000, then quickly the price was lowered to the current $699,000. There are no photos of the home’s vintage 1961 interior..

Interesting that the home sold for $285,000 off a selling price of $295,000 in 2004, sellers being a bank.

Eleven years later, the home is listed at $699,000.

 

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There was only one solo dissenting vote from members of the Dallas Plan Commission, and it was from Paul E. Ridley, a Kingston appointee. As for neighborhood’s over-riding concerns about traffic, the City’s traffic experts said the new development may actually DECREASE traffic on Bandera…  from a car every forty seconds (currently) to a car every 30 to 35 seconds.

Our own Jon Anderson was at City Hall today and is bringing us all the details of a very volatile afternoon soon, so DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL!

Transwestern Meeting 2

See this room? On Thursday night it will be Dallas City Councilman Lee Kleinman up at the podium, leading yet another neighborhood discussion on the proposal that Transwestern has made for 3 acres Behind the Pink Wall, aka the northeast intersection of Northwest Highway and Preston Road.

This comes because and because and because.

I applaud Lee and Dallas City Plan Commissioner Margot Murphy for making this process as transparent as possible, for listening to all sides, and for giving the neighborhood AMPLE opportunity to voice concerns, ask questions, etc. etc. The only other thing they could do is hand out megaphones and give every neighbor living from Northwest Highway north to LBJ a free email account for 60 days.

I jest.

This is the same place where we had the last meeting to discuss the proposal Transwestern has made for 3 acres Behind the Pink Wall, aka the northeast intersection of Northwest Highway and Preston Road.

You know what else I love about this? One, the Transwestern case has made me very good at cutting and pasting. Two, I’m hoping Jon Anderson invites us over for drinks again after the meeting.  Maybe before. Sure beats exercising and we get to WALK from his condo to one of the prettiest churches in Dallas.

Night Cometh…

CoD Logo
Headshot LMK
YOU ARE INVITED
Please join me for a community meeting to discuss the Transwestern development in District 13. Presentations will be given by Mark Culwell with Transwestern and Bill Dahlstrom with Jackson Walker. If you need additional information please contact my office at 214-670-7817
 WHEN
Thursday, August 27, 2015
6:30PM8:00PM
 
WHERE
Park Cities Baptist Church – Fellowship Hall
3933 Northwest Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75225
 
 
 
Councilmember Lee M. Kleinman | Dallas City Hall 1500 Marilla Street, Dallas 75201