Just one car on Fitzhugh?

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed The Terminal condos had hit MLS in pre-sale mode. What’s The Terminal?  It’s a new 19-unit condo building bound by Fitzhugh, Buena Vista Street, and the Katy Trail scheduled for completion in 2021. You may recall seeing it mentioned as one of the cases vetted by the Oak Lawn Committee last November (when it had 25 units).  Well, the renderings are final, the floor plans set and the prices (gasp!) have been announced.

As a quick review, the name is derived from the fact the Katy Trail was originally a train line. The architecture hat-tips that history with large, arched glass openings on the first and second floors. Those floors will be amenity space and public space for eateries abutting the Katy Trail. Along Buena Vista, one of the arches is a public walkway connecting to the trail. Along the far end is a pocket park. Keen eyes will note the power lines – we’ll talk about them later.

Of the 19 units, seven have been listed on MLS – typical ploy in new developments when you want scarcity to drive interest. Unit sizes range from 2,471 square feet (two-bed/two-and-a-half-bath) to the full-floor penthouse shell at 6,577 square feet with another 2,901 square feet of terrace. Prices for the seven MLS listings are from the oddly specific $2,527,445 to $6.65 million. Because of the differing sizes of the units, they’re actually trading in a very tight band of price per square foot of between $1,011 to $1,096.54 – for a mid-rise barely above a busy road with power lines so close you might almost be able to touch them. That’s some mighty high-cotton.

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Can Dallas have nice things? If this proposed project goes through, the answer is absolutely yes.

I get it, you’re immediately wondering what those green-walled balconies are running up the building. It’s a sneak peek at a proposed residential tower at 1899 McKinney designed by Chicago-based SCB Architecture for investor/developer Ari Rastegar of Rastegar Property Company – his first new-build in Dallas. Like the man, it’s ambitious architecture for Dallas. When I spoke with Rastegar and SCB principal Clara Wineberg, I imagined a conversation a resident might have explaining where they lived:

“Where do you live?”

“The building you’re on the waiting list for.”

But let’s unpack this picture.  In front of the white car, you can see the tops of umbrellas, which form the patio space for a proposed café. They’re so low because the plot is similarly sloped. This natural contour enables the café to create a more private feel while keeping the cohesion of the extensively landscaped pedestrian areas.

Slightly above the “ground” level, the green begins. Those “balconies” are in fact 17-foot deep amenity platforms spaced every three floors with lush green growing up their back walls. Expect them to be gathering places with seating and perhaps outdoor kitchens (my suggestion). That depth means you’re actually standing a considerable distance cantilevered out from the building’s skin – the views will be stunning. The uneven surfaces of the greenery should also tamp down some city noise in addition to being beautiful – were they simply glass-walled, they’d be an echo chamber.

What you can also see is the curved bump-out on the corner that will face down Akard to the Klyde Warren Park addition.  For those with Mayfair memories, I specifically asked about the radius of those curves. I find the tight turrets at the Mayfair condos result in largely useless spaces. The curve here is looser, allowing for easy furniture placement while delivering the drama of a curved glass wall.

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bachelorRobert Belcher was a bachelor when he snagged his light, airy, and well-appointed Travis Street condo a few years back — but things have changed, and now he’s parting with it because something even bigger happened: He fell in love with Rebecca.

Robert and Rebecca met on New Year’s Eve and fell in love, and now his Uptown condo is listed (photo courtesy Robert Belcher).

“It’s just time switch things up,” he said. “I have a wonderful girl down in Austin that I’m very in love with.”

Although the two have mutual friends, it was a New Year’s Eve meeting in Tulum, Mexico, that initially connected them.

“Yeah we’ve just really hit it off,” Belcher said. “Everything’s sweeter with a little risk, so I guess I’ll just take one and move down to Austin.”

But that’s not to say that he’s not going to miss his condo, nestled at the back of a small development but within walking distance to all kinds of uptown amenities.

“I’ll tell you I’m a little bittersweet about it — I’ve lived here in Dallas for 13 years,” he said. “I was born and raised in Fort Worth, so I’m a DFW kid, with the exception of about six or seven years when I was away for college and in Colorado right after.”

The location of this 2,248 square foot, two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath condo was one of the big selling points for Belcher, but the floorplan was an even bigger one.

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Uptown

What do you do when every lot around you is redeveloped? In a single-family neighborhood, you hold out for last, assuming your lot gets more valuable with each sale and rebuild. However, when you’re in a commercial area, waiting too long often has a price, not a reward.

As you can see highlighted above, one lot is surrounded by the Gables Uptown Trail apartment building. You know that Gables tried desperately to acquire that Uptown parcel well before it came online in 2011.

Today, a new Marriott is under construction by Alamo Manhattan. When it was first announced, there was a lone holdout on the corner of their half-block parcel. It was an old house-turned-art gallery. Ultimately Alamo Manhattan persuaded the owners that selling was better than being an orphan on a tiny, un-developable lot.

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uptownWhen Leah Nolan told us she and her husband were listing their Uptown condo, she was a little wistful.

And that’s understandable. Her cozy one-bedroom, one-bath home, 3311 Blackburn St. #215, is a perfect spot for someone looking to enjoy some of the best Dallas has to offer, with an affordable price point that gives them entry into what can be a pretty spendy housing market.

“We walk or Uber to the grocery store, for haircuts, and to bars and restaurants,” she said. “It’s just minutes from the highways, we have great neighbors, a pool, and it’s steps away from the Katy Trail and West Village, for the same price that we were paying for rent.” (more…)

Uptown Marriott on Fairmount, with west-facing, fifth-floor pool deck.

There was just one project slated for last night’s Oak Lawn Committee and it was about a variance needed for a pair of awnings by the Uptown Marriott being built by Alamo Manhattan on Fairmount Street in back of Nick & Sam’s restaurant. The pre-awning project gained support from the OLC in December 2016. At first glance I figured the awning was a yawning – I mean one was for an 11-inch variance. Whoo-hoo! Stop the presses!

But when you go to OLC for one variance, any question becomes open mic night.

This past summer marked the migration from Las Vegas of the hotel day party by the pool. For a modest entry fee, lush bodies swerve to the thumping beats of an outdoor nightclub. Unfortunately, unlike Las Vegas, Dallas hotels aren’t located in entertainment districts. Some, like the Stoneleigh’s Splash parties, are in more densely residential Uptown.

It was with those sharp memories that residents (and OLC members) of the Stoneleigh Residences asked Alamo Manhattan if Marriott would ban amplified music outdoors. Having lived through weekly raucous parties literally out their windows, they don’t want another hotel offering a similar noise issue.

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Uptown

(Photos courtesy Shoot2Sell)

If you love the walkability of the Uptown area, but don’t want to be in the thick of the hustle and bustle, this State Thomas townhome might just do the trick.

Located at 2912 Thomas Ave. and listed by Paige and Curt Elliott with Dave Perry-Miller – Park Cities, this three-story townhome has a generous 3,086 square feet of living space.

“It is walkable to McKinney Avenue and super close to the Nodding Donkey and State+Allen, but it’s located on a private drive off of Thomas,” explained Paige. “It has a huge amount of space, plus walkability, and we have a very motivated seller.”

The home is also an easy walk to Griggs Park, and is a quick drive to downtown on either surface streets or the highway.

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Uptown’s next high-rise

Even sitting on a beach chair in North Africa, I felt this. A few days ago (hey, I’m on vacation), a 53,000-square-foot McKinney Avenue parcel lifted its skirt to the market.  I phrase it that way because 2523 McKinney has an asking price of $34 million … for 1.216712 acres.

Good lord, you could buy Walnut Place for that.

We’re talking about four lots owned by OR Asset Holdings that are being marketed as one development plot. OR Holdings is Oscar Renda, who purchased three of the lots in May 2010, picking up the final one in November 2013. The lots are:

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