Five-living-presidents-at-George-W.-Bush-Presidential-Center-dedication-in-Dallas_160512

Courtesy Alex Wong/Getty

Several Dallas Realtors attended yesterday’s remarkable dedication for the George W. Bush Presidential Center, including independent agent Mickey Stuart and Dave Perry-Miller’s Steve Collins. I have not heard from her yet, but am certain Allie Beth Allman and Pierce were included, and Kari Schlegel may have accompanied her parents. Mickey, a Dartmouth buddy, gave me a full report, and shared some fabulous photos:Bush Center DART

Bush Center Busses 2 “One of the most interesting things was riding DART — because of security they had blocked off all the streets around SMU so people were encouraged to use DART. Basically, it was unless you have a motorcycle escort do not have anyone dropping you off. I live north, so I took a Dart bus to the Richardson Arapaho station where I got on the red line rail line for the first time (!) and headed south down Central down to Mockingbird Station. I think we arrived about 8:00 a.m. Shuttle busses were waiting to take us to the event at SMU, where golf carts took everybody closer to the seating area. You had to have your ticket and photo ID. Securing was as tight as airport security, you had to walk through a metal detector,  but everyone was gracious and not intrusive. (Note: Mickey did get “wanded”.) It was a gorgeous day, cloudless sky, great day to be outdoors. I saw folding chairs set up for 10,000 people. Because of my long-time relationship with GWB, I somehow got into the VIP Section right in front of podium, sitting with Ohio Senator Robert Portman (also a Dartmouth grad), Jim Baker, Karl Rove, Don Evans, Rex Tillerson, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, David Dewhurst, Tom Ridge and Dick Cheney.

Bush Center lawn Bush Center crowd seatingNearby were Governor Chris Christie, Ted Cruz,  John Cornyn, Mike Rawlings, Ed Cox, Bush Center VIP empty seatsBush Center CornynRay Hunt, Trevor Rees Jones,  Steve Collins, Rick Perry,  Nancy Dedman, Alphonso Jackson (now head of JP Morgan Chase banking ops in NYC), Jim Baker, Jerry Ford,  Jerry Jones and respective spouses.Bush Center First Ladies Bush Center Laura and Barbara Bush Bush Center Jimmy Carter Bush Center Condi Rice Bush Center Clinton Bush Center 41 Bush Center Obama

Military buglers lined the top of the new center. The First Ladies walked out first, took their seats, then came the presidents. Condoleeza Rice came up and welcomed the visiting dignitaries from other countries, like former prime minister JapanYoshihiko Noda,  the prime minister of Australia John Howard, Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi, Secretary General of NATO, and the former president of Ghana. Tony Blair was there, also. All presidents spoke in this order: Carter, Clinton, H.W. Bush, and Obama, each saying nice things. Then Laura Bush spoke, and then George W. did his magic.

Bush Center GWB

There was a VIP reception at the Bush center immediately after, then a VIP luncheon set up with 30 or 40 tables. Then it was back to Mockingbird Station, DART to Richardson and the bus.

Thursday night was the invitation-only block party for members of the SMU community and Bush people, very informal, about 3000 people plus great food from the food trucks. There was a soundstage with Jack Ingram, then when it got dark people were invited to the Bush Center where they lit Freedom Hall for the very first time and set off fireworks outside.

Bush-Presidential-Center-Opening-Ron-Kirk_152045

Courtesy Jerry McClure

Then back to the shuttles and DART. It was really a very memorable experience and once in a life-time opportunity, and Jeanne Johnson Phillips pulled it off flawlessly!”

Bush-Presidential-Center-freedom-lighting-crowd_142357 Bush-Presidential-Center-freedom-lighting-crowd_142540

 

 

 

 

Bush House daria DriveWhen George and Laura Bush bought their home on Daria Drive five years ago, we debated over and over what their presence would do to the Dallas real estate market. Some said values on Daria Drive would plummet. Some said people would move out, fearing security issues. Others said the street and entire Preston Hollow area would see amazing increases in values (stay tuned). As it turns out, it looks like having the Bushes in Dallas helped not only Preston Hollow real estate, but the image of the whole city of Dallas. Yesterday we were filled with the five living presidents, including of course President Obama and his beautiful wife, Michelle (who looked so fabulous) but hosts of dignitaries. Yes, security was tighter than Kim Kardashian’s Spanx and as I drove downtown to Rockitecture, 12 military choppers were hovering over the Dallas North Tollway. A friend in Maryland wonders just how much all of that cost the taxpayers, something I probably would have said if it had not been happening in my home town. But yesterday, no matter what the cost, I was incredibly proud to call Dallas my home-town and share it with the world. You?

Also, this interview with Matt Lauer just got my floodgates open…

Bush House daria DriveWhen George and Laura Bush bought their home on Daria Drive five years ago, we debated over and over what their presence would do to the Dallas real estate market. Some said values on Daria Drive would plummet. Some said people would move out, fearing security issues. Others said the street and entire Preston Hollow area would see amazing increases in values (stay tuned). As it turns out, it looks like having the Bushes in Dallas helped not only Preston Hollow real estate, but the image of the whole city of Dallas. Yesterday we were filled with the five living presidents, including of course President Obama and his beautiful wife, Michelle (who looked so fabulous) but hosts of dignitaries. Yes, security was tighter than Kim Kardashian’s Spanx and as I drove downtown to Rockitecture, 12 military choppers were hovering over the Dallas North Tollway. A friend in Maryland wonders just how much all of that cost the taxpayers, something I probably would have said if it had not been happening in my home town. But yesterday, no matter what the cost, I was incredibly proud to call Dallas my home-town and share it with the world. You?

Also, this interview with Matt Lauer just got my floodgates open…

This darling 1950’s ranch is west of Hillcrest, on the chi chi side, at 6832 Northwood. Buy this for way less than $300K — it’s listed as a foreclosure at $279,000. Then go brag on how you live on the very same street George and Laura Bush lived on the LAST time they lived in Dallas at 6029 Northwood, appraised by DCAD at about $625,000. That’s the home where they raised the twins and lived until he became governor of Texas.

6832 Northwood is 1584 square feet, built in 1950 with three bedrooms, two baths, open floor plan, a hefty 83 by 131 foot wide lot, cute updated bathrooms, utility room, one fireplace, and a charming backyard deck. Two car detached garage. Gonna be honest, I am not impressed with the kitchen but whenever I don’t like a room that only makes it easier for me to tear it out, start all over. I’d also get a decent vanity in at least one bath — pedestal sinks just don’t offer enought storage. Otherwise, this is a superior location and great buy in an area that will appreciate once the market comes back.

Former Bush home on Northwood

Supreme Auctions has a Preston Hollow property that’s so exclusive, we can’t really tell you the address. We can tell you this 6,782-square-foot luxury estate is called Avalon Hollow and in cooperation with Vicki Mox of RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs, it’ll be auctioned off live on-site with no reserve on Saturday, Oct. 19, selling to the highest bidder regardless of price.

Let’s start with the location. Preston Hollow is such a hallowed part of town that many a debate has been waged here on CandysDirt and elsewhere about its proper boundaries: Hillcrest Road to the east, Midway to the west, Northwest Highway to the south, and Royal Lane to the north? Or is Midway too far west? Does Preston Hollow end at Inwood Road? Is Strait Lane part of Preston Hollow? Preston Hollow purists even claim that the stretch of large stone and brick mansions that replaced the sprawling one story ranches west of Preston Road — Deloache, Norway — is technically not Preston Hollow. Residents have a right to be picky. Famous faces, from George W. and Laura Bush on Daria and Mark Cuban on DeLoache and Hollow Way to former Dallas mayors Tom Leppert (Alva Court, sold) and Laura Miller (Dentwood, stunning) choose to live here because of its gorgeous estates, huge trees, creeks and ponds on spacious, lushly landscaped lots. Proximity is the best: just five miles north of downtown.

(more…)

Fiona Richards, Teri Cox, Susan Baldwin, and Candy Evans honored Allie Beth and Pierce Allman at the annual Flora Awards Gala.

From Staff Reports

Allie Beth and Pierce Allman were honored with the 2018 Flora Award for their years of service to the Dallas Community on Oct. 25, the jade anniversary of this prestigious Dallas occasion. The Allmans join the circle of Flora honorees including Peggy and Carl Sewell, Senator Kay Baily Hutchison, Dee and Charles Wyly, Lady Bird Johnson, Laura and President George Bush, Gloria Vanderbilt and Margaret and Trammell Crow. This year’s host committee consisted of honorary chairs and 2017 honorees, Bettye Slaven, Janet Smith and Marilyn Waisanen, 2018 co-chairs Laura Chancellor Black and Kelly Cantu Dees and an extensive list of generous committee members including Former First Lady Laura Bush.

(more…)

This story has been updated with reports from Monday’s all company meeting at The Star, where Candy Evans was the only media

Ebby Halliday Realtors announced the news to a swarming audience of 1,700 agents today at 2 p.m. They chose the Star in Frisco what other facility would hold so many?  to break the news that the company is being acquired by Berkshire Hathaway Home Services of America. CEO Ron Peltier was on hand to deliver the news and assure those in attendance that nothing would be changing, except that their parent now was a rich guy named Warren Buffett.

Ebby Halliday Realtors is the 12th largest independent brokerage firm in the United States and the largest indie in North Texas with more than 1,700 active agents. The firm was founded by a beloved icon, Ebby Halliday Acres, who lived until the age of 104, working nearly every day. Her funeral at Park Cities Baptist Church in University Park in  September 2015 was overflowing, and former First Lady Laura Bush eulogized her. Every Who’s Who in Dallas real estate attended, from Dave Perry-Miller (whose boutique luxury company Ebby acquired in 2007) to Robbie Briggs,  Allie Beth and Pierce Allman. Allie Beth Allman & Associates even took out a full-page ad in the Dallas Morning News in Ebby’s honor. The Kansas native, who grew up selling Cloverine Salve, riding her pony in her rural farm community, migrated to Dallas and sold hats at a downtown department store in the 1940’s. One of her customers said something to the effect of, if she can sell my wife those dang hats, maybe she could help him sell some houses.

And thus, in 1945, began one of the greatest real estate careers, and companies, in Texas history.

I had the fortune of knowing Ebby Halliday, of interviewing her, of spending a day or two with her, of eating cake with her at her birthday parties. The one at the Meyerson was the best!  If Amazon’s Jeff Bezos says to be obsessive about customer service for success, Ebby Halliday was more than obsessive about customer service and tending lovingly those who worked around her, from her customers to the gals who steamed her famous St. John knit suits, which she loved because “they hide everything.”

Ebby Halliday built her brokerage from the ground up. She was quite simply the most beloved woman in Dallas.

For years, the rumors had been flying that the huge brokerage was selling. Who would buy it? Warren Buffett, a local group consisting of the Perots and a couple others, or Weichert Real Estate , a New Jersey-based independent firm much like Ebby, but with only 1,000 agents.

Buffett, Ebby’s friend, would often call her directly and try to talk her into selling.

“I was in her office once, and she was talking to Warren, just as easily as anything,” says an agent who prefers to remain nameless.

Says another: “There were some who were told not to exercise their options to sell their stock, because something way better was coming.”

About that stock — Ebby is an employee-owned company, but it was issued to very few people: most of the heavy holders were the original founders of the company, Ebby Halliday, Mary Frances Burleson who was her first secretary, Ron Burgert, who was a son of Ebby’s accountant and used to play in the office as a child, Maurice Acers, and a handful of others including managers.

Sources tell me Warren Buffett did try to buy Ebby first, but the price was too high, so they turned to Allie Beth Allman & Associates. In fact, today Ron Peltier said something to the effect of, “I tried once before but didn’t do a good job as a salesman.” Allie Beth had, at the time, 300 agents versus Ebby’s 1700 plus. NRT’s Coldwell Banker has also been courting Ebby. Allie Beth’s firm was a bit smaller, and gave Home Services their foot into Dallas luxury real estate. Obviously, they liked what they bought so much, one firm was just not enough. To be continued…

EH HSA Media Release May 21.Docx by Joanna England on Scribd

Gail and R. Gerald Turner, president of SMU, were named this year’s honorary chairs of the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society’s fundraisers.

It’s a banner year for the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society. The group, whose mission is to preserve and promote the history, architecture, aesthetics and cultural traditions of the Park Cities, just announced its spring events, which begin on Wednesday, April 11, with the Distinguished Speaker Luncheon featuring Jenna Bush Hager as the speaker, chaired by Tish Key at the Brook Hollow Golf Club. The home tour follows on April 14, highlighting five beautiful and historic Park Cities homes. The events close with a free and open to the public classic and antique car show on April 21 at Burleson Park. 

Additionally, Gail and R. Gerald Turner, president of Southern Methodist University, were named as honorary chairs of the annual fundraisers, which help preserve and maintain the Park Cities House at Dallas Heritage Village, support the new PCHPS archives at the University Park Library, fund the Society’s landmarking initiatives, and award scholarships to Highland Park High School graduating seniors planning to study architecture, history or preservation.

(more…)