Jessica Holland and Beverly Cardenas are The Uptown Girls.

Beverly Cardenas and Jessica Holland are the Dallas Uptown Girls. These two are experts in getting their clients the best rentals on the market in the Uptown, downtown, and surrounding areas.

For today’s “Love it, Lease it” feature, these super savvy apartment locators answered a few questions we threw their way on how to get the rental you want in Dallas.

Jo: What advice do you usually give clients who are looking for a rental? Are there any tried-and-true tips that you find yourself telling everyone?

Beverly and Jessica: 1. If you absolutely love it, don’t sit on it. It can get leased as soon as you walk out the door.

2. If you have several options you are considering and just cannot narrow it down, we suggest building an Excel spreadsheet to visually lay out your pros and cons.

3. Don’t completely omit a property just because of a few negative online reviews.

4. Start your apartment search around 60 days out from your move date. At this time, properties should know if they will have availability for your time frame. Any earlier could be a waste of time.

Jo: What developments or properties are most popular with your clientele? Additionally, what neighborhoods do your clients gravitate toward?

Beverly and Jessica: Many of our clients gravitate toward Post properties because of their great location. They own a number of properties along McKinney Avenue and neighboring State Thomas. This area give residents the convenience of The Mckinney Avenue Trolley, walking to restaurants and nightlife, and Katy Trail access.

Jo: In Uptown and the surrounding areas, are there any blocks or types of development where you see the most growth?

Beverly and Jessica: We’re seeing a lot of growth in the Design District right now. Dallas’ newest high rise, 1400 Hi Line, opened its doors in July and will house dining and retail on the first level of the building. Granted, we may be a bit biased because we both actually live in the neighborhood ourselves, but there’s always something fun to do. There’s Food Truck Wednesday, Four Star restaurants in walking distance, art galleries, and if you have a pet you’ll love all the greenery and landscaping. There’s another property currently being constructed on the west side of the neighborhood, and there’s rumor of a bowling alley in the near future.

Jo: What are people looking for in a rental right now? Luxury? Space? Accessibility? Walkability?

Beverly and Jessica: A walkable location is at the top of the list for most of our clients. The idea of being able to step outside their apartment, grab coffee while walking the dog, and return later for a mimosa, is priceless.

Jo: Tell us about your most memorable transaction/client.

Beverly and Jessica: We had a couple that contacted us from Kansas City and were looking to relocate to Dallas. They weren’t relocating because of a new job or family that lived here. They just wanted to try something new! They had visited Dallas once before and loved it. Neither had a job yet, but did have a lot of faith in the new chapter they were about to take on. A few months later I was headed to dinner in Uptown and saw the couple with friends hoping onto the trolley heading for a night out. It was satisfying to see our clients enjoying themselves in a city in which they knew nothing about.

Additionally, we relocated more than 20 teachers from Spain to Dallas this summer. The majority of them had never been in the US and were here to work for DISD. It was pretty awesome to help someone brand new to the US.

At first they wanted the Residences at the Ritz Carlton, but they couldn’t find a three bedroom condo to lease for just one year. So now word is that agent to the stars Allie Beth Allman, who I hear now tweets to keep up with Khloe, is helping the newcomers ink a deal at the W. Not sure which penthouse just yet, but I’d venture to say 2801 looks good, because it’s finished out (not a shell like a few of the remaining units over there) and has four bedrooms 4.2 baths, boasts 9285 square feet so the whole Kardashian gang can come in for Thanksgiving. (Khloe: Celebrity caters!) The unit is held by Encore Holdings and is the former home of Jonas Woods, remember him, who sold it in September of 2009 for $9,950,000 or $900 a square foot. Dang, remember those days? (Saw it in MLS, but I don’t believe it, I had heard closer to $6 million. But Carolyn Shamis, God rest her soul, is dead and I cannot call her!)

Allie Beth was the listing agent.

Another possibility might be Thomas A. Hartland’s 3102 which is 5731 square feet and a three/3.5, sold as a raw shell in October 2007, must surely be finished out by now. Also Don Carter has two units at The W, a smaller unit 2209 and and 2709 which is 3758 square feet, a three bedroom, 3.1 bath, had been on the market for $1.7ish.

Other agents helping the kids find a nice crib: Forrest Gregg who works on the Ben Jones team at Allie Beth, and  Seychelle Van Poole.

Don Carter's #2709

We might have been talking about you, too. Hell, we gossiped about everyone in town, from Troy and Rhonda Aikman to GWB to every license agent in Dallas. And we were just getting started. BEST. MORNING. EVER.  Talking blogging and social media savvy with all the fine folks at Alicia Trevino Realtors — thank you sweet Kristian for having me! And please keep mum about the handsome young man I had in tow, my husband may be reading…

Meantime, check out this great listing on Wenonah if you like Inwood/Lemmon, updated everywhere with granite, hardwoods, great spaces. Grab it for $349,000.

    Michael Ainsworth the Dallas Morning News


Guest Post by Susan Arledge, CEO Arledge Partners Real Estate Group

Last week, an interesting report emerged from Advertising Age Magazine called “Put Your Money on Texas.” It showed that Texas is now home to 3.6 million millennials—a 14 percent increase from 2000 to 2010. The 24- to 35-year-old age group “is critical to the state’s future because they represent the next wave of families, new home buyers, and big spenders,” according to the article.

Of the top ten states with the greatest increase in millennials, not one was east of the Mississippi and only three states really stood out:

  • · Texas,with 3.6 million 25- to 34-year olds, up 14% since 2000;
  • · Washington, with nearly 1 million, up 11%; and
  • · Colorado with 0.73 million, up 9%.

Here’s the Crackerjack prize in this box: over the next 10 years, the millennials will move into the 35 to 44 age cohort and increase their average household spending by 23%, a jump of more than $10,000 per household, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So one way to pick states with high economic future prospects is to look at how many 25- to 34-year-olds each has numerically and in relation to a national average, and gauge how fast that cohort is growing.

Ok, so how does this relate to Lakewood? Millennials love the place. Recently, Steve Brown wrote in the Dallas Morning News about the tremedous changes taking place at the Lakewood Shopping Center, and the influence on residential real estate. I grew up in Lakewood with my sister, Allie Beth Allman residential Realtor Brenda Sandoz — check out her listing at 2917 Amherst.

I was all ears.

Steve quotes Highland Park Village owner Ray Washburne, who is planning to open a Mi Cocina next to the Lakewood Theater. “Lakewood has been a sleeping giant,” Washburne told Brown. “People are finally waking up to the potential in Lakewood.”

Robert Grunnah has owned one of Lakewood’s most desirable retail properties for more than 30 years, and chaired the Lakewood Redevelopment Committee, which pushed through thoroughfare changes in the late 1970s that re-routed Abrams Road:

“Very unpopular with the long term residents at the time, the completion of the project eliminated a traffic nightmare, created a park, and opened up the entire shopping area,” said Grunnah, who owns the property where Scalini’s Pizza & Pasta and the Legal Grounds coffee house are located. “People around here don’t like a lot of change, and they do understandably like their small, locally-owned Lakewood shops. Lakewood offers a rare, small hometown feel, not often found within our Megaplex society.”

Take the popular coffe stop Legal Grounds. The initial Legal Grounds was opened in the early ’80s by a lawyer, now turned Baptist Preacher and marital relations counselor in East Texas. The storefront objective was to provide no cost/low cost legal advice with your coffee — lots of attorneys live in Lakewood. It has now morphed into an original and successful coffee house concept, much like many of the small, merchant owned businesses in Lakewood.

Located next door to the original Lakewood Gym and Nadine’s Poodle parlor, where you could drop off your laundry and have your poodle cleaned at the same time, Legal Grounds has become a neighborhood landmark quite popular with both the old ‘Lakewoodians’ and the newer in-migrating professionals. Lakewood also had close ties with the infamous Mid 80’s I-30 Condo scandal when Danny Faulkner bought and worked in the Lakewood Towers Building, later losing it to the Feds for resale. He was located across the street from where Caddo Holdings LLC has spent the last year and about $2 million redoing Lakewood’s biggest commercial property — the nine-story Wells Fargo Bank complex at Gaston and La Vista Drive.

Steve Brown says there’s no clue of a recession when you look at businesses in Lakewood– they are thriving:

“Snagging a parking space out front (of Whole Foods Market)sometimes can be as hard as finding a cool breeze. And it’s been that way most weekends since the store opened two years ago.  The arrival of the 50,000-square-foot up-scale grocer was one of the biggest things to happen in the East Dallas business district since its flagship movie house debuted in 1938.”

Developer Lincoln Property Co. recently purchased the largest retail chunk of the shopping center at Gaston Avenue and Abrams Parkway, where Dixie House restaurant and Lakewood Hardware are located. Times Ten Cellars’ restaurant and winery has been booming since opening in 2005 on Prospect Avenue. Kert Platner, who owns Times Ten Cellars, also owns the building where Snow Pea Restaurant is located.

The point is, which comes first: the commercial development or residential? In the case of Lakewood, they seem to be feeding off each other in a beautiful symphony. Commercial seeks neighborhoods where businesses can thrive and survive; home buyers seek neighborhoods where services fill the bill — you want hardware stores handy, tasty small restaurants and a great pizza place, and a grocery store whose shelves are stocked with everything you could possibly need. Lakewood fits the bill. That is what makes the quality of living in Dallas so high that it consistently remains in the top 3 to 5 markets for site selection.

Susan Arledge has been President and CEO of Arledge Partners Real Estate Group in Dallas, Texas since its inception in 1993.  Her commercial real estate brokerage firm specializes in representing tenants in their lease negotiations, as well as site selection, labor analytics, demographic analysis, incentives and real estate negotiations for tenants.  She can be reached at

Dallas City Center Realtors changes its name and brand, housing affordability is at a three-year high, W Dallas Hotel draws a buyer, and Coldwell Banker introduces RealSure programs in Dallas, all in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

Dallas City Center Changes Brand To Paragon Realtors

Dallas City Center Realtors announced last week a name change to Paragon Realtors and new branding campaign slated to roll out in 2020.

Dallas City Center Realtors changes its name and brand, housing affordability is at a three-year high, W Dallas Hotel draws a buyer, and Coldwell Banker introduces RealSure programs in Dallas, all in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

“The word ‘Paragon’ means ‘a model or pattern of excellence’ and reflects the hallmark reputation of Dallas City Center agents for nearly 20 years,” marketing coordinator Ashton Graves said in a press release.

Broker Mike Miller said the team is excited to have a brand that works for agents in the diverse marketplace they serve.

“Our agents work in a dozen counties from the Red River to Cedar Creek Lake, so it’s important that the name on the sign supports them and their reach,” he said.

After acquiring the Sherman office of Virginia Cook Realtors in the spring, Dallas City Center officials began thinking about a new name to highlight a high standard of excellence.

“The attention and reaction to the brand when we acquired the Sherman office got us thinking,” said Yvette Grove, director of coaching and training for the firm. “Many of our agents wanted a stronger brand presence and we felt this was a great way to do that; the name truly reflects the commitment our agents have to their craft.”

The firm was founded in 2001 and has four offices across North Texas.


Photo courtesy JMJ Group

Luxury hotel lovers will salivate over this one: Dallas is getting a Mandarin Oriental, this time for sure. 

And this time, on Turtle Creek Boulevard, the original high rise haven of Dallas.

The 176-room ultra luxurious hotel will be part of a 25-story mixed use tower coming to a 2.47 acre site at 2999 Turtle Creek Boulevard.

Select luxury agents from across the state were feted at an opening event Saturday evening on the property site, with food, drink, cigar-rollers, and music, all to promote sales of the 100 private residences, which will be constructed on the upper floors of the exclusive hotel.

The property will include 176 room hotel guest rooms and suites, four restaurants, several bars and the residences. As is typical with hotel-associated luxury residences, the owners will have access to hotel and restaurant amenities as well as private, owners-only amenities such as pools, lounges, and private gardens.

The developer is Dallas-based JMJ Development, headed by Tim Barton. JMJ is a “leading developer acquiring and developing assets during what it perceives as rising markets in growth areas of Texas, Florida as well as additional target markets including New Mexico and Tennessee.” 

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel group, based in Hong Kong, will manage the property, located on Turtle Creek Boulevard at Dickason Avenue. Mandarin Oriental Hotels operates 32 hotels and seven residences in 23 countries and territories.  Capital financing for this project is coming from New York City-based Madison Realty Capital, which is pumping $32.5 million into the deal for site acquisition and development.  

The Mandarin Oriental had planned to debut in Dallas at Victory Park in Uptown back in 2006, with a gleaming 43-story hotel and condo tower, which is now home to a parking garage. But the Great Recession nipped those plans, and the development (rendering below) was never built.

photo courtesy of BOKA Powell

By the time we came back to this week’s Inwood National Bank Home of the Week listed by Mohammed Jaber of Compass RE Texas, the home at 3100 Cole Avenue, No. 214 was already under contract. That’s OK because it turned us on to a great condo complex full of well-built, updated one- and two-bedrooms homes for lease and sale that are perfect for Uptown living.

But first, let’s check out No. 214 (how perfect is that?), which Jaber has listed for $275,000. Sutton Place at 3100 Cole Avenue is a sleek urban condo complex right in the heart of Uptown, just a block off McKinney Avenue.


Apartments, recessions, and public safety were among the hot button topics at the 15th annual Greater East Dallas Chamber of Commerce Economic Summit held this week in Dallas. CC Young Senior Living was the title sponsor and was among the media sponsors.

East Dallas is home to three of the newest city councilmembers and the Deputy Mayor Pro Tem, including District 14’s David Blewett, District 7’s Adam Bazaldua, District 9’s Paula Blackmon, and District 10 Councilman/Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Adam McGough. The four shared their vision for economic development in their East Dallas districts spanning from Fair Park to White Rock Lake.

Dallas is attracting a lot of young professionals to its booming job market, which leads the state in year-over-year employment increases and tops California as the top state for jobs. They’re renting apartments in hip areas like Uptown, Deep Ellum, and the Medical District where the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,130, according to But an uptick in crime in the city of Dallas could send these professionals for the suburbs. That’s why public safety seemed top of mind for these council members who addressed the attendees, comprised of real estate professionals, small business owners, and professional services providers. (more…)