Preston Center

Back in 2016, I took St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church to task on a bunch of things. The biggest being that while their representative was sitting silent on the Preston Center Task Force they were secretly negotiating with developers to plonk a 250,000 square foot office building on Douglas Avenue. After that scathing take-down, I was surprised when they reached out to me to review their new and improved plans for the site.

You’ve likely read the press release in the DMN from Sept. 6, but I wanted to sit down and get some additional detail. I met with the church’s team fairly quickly, so this delayed column is my fault (busy, busy).

The press release piqued my snark when I noted that in the scant two-page release the Preston Center Area Plan was mentioned eight times … eight … times. When I sat down with the team, it was one of the first things I said … eight times? Their spin was that it showed their commitment. I told them it raised my suspicion meter that there was something to hide. They were surprised at my reaction assuring me there was no hiding … but eight times.

(more…)

The axis of 8181 Douglas’s U-shaped Unit 210

Between explaining the housing crunch (here, here), flooding, new Pink Wall development, Dallas Midtown, and of course the latest in the mayor’s Fair Park friends-with-benefits giveaway, I’ve been on a tear these past few weeks. It’s time to break free with a little party, and unit 210 at 8181 Douglas definitely provides the balloons (you’ll see).

You may recall, 8181 Douglas was part of my recent high-rise buyers guide series. At just 14 units, it’s the tallest and smallest high-rise in Dallas.  If you want a whole floor it’s 7,125 square feet. Otherwise, there are two units per floor that start at a pinch over 2,000 square feet and end up at around 4,472 square feet (Note: there is one ground-floor unit that’s 1,349 square feet).

(more…)

Billiards at The House, where classical and contemporary mix

Billiards at The House, where classical and contemporary mix

Well kids, we’ve reached the halfway point in our series. The first two covered buildings where utilities are included in their HOA dues as well as the outlying Bonaventure and Grand Treviso (here and here). The next pair, including this one, detail Dallas’ high-rise, high-roller buildings (here and literally right here).  Next week we’ll hit the first of two columns covering the mid-tier before rounding up with a final two detailing the starter- to mid-range offers.

That’s one thing worth noting: Dallas never really did the whole “high-rise as low-income public housing” thing that was prevalent in so many cities in the 1960s and 1970s. These often brutalist structures negatively shaped people’s opinions of high-rise living.  Entering Chicago from the south one was met by a row of high-rise dominos called the Robert Taylor Homes that devolved into crime-ridden, poorly maintained properties whose demolition began in 1998 after just 36 years of ugliness, neglect, and resident misery. Then there was the infamous Cabrini Green complex. Interestingly, both failed complexes were built during Mayor Richard M. Daley’s administration and torn town during Mayor Richard J. Daley’s … his son.

(more…)