422 N. Marlborough Avenue, Dallas, Texas is listed by Alex Prins of Alex Prins Real Estate for $439,000.

Meet “The Bishop,” a hot new listing that real estate agent Alex Prins calls a “nightmare project turned into a dream from heaven!” Prins, of Alex Prins Real Estate, tells us the duplex near the heart of Bishop Arts District, has been abandoned for years, wrapped up in courts, fought over with architecture plans, had contractors quitting, and so much more. But now it has finally hit the market with new juju and a spectacular price. Where else can you get a meticulously updated, three-bedroom, two-bathroom duplex close to all things Bishop Arts for $439,000? Read on as we dish the dirt on this week’s Friday Four Hundred – a fantastic Dallas offering and real estate story you can’t afford to miss!

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Our Steal: 720 Elsbeth Street is listed by Shana Acquisto of Acquisto Real Estate for $450,000.

This week we take you to Oak Cliff, one of Dallas’ most vibrant and desirable areas. Whether it’s convenient access to the trendy Bishop Arts District or lush parks and golf you’re after, Oak Cliff is a place where people go to thrive. And this tight-knit Dallas enclave makes for one fantastic Splurge vs. Steal. Here we demonstrate the neighborhood’s versatility by showcasing two outstanding Oak Cliff properties. Each have great locations and floor plans, but price points that are miles apart. Which one would you choose? The Kensington Lane Splurge or the Elsbeth Street Steal? We would love to hear in the comments.

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1106 N. Edgefield Avenue, Dallas, Texas, is currently listed by Michael Brink and Jeff Hickey of Keller Williams Urban Dallas for $520,000.

Feast your eyes on this impressive Dallas Tudor with a backstory you won’t believe! Ideally situated on an elevated Kessler Square lot near the trendy Bishop Arts District sits this immaculate Tudor gem. It was relocated from its original Park Cities location to its current address back in the 80s, and still rests in the Kessler Square neighborhood in North Oak Cliff we know and love today. Clearly someone adored this home. So much so, they went through the trouble of moving it! Take one glance at the photos, and you’ll see why.

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midcentury

It is no secret that midcentury modern homes fetch more eyeballs, interest and buyers these days. Discriminating lovers of well-maintained and lovingly updated midcentury moderns are familiar with the name William E. Benson — his name became synonymous with significant Dallas architecture in the fifties and sixties. Truthfully, owning a home with a William  E. Benson signature would be a coup in any city.

Benson, who graduated from the University of Illinois in 1947 after a year of graduate work in design, moved to Dallas and hung up his shingle in 1952, quickly making a name for himself. Another home designed by Benson, in collaboration with interior designer Louise Kahn, is 5848 Colhurst. The home is well known as one of the most significant midcentury modern homes in Dallas.

Congruently, during a period of rapid church expansion, Benson designed nearly fifty church projects, from master plans and first units to complete sanctuaries.

And now, the luck of market is upon us. A Bishop Arts District abode Benson designed — 524 N. Manus Drive — has just been listed with Suzanne Warner of Coldwell Banker Global Luxury. Even more, the home has been updated to perfection with a serious effort to maintain Benson’s original midcentury modern aesthetic. Built in 1952, 524 N. Manus Drive home was constructed by a Dallas custom builder who hired personally Benson to design his own private home.

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This is about to become a common sight in our beloved Bishop Arts District neighborhood. In fact this sight is just off Bishop, across from the Laughing Willow. There are demo’d vacant lots in the middle of neighborhoods all over North Oak Cliff’s most popular entertainment district. I’ve found three new ones within the last week. Here’s the skinny on the last 10 projects under construction now, for a grand total of 27 individual projects.

“How did this happen?” you might ask. Perhaps it was the local option election that made North Oak Cliff “wet” in 2010? Or the nearby Trinity Groves’ explosion into Dallas’ culinary scene? Or Bishop Arts’ own explosion onto the ‘great neighborhood’ scene? Maybe the Bishop/Davis Rezoning Plan in 2010 or the Oak Cliff Gateway zoning changes in 2014 (and then updated in 2015)? Or did it all start in 2002 with the Bishop Street reconstruction? Maybe it’s a bit of all of this — and great neighbors who throw great, big annual events. For sure, that.

Your favorite restaurants and shops need your support more than ever before — with all the construction, sales are down about 30 percent across the board.  Seventeen (and counting) separate construction sites are underway within a half-mile of the district! From now on you need to make weekly trips — to gauge progress on these, have a bite to eat, and find something you can’t live without. There are some GREAT new shops opening too — ALL owned by Dallas and Oak Cliff locals. Legit.

Click to enlarge

In Part 1 we covered the big development projects under construction immediately around the Bishop Arts District (projects numbered 1-8 on the map.) Part 2 covered the projects mostly west of Bishop Arts (projects 9-16.) Here are projects numbered 17-26 below. (Yes! 26! Though more like 28 actually….) Note that project numbers correspond to the map above.

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A new familiar sight in North Oak Cliff.

In the first part of this overview we covered the big development projects under construction immediately around the Bishop Arts District (projects numbered 1-8 on the map below.) Driving through the neighborhood, it’s unbelievable how much construction is occurring simultaneously. Over $330 million according to my calculations. Not to mention all the road work and utility work: the extension of parallel parking further south on Bishop Ave has wrapped up, Adams Street has been widened, Melba and Madison will get a facelift as soon as the utility work is complete, and Jefferson’s having new brick crosswalks and beautified medians constructed.

Real Estate projects under construction or in development in North Oak Cliff.

The road reconstruction in North Oak Cliff isn’t over yet though: soon the Tyler-Polk Two-Way conversion will be under construction (planned completion in 2019) and a “complete streets” redesign of Davis Street was on the agenda in 2014 when the City Design Studio completed a thoroughfare study. Who knows when that will get funded. Hopefully not for a while — we’re all getting a bit of construction-fatigue.

Here’s the skinny on the development projects sprinkled all over the North Oak Cliff neighborhood, in various phases of development. Note the project numbers corresponding to the map above.

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Davis St looking west to N. Zang Blvd. from the CVS sidewalk.

If it’s been a few months since you last drove through the Davis/Zang intersection near the Bishop Arts District, you likely wouldn’t recognize where you are now. Buildings five stories tall are going up on three of the four corners, and a new CVS stands where El Corazón was. Melba St., on the other side of the district, is beginning to feel like the State Thomas neighborhood of Uptown: mid-rise apartments and town homes on all sides with a small historic home here or there.

Not only are the streets torn up from increasing utility sizes to accommodate the growth and reconstructing complete streets, but there are about 20 large-scale residential and commercial projects currently under construction in North Oak Cliff, totaling more than a quarter of a billion dollars of investment and adding more than 1,200 units.

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This morning’s panel discussion on Oak Cliff: Challenges + Opportunities for the Urban Neighborhood was a strikingly honest — almost uncomfortably honest — conversation, both between the panelists and in the Q&A. The panel brought together two well-established Oak Cliff developers — David Spence of Good Space and Monte Anderson of Options Real Estate — and two newer developers — Michael Nazerian of Exxir Capital and Wade Johns of Alamo Manhattan. The DFW REimagined breakfast seminar was hosted by one of Munsch, Hardt, Kopf, & Harr’s recent additions to their law team, Angela Hunt, who is overseeing zoning and development regulations.

Conversation cues were well-curated. We learned of Anderson’s “gentle-fication” process, Nazerian’s pivotal “ah-ha!” moment in the West Village, and the stark contrast in development processes Johns has experienced in Seattle and Portland versus Dallas.

They all seemed to agree that “Developers create the canvas for people to bring the place alive,” as Nazerian put it. And that even developers with good intentions can get “pushed around by the market,” Anderson said.

The agreement began to unravel when Hunt started asking about gentrification, which resulted in one of the most educated discussions on this topic as I’ve ever heard. Many who think of developing in Oak Cliff imagine the pushback from engaged citizen activists, such as those who attended the first community meeting with Alamo Manhattan in the Second story of Eno’s years ago.

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