I guess the question is, is there anything Mehrdad Moayedi WON’T BUY?  Like he may need a phone ap soon to keep up with everything in his portfolio, from the Crespi Estate Estates, to the Statler, to the Cabana Hotel, to his zero lot line homes I am eyeing along Forest Lane, to, oh yes, Collin Creek Mall and…. well just look at the Centurion American site.

We knew something was up at 4600 Samuell Boulevard  back in mid- December when we contacted the agent, Jessica Tello, and asked what’s up. We heard it was under contract, and that demolition would be involved.

“What,” wrote Bethany, “can you tell me about the pending sale, and the plans for the property?”

Hi Bethany,

Hope you had a nice weekend! Thanks for your message. At this time, the only detail we can provide is that it is under contract.

Thank you,

Jess

So yes, then the holidays happened, but Mehrdad Moayedi works ’round the clock, ’round the calendar.  He told Steve Brown he is buying the property to build about 400 single family homes on the 50 acre site of the former psychiatric hospital campus on Samuell Boulevard east of downtown — fantastic news, I’m sure, to the neighbors who were petrified this summer  when some  Dallas City Council members suggested the old hospital would be a great place for the homeless. The hospital was closed last year when state regulators threatened to shut it down. The campus includes nine historic buildings, many more than 80 years old, including the century-old neoclassical white house that was the original hospital: Timberlawn Sanitarium, built in  1917. As you may know, I have stayed in an historical insane asylum turned luxury hotel in Staunton, Virginia. 

Mehrdad plans to call the new development “Tennyson Village”. 

“This is an area where the city would like to see some redevelopment,” Moayedi said. “We want to build a neighborhood of nice homes.

“We think young professionals working downtown will want to live in this neighborhood.”

Moayedi said houses in the project would start at around $250,000.

Fifty acres leaves him plenty of space to develop about eight homes per acre, which should add a hefty amount of change to the city’s tax coffers. Timberlawn is also apparently close to two elementary schools as well as Skyline High School, which should further bolster sales. The last time I looked, the 50 acres were valued at $2.6 million on DCAD. 

And with that amount of density, it appears they won’t keep the original hospital as an amenity center, though that would have been kind of cool, especially come Halloween. The white frame home is on Preservation Dallas’ list of “most endangered historic places.” But like many older homes, it is loaded with problems and only salvation would be to be moved, which would require tenting.

Moayedi said he looked into the idea of reusing the 4,700-square-foot house.

“We thought about trying to preserve it as an amenity center, but its not in good enough shape,” he said. “The structure itself is in bad shape and full of asbestos.

“We don’t want to destroy anything that has any value,” he said. “We’d be happy to let someone come and move it or whatever.”

As of 12:30 p.m. tonight, the petition started by Buckner Terrace resident Abbi Reynolds has expanded to 920 signatures and is quickly gaining speed. If Mayor Rawlings and the Dallas City Council chose to move ahead despite the protests of nearly 1,000 residents, I would think that would be political suicide, if not worse.

And after reading the comments on this petition, I have to agree with the neighborhood. At first blush when my City Councilman suggested it, I thought Timberlawn, because of it’s layout, would make a great homeless center — thinking more along the lines of a place where social and psychiatric services could be offered. And the price might be right: DCAD value is about $2.6

But no, no, no, for several solid reasons:

-The building is historical and should be preserved as a possible museum or cultural center. It could also be sold and made into a luxury hotel and conference center. Think I’m nuts? In June, we stayed at the Blackburn Inn in Staunton, Virgina, a luxury hotel converted from a mental institution. Built in 1828 by Thomas Jefferson’s architect as the nation’s second mental hospital, the  long-abandoned insane asylum and prison in Staunton was known as the Western State Lunatic Asylum and not an easy renovation: it took 12 years for the 33,000 square foot property but the developers are moving forward to add condos, apartments, helipads, and restored houses. Bathrooms were gorgeous (vessel tubs!) and we slept very very well, thank you.

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Just 5 miles east of downtown Dallas, the established neighborhood of Buckner Terrace offers a central location, larger lots, and most houses over 2,000 square feet. But the best part is the price tags: you can easily find a renovated house in the $300s and a fixer upper for even less. All of this adds up for big appeal and the sales there show it. 

Our Thursday Three Hundred at 5223 Elkridge Dr. is a lovely example of what’s happening in Buckner Terrace. Located near Samuell Boulevard and North Jim Miller Road, it offers quick access to Interstate 30 and LBJ Freeway. 

The house itself is updated for a more contemporary, open feel with clean lines and natural light, while balancing its 1960’s charm. 

This home has three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, one half bath, two living areas, two dining areas, and 2,243 square feet on one story, built in 1969. There’s an open house this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Want a sneak peek?

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