Crestfield Place debuts tomorrow evening, as we have told you, beginning at 4:30 p.m. over at 2204 Moser in the East Village. This is Cobalt Homes’ second foray into high end, dense living townhomes in urban infill. I caught up with the architect, Josh Nimmo, because I am giddy with delight over the project and the fact that you can now buy a beautiful, designer-label townhome in Dallas for under $600,000.

Let me put it to you this way: Josh Nimmo is the kind of architect who does multi-million dollars homes, like the one right next to me. While with famed architect Lionel Morrison FAIA, he worked on the W Dallas Residences, One Arts Plaza Residences, that famous Northaven Residence, and LEED Gold Certified International Business Park Phase 15.

That’s why I see Crestfield Place as so much more than another great East Village option: it is proof that developers can churn out a middle-cost project of great design without breaking the bank! 

CD: Josh, what was the single most gutsy move attached to this project?

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If you have been east of Central on Knox-Henderson lately, you might just think you are in the wrong city.

I took a quick spin last week Friday shortly before five and oh. my. God: street after street of brand new, sleek-smooth two and three story condo/townhomes, young people out walking dogs on leashes, hopping onto bikes, scooters, motorcycles. It was like Generation Z suddenly moved out of mom and dad’s and exploded into Dallas.

Plus I had been at the hairdresser’s on Blackburn, at Salon Lure, and realized I was so close I could have walked.

Thus is born a new neighborhood in Dallas, East Village, the spillover of West Village across Central. (And some experts say highways irreparably divide.) Development not only hopped the concrete fence, but it also created an almost exclusive enclave of residential steps away from a 1.1-mile street with pockets of successful restaurants, bars, and shops. This is Henderson Avenue, where developer Mark Masinter, the man who talked Steve Jobs into retail Apple stores, is creating a Dallas version of Abbot Kinney in Venice, Calif., or Elizabeth Street in Manhattan’s Soho district; 23rd Avenue in Portland, Ore.  As Masinter told the Dallas Morning News: “I’m trying to do something tasteful and lasting — as it gets older, it looks better,” he said.

We now have to dig back in our brains to still see the old single family, 19th and 20th-century house memories of how this area once looked.

In the midst of a sea of new construction so fresh, you can still smell the hay in the concrete, is a five unit number that looks more like the Architectural Digest home of an art collector.

“We are building the nicest townhomes in East Dallas. It’s good for the neighborhood to have these higher quality products within it,” says Cobalt Home’s Managing Principal Greg McGowan. “There is a real renaissance happening in the area, as we build a symbiotic relationship with the expanding businesses.”

Crestfield Place is the second phase of CoastOak Group’s Cobalt Homes.

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We were planning a big shindig to-do, a CandysDirt.com style celebration over at Camdale Court by Cobalt Homes — you recall the very first disruptor town homes in North Texas with, among other innovative items, Dumb Waiters?

Camdale Court is a modern, 12-unit town home community in the heart of East Village offering three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom units ranging from 2,096 to 2,380 air-conditioned square feet. All homes have full-sized two-car garages and rooftop decks. And when I say rooftop deck, I don’t mean a little flat piece of roof shingles square. These are Ipe wood decks that are huge, span the entire roof top offering unheard of views of the city with a veritable 360 degree panorama. They are even removable for remodeling or mechanical repair.

Custom designed by TKTR Architects, materials and fixtures selected by interior designer Roz Murphy, living areas will happen on the third floor and rooftop decks connected through an outdoor staircase.

And so, the party. Yes. Postponed again, but this time not due to the weather.

There were too many sales!

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Update, 10:50 am: With more rain and hail in the forecast, the folks at Cobalt Homes & Katie Aspen and Jeff Mitchell have decided to re-schedule tonight’s opening bash for March 22. Stay tuned for details, and please ask Mother Nature to give the real estate community a break!

Don’t forget to join me and Cobalt Homes, along with Katie Aspen, Jeff Mitchell, and more fine Real Estate folks for a very special event Wednesday evening introducing Camdale Court. These are a most unusual real estate product you simply have to see!

You’ve heard all about it, now you can experience it along with Don Chingon at the exclusive launch party! 

  • Empanadas – stuffed with seasoned ground beef chorizo, potatoes, Spanish olives and spices served with a chimichurri sauce 
  • House Made Queso
  • House Made Salsa
  • House Made Chips
  • Chicken Quesadillas – flour tortillas filled with monterey jack, caramelized onions and roasted peppers served with a fire roasted salsa and sour cream

Of course, bubbly for all.

Camdale Court is a development unlike any other in East Dallas, and it is setting new standards for multi-family living across North Texas. We will see you from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Cheers!

Remember this name: Cobalt Homes. A Dallas-based urban builder disrupting the urban town home concept with not just aesthetics and quality construction, but an unheard of thoughtfulness — like a sixth sense — to provide buyers comfort and true home livability.

We all love stories about guys who started famous companies at home. In 1939, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard founded HP in Packard’s Palo Alto garage, now the birthplace of Silicon Valley. In 1976 when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple Computers, they hand built 50 computers in 30 days from a garage in Cupertino, California. 

Larry Page and Sergey Brin were graduate students and started what’s now known as Google from Susan Wojcicki’s garage in September 1998. Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994 as an online bookstore, completely run out of his garage in Bellevue, Washington.

In North Texas, Canadian-born Larry Lacerte started Lacerte Software Corp. in his home in 1978, the first desktop application for general ledger and tax preparation. He sold the business to Intuit Inc. in 1998 for $400 million in cash, with a $200 million takeaway. 

And there’s the CoastOak Group: Gregory McGowan, Joshua Nichols, and Don Carroll. An unusual union of developers, the trio came from private equity backgrounds, Wall Street ones at that: Josh and Don worked for Goldman Sachs. Greg worked for Rockpoint Group and Westbrook Partners.

And like the entrepreneurs mentioned above, when they started their company in 2008, they worked on tables and computers out of an empty home next door to Greg’s residence for three months. They didn’t even have heat for three days.

But these are private equity guys who know how to rough it. They had all worked together at Trammell Crow in the mid 1990s — all except for Joshua, who was still doing championship wrestling in high school, and on his way to Princeton. Even their current office — it has heat — is nestled among the top-tier real estate guys and gals nesting at Harlan Crow’s Old Parkland.

Real estate is their product, but it’s a way different mousetrap. (more…)