Windmass Capital’s Vision for Colorado Blvd at Marsalis Ave in North Oak Cliff

After over a year of meeting with neighbors, stakeholders, and City of Dallas staff, the WindMass Capital development team has thrown in the towel just before this Wednesday’s City Council meeting where they would have been on the agenda to move forward on a very complicated deal.

WindMass owns the Founders Square Apartments. Over the decades the building became surrounded on three sides by Oak Cliff‘s Founders Park. Long story short, they hoped to swap their 1.37 acres for the adjacent 1.37 acres on the corner of Colorado Blvd. and Marsalis Ave., build a new mixed-use apartment building with retail on the ground floor, then demolish their old building, give it to the city all cleaned up like park land should be, and give a half million dollars to the city for additional park improvements. Sounds pretty crazy amazing, doesn’t it?

As Willis Winters, Director of the Park Department, said at the last Park Board meeting, the city has tried to purchase this property for years to make Founders Park more contiguous, but hasn’t been able to afford it.  This project would essentially accomplish that goal for the Parks Department.

Even neighbors and stakeholders were in support, a rare feat in itself!

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W. Colorodo IHOTW

Our Inwood National Bank Home of the Week is an Oak Cliff Colonial that is a perfect vision of genteel American living. It’s beautifully restored and styled with timeless good taste. We think it would be an ideal location for a Ralph Lauren commercial, so location scouts take note! The two-story home is located in Stevens Park Estates at 1939 West Colorado Boulevard and listed by Jessica Benson of Door Texas Realty for $1.1 million. (more…)

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Yes, there’s a house behind those overgrown bushes at 1231 Walter Drive. (Photos: Jo England)

On the other side of Fort Worth Avenue, just off of W. Colorado Blvd. is a quiet enclave of 176 homes called Stevens Park Village. The North Oak Cliff neighborhood, first developed by Annie Stevens between 1939 and 1941, feels homey and quaint, full of Austin stone Prairie-style cottages — even a few Dilbecks! – and bungalows with neat lawns and groomed hedges.

The homes are all sturdy, set upon the meandering tree-lined streets of the neighborhood. Though Cliff Manor Apartments, a public housing project, is just down Fort Worth Avenue from Stevens Park Village, there’s not much traffic and very little crime. It’s idyllic and charming with greenbelts and friendly neighbors.

But there’s one home that didn’t look tidy or loved, with overgrown hedges and peeling paint masking the rotted window frames. That’s the home that Donovan Westover fell in love with.

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Josh and Hannah were brave enough to re-do their master suite on the DIY network's "Renovation Realities" show.

Josh and Hannah Ramsey were brave enough to re-do their master suite on the DIY network’s “Renovation Realities” show. They’ve decided that, while they love their East Kessler home, it’s time for them to simplify.

Josh and Hannah Ramsey have loved North Oak Cliff since they bought their first home just off of W. 8th Street in 2009. That was back when the Oak Cliff “Oh…” was almost a reflex when the Ramseys told their friends where they lived. It didn’t bother Josh and Hannah, though, as they felt right at home from the moment they moved in.

“Our house was a block from Bolsa, and we fell in love with the neighborhood, the amazing food, and the entrepreneurs making this place great,” Josh said. “We preemptively sold our home for a job relocation that fell through and then bought a home in Lake Highlands. It never felt like home, so we started house hunting and found a giant gem. It was way too big, but we saw the beauty here.”

Josh, a corporate director for Hilton Worldwide, and Hannah, a trauma nurse at Parkland, bought a 1946 neoclassical and set to work making it a place to raise a family. The home had already had a history of entertaining kids, as the previous owners of 15 years raised all six of their children there. Before that, Josh noted, the home housed nuns that volunteered at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

“When marathon training a few years back, I remember running by this house thinking, ‘I’d sure love to live there one day,’ ” Josh mused. “We knew it was well loved and couldn’t believe the charm.”

But the home needed a lot of work.

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Photo: Auction.com

Word comes from The Advocate that the Spanish-style mansion at 1704 W. Colorado Blvd. will be auctioned on the steps of the George Allen Courts building on Commerce St. July 7. The home, which has raised the hackles of neighbors after hosting weddings on the grounds. Still, we are absolutely saddened by the thought of anyone losing their precious home. We attempted to contact the homeowner, but the only phone number listed for the property has been disconnected.

This isn’t any ordinary home, though. Named one of the “Most Beautiful Homes in Dallas” by D Magazine and featured on the Dallas Open Days Garden Conservancy Tour, this Kessler Park home has some stand-out features, including a 4,000-square-foot main home and accompanying structures, expansive gardens, and tremendous views of the nearby Stevens Park Golf Course and Coombs Creek.

Bidding starts at $500,000, according to the Auction.com listing for the property, however, Dallas Central Appraisal District has it on the rolls for $939,880. How much do you think it will sell for?