Photos courtesy Full Package Media

The Athena is one of those buildings with really good, quite large floorplans coupled with HOA dues that pay for everything including utilities, cable, and internet. Located in Preston Hollow, it’s perfect for those downsizers not wanting to leave the area as well as those seeking easy access to the Dallas Tollway and Central. However, being an older building, finding a renovated unit isn’t always easy.

Enter unit 1111, soon to be on the market. And if I seem to be a bit enthusiastic about this place, I come by it honestly — it’s the home I put my heart and soul into remodeling. A new job means it’s time to move on to my next renovation (in the Metroplex).

What was once a three bedroom, three bathroom unit has been reconfigured into a more spacious two bedroom and three bathroom unit. It boasts 1,899 square feet, plus it is one of the rare units with its glorious 28-foot long balcony intact.

Note: Those familiar with the Athena will know the original walls were heavily textured (crow’s foot) – this unit has smooth walls and no popcorn ceilings. The property will be listed by Robert Blackman at Solvent Realty Group.

As you can see from the picture above, there’s a lot more that’s was done during its stem-to-stern renovation. Let’s have a look …

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Update, 2:17 a.m: fire trucks gone, alarm off, all is well again Behind the Pink Wall!

A friend who lives at Preston Towers tells me this is the scene right now at The Athena, where a loud sound is keeping everyone awake at 1:40am: hour 2 of The Athena’s fire alarm.

“Two fire trucks have been out front the whole time; it is foggy but I haven’t seen flames,” she writes. “In a bad case of irony, this is the same alarm sound we heard almost exactly two years ago, when Preston Place (next to Athena) was on fire in the middle of the night.”

Lord, I hope it’s nothing serious.

This just in…

This came across my desk today from whom, I don’t know. All I know is, it sounds kine of strange. It sounds like Preston Tower, one of two condominium towers in the sizzling hot ‘hood at Northwest Highway and Preston, aka “Behind the Pink Wall”, wants to shift costs away from the HOA and onto the individual condo owners. Why would they be doing this?

Preston Tower has had a number of lawsuits over the past few years, some of which they have lost. Perhaps this is an effort to shift costs and responsibilities back to the individual condo owners, says our Jon Anderson.

But can they do this?

And what does this do to property values? If you were a buyer, would you buy in a building where your HOA had almost zero responsibilities? Let’s talk about this…

 

Transwestern Tear Down

The 35 year old apartments at the corner of Preston and Northwest Highway are gone. Late last week, the entire south block of Town House Row was gone. By the time I venture south today, the entire north side may be gone as well. Every time I drive by this portion of Preston Center “Behind The Pink Wall”, I say a silent prayer for the miracle that Transwestern actually did get to proceed ahead with it’s plans to raze these town homes  — charming as they were — and fill them with luxury apartments. New luxury apartments filled with fresh air. I say this even though we are in the midst of Preservation Month.NE-corner-Preston-Northwest-Highway-570x400

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It appears that some of the town homes may have contained asbestos:

I hope the progress Behind the Pink Wall will help more people understand that as much as we hate change and tearing down the past, sometimes it has to happen with balance. Town House Row was charming, but it was not Swiss Avenue or The Alexander Mansion. We built homes differently in the ’50s and ’60s. Today we build with more energy efficiency and insulation and we wire homes for high tech systems. There are buildings Behind the Pink Wall with knob and tube wiring. Some don’t have grounded outlets. Asbestos is a very dangerous building product that was once put into buildings because of it’s fireproof characteristics, but it has been proven to cause Mesothelioma cancer.  (more…)

Planned Development District 15

Planned Development District 15

Several sources have overheard that some of the “natives” are getting restless behind the Pink Wall. Specifically that the two neighboring condo buildings at 6307 and 6306 Diamond Head Circle (Royal Orleans and Diplomat) were seeking an agent to market the properties to developers.

One source said a developer (Providence, folks who brought us Preston Hollow Village) had made an offer of $110 per square foot for the Diplomat complex of 14 units sitting on 41,349 square feet of land ($4.55 million). It was rejected as being low-ball. For reference, it’s been rumored that an early Transwestern bid for its on again-off-again-on- again project on the corner was at least 1/3 more.

Tract 4, known as Royal Orleans, with Northwest Highway frontage, has 20-units on 43,994 square feet with underground parking. I am not aware of any bids on this parcel.

Of course, given its high-rise neighbors, Athena and Preston Tower, a developer may think 20-stories is possible. As of today, according to city planners, they’d be wrong … 18 stories wrong. (more…)