Before the hostilities erupted surrounding the eventual control of the Oak Lawn Committee, Crescent Properties presented a project to refresh 2401 Cedar Springs Road. It’s a 1987 building at Maple Avenue and Cedar Springs Road that’s across the street from both Coalvines Pizza and another recent OLC-vetted project, Granite’s Cedar Maple.

The biggest visual change is the reimagining of the terribly dated, granite-clad turret with its odd bell tower-shaped cupola. As you see above, the granite is gone, revealing a glass cylinder. However, there’s more to see on the ground level. On the left side (Maple Avenue) will be a new white tablecloth restaurant anchoring a new, more transparent ground floor lobby.

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Natalie Westbrook says that she can’t sit still for long. Whenever boredom creeps in, she has to create something. These days she is staying busy with her most ambitious creation, The Westbrook Real Estate Group, which started last September.

“It’s scary jumping out into the water, but if you don’t jump, you’ll never learn to swim,” Westbrook said.

So far, things seem to be progressing swimmingly. Westbrook currently has listings in University Park and Oak Lawn as well as a high-profile, $7 million home on 4606 Chapel Hill Road overlooking White Rock Lake. In fact, you can tour this incredible house on Wednesday, March 28, with both Westbrook and our own Candy Evans — RSVP here. And Westbrook’s also working on other projects near Frisco that she hopes to announce soon.

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A custom-built compound on an 8,600 acre lake, with pool, tennis and sport court, kids pavilion and putting green where one of the most significant decisions in financial history went down. This is definitely the deal of a lifetime for anyone who wants an extraordinary lake home retreat in North Texas, or even a primary home that happens to be on a beautiful lake with a two story boat dock and oh yes, two boats.

Fort Worth billionaire John Goff, a self-made man, founder and CEO of Crescent Real Estate Holdings, and his wife Cami, are selling their 8,000 square foot plus compound on Eagle Mountain Lake, about 15 miles northwest of downtown Fort Worth. The sale will be made by auction October 8 without reserve. That means no minimum, though one will probably be established by the bidders. Not only are the Goffs selling the compound they re-shaped from an existing home on Eagle Mountain Lake, they are selling every piece of furniture, plate, bedsheet, even the fluffy white towels monogrammed with the compound’s Jack Sprague-designed logo, Mariposa del Lago.IMG_9488

“We are even selling the margarita machine,” jokes Cami Goff, “and selling the mix that comes with it!”

The winning bidder can grab their toothbrush and move right in!

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This is Kyle Crews with Paige Hinton, Director of Residential Marketing for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company at last week’s conference in Los Angeles:  “Luxury Real Estate – The Global Market Outlook and a Journey into the Hearts and Minds of the Super-Affluent and Wealthy.” Oh my, how I wish I could have been a shapely fly on the wall in itty bitty Louboutins. I have a feeling the super wealthy are going to clean up super big once they figure their way out of all the new taxes.

The event brings together major developers- such as Crescent Real Estate – and sales associates of residential properties managed by The Ritz-Carlton Company,  such as our very own The Tower Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas.

Get this little factoid: out of 95 homes only 25 remain at The Tower Residences! (I think they have sold like 8 since spring.)  The Ritz Carlton Residences at LA Live reps were there, too, a stunning development of 224 luxury residences on floors 27-52, over the The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in downtown LA, with typical unit pricing at $1100 psf. Hey, it’s California!

Topics included updates on Ritz-Carlton Hotel expansions, as well as sales updates on residential properties from around the world and several in the U.S. such as Los Angeles, Vail, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, and Chicago. All properties reported strong sales in 2012, even Chicago. I heard, though have not confirmed, that Dallas (that would be Kyle’s team) outperformed them all. Stay tuned!

Paige is, BTW, the keeper of the prestigious Ritz brand, a story I will share with you soon. Paige arranged for the keynote speaker, Dr. Jim Taylor, head of The Harrison Group.

JIM TAYLOR is Vice Chairman of the Harrison Group, a major marketing firm that has done milestone research studies on wealth in America, spending and social habits of the rich. He tracks high net worth consumers like Jane Goodall tracked gorillas. He wrote The New Elite Blog and is also co-author of The 500 Year Delta: What Happens After What Comes Next and The Visionary’s Handbook.

Jim, I see you have not posted on the blog since 2009. Call me.

When American Express, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors, Audi, Acura, Bombardier, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Glaxo, the Walt Disney Company, Kapalua Resort, Louis Vuitton, Citibank, Times, Architecture and Southern Living want to know how to attract wealthy consumers — I mean, let’s face it, poor people cannot buy anything, right? — this is who they turn to.

His presentation: “The State of the Global Market; the Comeback of Luxury Real Estate.” No kidding, as if we did not suspect. Jim predicts “robust” real estate market for branded properties such as Ritz-Carlton, in 3rd quarter 2013, based on findings from his latest Harrison Group/Amex Publishing wealth survey. Jim is of the opinion that luxury branded real estate, especially the Ritz-Carlton brand, will be perceived of as the best investment opportunity among the super-affluent and wealthy consumers. We know there are oodles of dollars being made in Texas and the “Third Coast” and dollars to be invested. If I worked in Houston, for example, I might just get a place at the Ritz and commute. And here’s an interesting fact: Gen X / Y rate the Ritz-Carlton brand with as much confidence and value as does the fussy Baby Boomers. Evidence of that is the large number of young 30 somethings who have bought at both towers. The best is yet to come for the R-C Brand almost 90 years since Caesar Ritz founded the first Hotel.

Now perhaps, it’s time to work on the pacifier crowd: I foresee a supply of Ritz bibs, booties and bathing mats. And something The Harrison Group would approve: travel nannies.

Kyle tells me there was even talk at the conference of condo demand actually exceeding supply in two years, especially in the luxury brand developments, thanks to the slowdown of condo construction during the recession, which, dear Lord, may still be with us.

 

 

Update 4/26/12: VIPs indeed! Laura Bush was front and center last night at the Ritz-Carlton seated right next to the Maestro himself. Pierce Allman made reference to Allie Beth’s client by recognizing her, adding that he does not like calling her “former First Lady Laura Bush” because she will always be our favorite First Lady. Here’s a link to The Van Cliburn Collection auction coming up at Christie’s

Here’s yet one more good reason to buy yourself a condo at the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton: culture. One of Texas’s favorite sons, world-acclaimed pianist Van Cliburn, will soon be selling more than 150 exceptional works of art from his personal collection at Christie’s New York. Tonight, at ze Ritz-Carlton, in Salon A,  a select few will get to hear the musical icon describe how he conquered Russia as he collected all that art. Christie’s International Real Estate, the only luxury network wholly owned by an art auction house, is hosting this special event tonight along with affiliate Allie Beth Allman & Associates and Crescent Real Estate to celebrate the sale of the collection. Yes, they are bringing in Van Cliburn himself!

“From the beginning of my concert life, I would spend my earnings from performances searching for something beautiful of timeless quality to remember different concerts in various cities,” says Van Cliburn. “I have always found throughout my life that beauty raises your consciousness and provides incalculable inspiration. I hope that some of the beauty that has inspired me for decades will find others who appreciate them as much as I always have.”

ABA has invited top clients to this ‘do, and the folks at the Ritz Residences say this is an example of the many, many haute events they offer residents right under one roof. Just another regular Thursday night!

“Many of our clients (like George W?) are eager to preview samples from Van’s marvelous collectibles, which he has acquired for several decades. We know this will be an historic event as well as fun,” says Allie Beth Allman, President, Allie Beth Allman & Associates.

 

 

 

 

Beverly Pitchford is this week’s Hot Property — Beverly is an agent with Briggs-Freeman who keeps Real Estate all in the family: she’s married to Joseph F. Pitchford, senior vice president Crescent Real Estate Equities, LLC, besides being beautiful, fun, & very sharp knows her right of way…

CD: So Beverly, your name sounds kind of familiar — aren’t you related to some handsome big real estate player over at Crescent? 

BP: You could say we are related — married ten years now!

CD: Awesome! So real estate is like all in the family!

BP:   Yes, and my mother was a residential agent when I was growing up in Chicago. I helped her update her 3-ring notebook of listings. I cannot even imagine transacting real estate that way today.

CD: Fellow Chicago girl! So do you and Joseph talk shop at home?

BP: Occasionally, but we prefer not to.

CD: Any ground rules?

BP: Yes… to speak only in generalities about sensitive business.  

CD: So when did you sign on at Briggs Freeman and why?

BP:  In March of this year, because Briggs-Freeman has a phenomenal marketing department and because of Robbie Briggs’ stellar reputation.

CD: How did you get started in Real Estate?

BP:  I first obtained my license when I began working as a right-of-way agent doing eminent domain work, but then I wanted to move into residential sales because of my love for homes.

CD: Whoa, hold on, what the hec is that?

BP: Right-of-way agents make offers to property owners to purchase a portion of their land, or maybe their entire property, to be used for public use and necessity. The government tries to avoid going to court for condemnation proceedings.  I will say that you do not make a lot of friends during the process!

CD: What’s your biggest sale ever?

BP: It’s always the next one!

CD: Where do you guys live — at The Ritz Residences?

BP:  Unfortunately, no, and I’ve asked Joseph to re-negotiate that one.

CD: So you live in North Dallas?

BP: Caruth Hills, in the University Park neighborhood.

CD: What’s your favorite neighborhood in Dallas and why…

BP:  I have two: Bluffview, for its topography, trees and winding streets, and Uptown because I love its energy and urban lifestyle.

CD: I know Real Estate is like a 24/7 career, but what do you guys do for fun on weekends?

BP: Ride bikes as a family when we can, go to the movies and dine, and spend time with friends.

CD: Do you have a second home?

BP: I’m still working on that!

CD: Tell me where your perfect dream second home location would be?

BP:  Colorado: it’s the perfect escape in the summer and its great for winter fun. Southern California would be another possibility.

CD: What kind of car do you drive?

BP: A zippy little BMW.

CD: Any other scoop you want to share…

BP: I am excited to be at our new Uptown office. Rumor has it  that Nick & Sams is extending their outdoor seating right in front of our windows and that we will have our own reserved table for dining with our clients!

CD: I’ll be there. But give me some dirt. On Joseph.

BP: Well, he’s made a list of “great books” to read, miles to bicycle, movies to see, and new restaurants to try, all before he turns 50 next year  it all chronicled in a spreadsheet!