Drexel Park HighlanderNew doors, windows, copper roof, a security system better than Fort Knox (or at least Cowboy Stadium) and miles of mortar joints going under a microscope!

Starting this fall, the Drexel Highlander Condominium on Oak Lawn is getting an overhaul, a major overhaul — to the tune of $4 million plus.

It’s even getting a new name: the Park Highlander.

This is the pretty pinkish-red brick, eight story building on Oak Lawn at 4240 Prescott where every single unit has several charming Juliette balconies. It was developed by notorious Dallas developer Robert Edelman, who commenced the project in 2006 after serving time in prison for trying to hire a hitman to kill his first wife. With a partner, Glenn Wiggins, Edelman built the Drexel Highlander, a 48 unit luxury condo building, through the Drexel Highlander Limited Partnership. Then he went on up to develop the Drexel Park Hollow West Behind the Pink Wall.

But in March 2011, Edelman and his second wife, Diana, were sued by Drexel Highland Limited Partnership and Wiggins, for various offenses ranging from fraud to living in the building rent-free. The court awarded the plaintiffs $4.5 million in damages, carving the award out of the Edelman’s bankruptcy filing. A subsequent lawsuit for shoddy workmanship was directed at Drexel and the contracting company, the mason and architects, etc. That was settled for a confidential, but substantial, settlement.

According to John Vestal, a resident and also Vice President and Director on the Drexel’s Park’s Board, Edelman split with Wiggins and has been long gone from the Drexel Highlander, and the developer’s control expired earlier this year. So the owner’s board is now in charge. 

Drexel park 7D

7D, $699,000

And they are going to town. (more…)

Stoneleigh 1

The Main Lobby (Photo: Dan Piassick)

If you have not had the chance to tour the new 22-story Stoneleigh Residences, which are filling up very quickly over off Maple Avenue at Wolf Street, I strongly suggest you stop in and give your eyes a holiday treat. I not only toured one of the units the incredible (and CandysDirt-approved!) Sharif & Munir folks are finishing out over there  — a sleek contemporary — but I attended a party at a friend’s house who now lives there and could not be happier.

First, who all is buying there? As we have told you, Don and Linda Jo Carter shed their Park Cities home in July of 2013 and snapped up a penthouse at The Stoneleigh. Also, of course, a place at The Ritz. So did Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, plastic surgeon Natan Yaker, and a sprinkling of physicians and professionals. Of 75 units on the Dallas County Appraisal District records, only 42 are left to sell and five are pending. The sales office tells me six homeowners bought additional spaces to enlarge their original shell. Some are combining units so there may ultimately be fewer to sell. This is not the building for junior sized homes. According to Donna Smith, sales director,  4000 seems to be the magic number for square feet.  (more…)

Turtle Creek v2

Where there’s smoke, there’s gonna be fire.  As Candy recently wrote, 2505 Turtle Creek is finally set to become the Limited Edition, the über-luxury high-rise by first-time (in Dallas) high-risers from Toronto Great Gulf.

But with 10-acres of smoldering land ready to ignite, the Limited Edition may be just the beginning for this tail-end of Turtle Creek.


View Main

One of the main drivers for purchasing in a high-rise is the view. A buyer walks in “Oooo-ing and cooo-ing” as they’re transfixed by panoramic views. Other minor problems sometimes fall away, subsumed by the cliché “million-dollar” view.

Buyers must remember that while they’re sold on the view, their purchase actually stopped at the glass. The view, like that tiny free bottle of water from the sales office, doesn’t last forever. Even back in 535 BCE, Heraclitus knew, “No man ever steps in the same river twice.”

Dallas’ building boom is only speeding up the process of high-rises springing up to block (and themselves only borrow) those million-dollar views. If a permanent view is important to you, careful evaluation and broken rose-colored glasses are required.


Beat Unit 505 Ext

The day is coming in which internet access will be included in a building’s utilities, and that has a lot to do with the FCC’s ruling on Net Neutrality, says Jon Anderson.

By Jon Anderson
Special Contributor

Much has been written and said about the argument that internet access, like electricity, is a utility and should be regulated as such. It forms the basis of the argument for “net-neutrality” that the FCC has been contemplating and approved rules to stop internet providers from messing up the status quo. Admittedly “net neutrality” is an odd phrase that means the internet should stay as it has always been, unhindered by sponsorship with every site being carried with equal “best-speed” – like the electricity in your home where you don’t pay more for freezing food than you do to dry your hair.

I’ve sat in rooms and listened to global telecom company leadership read from the same PR hymnal about how they’re NOT a utility … and it’s obvious even they don’t believe it.  But they’re (surprise!) greedy and not happy providing “plumbing” without skimming more off the top.  The 97 percent profit margins reportedly generated aren’t enough.

What’s all this to do with real estate?  Because just as homes are expected to have water, electricity, phone and television services, there is an expectation for quality internet access, too. Not that long ago, I remember evaluating homes based on their proximity to an AT&T/SBC central office location, because the closer you were, the faster the DSL.


As we wrote about last year, the intersection of Preston and Northwest Highway is one of the highest-profile in all of North Dallas (and probably one of the highest-valued, too).

It’s not just the current real estate prices of Preston Hollow that give this area its prestige—the intersection has a fascinating history.

The northeast quadrant has a wavy, pink brick wall, and to live “behind the pink wall” was an address with serious social cachet in midcentury Dallas (legend has it Ebby Halliday herself coined the phrase).

The pink wall was built in 1954 by developer Hal Anderson in front of his first apartments; he later built the high-rise Athena and Preston Tower apartments next door. Parts of the wall might be a bit faded now, but to live here in the 1950s or 1960s was to have arrived. (You’ll likely get raised eyebrows if you talk about the real estate “behind the pink wall” to a young person, but older folks will remember the phrase well.)

Today’s Tuesday Two Hundred takes us one block north to 6126 Averill Way #208W, located in the Imperial House Condominiums, built around the same time, 1964, by Sid and Ada Lynn, with George Dahl as architect. These charming French-style condos have a fanciful, throwback feel, with a grand, circular staircase, domed ceiling, and retro metalwork in the entryway. Can’t you picture Betty Draper from Mad Men gliding down the stairs in kitten heels on her way to cocktail hour?

6126 Averill

Unit 208W is located on the second floor (there is an elevator in the building, as well as those stairs), a two-bedroom, three-bathroom condo with a roomy 2,134 square feet. It is newly listed by Peter Livingston at Realty One Group Partners for $239,000, or $112 a square foot.

Unit 208W has plenty to offer a buyer, but parts of it are a bit dated need freshening. A similar size, but renovated, unit in Imperial House sold last November for $345,000, or $139 a square foot. If that sale tells you anything, it’s that you could make the upgrades on this unit and see a return on your investment. Jump to read more and see photos!


The Beat Condos Ext

Modern and affordable, Buzz Lofts in the southern Dallas neighborhood of The Cedars are a popular choice for those who want loft living south of downtown Dallas.

Condos are hot and getting hotter, according to the Texas Condominium Mid-Year Sales Report from the Texas Association of Realtors. Statewide, condo sales rose an average of 10.5 percent year-over-year between the months of January and May of 2014. In San Antonio condo sales were up 18 percent, followed by Austin at 14 percent, Houston at 6 percent and Dallas at 4 percent.