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!

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Park Towers - Small

Jon Anderson fills us in on a little bit of Dallas’ high rise history in his latest column for CandysDirt.com.

(Editor’s Note: This is the third installment in a hopefully regular series from Jon Anderson, in which he dishes on the inner-workings of life in the sky. Anderson’s take on Dallas high rise living is both entertaining and educational. You can read his first installment here and his second installment here.)

By Jon Anderson
Special Contributor

Buildings of the 1950s and 1960s

Beginning in the late 1950s, Dallas saw a decade of building for its first residential high-rises. These Modernist buildings included a quintet of buildings on Turtle Creek – 3525 Turtle Creek, Turtle Creek North, Park Towers, “21” and The Gold Crest – as well as Athena and Preston Tower on Northwest Highway. With the exception of “21” (originally built as low-income housing by HUD), these were tony pied-à-terre or the full-scale residences of those wanting as much urban high-rise living as Dallas could offer. They’re close enough for “city lights” views but far enough away to not actually be in the then lifeless downtown core.

Trivia: These buildings began life as either co-ops or rental apartments that only converted to condos after Section 234 of the Housing Act of 1961 enabled FHA (Federal Housing Administration) to insure mortgages on condos. By 1969, all states had laws governing the creation of condominiums. Puerto Rico passed the first condo law in 1958 and the first continental US building was in Salt Lake City. One side-effect of this heritage is that these buildings have master meters for utilities resulting in a single bill that’s divided between owners (and part of the monthly HOA dues). Something to factor in when evaluating HOA fees – and summer electricity bills.

Jump for more!

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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.

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