The Centrum hit the auction skids during the Recession

That’s right, thank them.  Buy them some chocolates and champagne … maybe a spa day. Why?

Because without the over-rotation on apartments that’s happening during this building cycle, your condo would be worth less.  Now, this doesn’t hold in the over-saturated, million-dollar end — in fact that part of the market has so much product, the Limited Edition was cancelled from a lack of interest and the Stoneleigh and Museum Tower are still far from full.  But in the price points most of us play in? Definitely.

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Unassuming entry opens to another world, trust me …

The area south of Lovers Lane and east of Greenville Avenue is on fire.  Of course anyone looking for a reasonably-priced condo already knows that. The area was built-up in the 1960s with acres of apartments, many of which over time converted to condos.  Those remaining apartments are being mowed down for new condo and townhouse developments costing a heck of a lot more than the original condos of the area.

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It was the Warr of the roses. And it will never be the same inside the sleek circa 1980 high rise at 3831 Turtle Creek Boulevard.

Thursday night five great homes at The Warrington were opened to CandysDirt.com readers and friends for an evening of exploring and dreaming.  In case you missed our coverage, check out each of the units here, here, here and here.  You may have counted only four write-ups?  Well, our fifth entry was the last-minute but terrific add-on of unit 22C that had only just hit the MLS days before.  You’ll be reading about that home as soon as the pictures are back from the Fotomat.

Candy and her posse pose with Ebby educator Kellie Logsdon Rush (right)

Candy and her posse pose with Ebby agent & Champions prof Kellie Logsdon Rush (right)

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Centrum Exterior 3

You haven’t been in The Centrum in years (or ever), right?  Well, you should, and you can.  On May 5, CandysDirt.com will be hosting a double open house “Staff Meeting” event at The Centrum we’re calling Centrum de Mayo – with Mattito’s on the ground floor, how could we not? Watch your inbox for your invitation.

History Lesson:  The Centrum certainly has a history stretching back to the days of 1980s grey melamine cabinetry.  The Centrum was developed as a mixed-use building with floors below 12 being office and those above 12 being residential.  From the exterior, the boxy part is offices, the stair-steps residential.

The Centrum started life in 1985 on the eve of Texas’ banking crisis which would push nearly every bank in the state to insolvency by the end of the decade. As Judy Pittman told me months ago, at that time you couldn’t give a condo away.  Mirroring our recent recession, units in The Centrum were pushed into service as rental units.

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4111 Gilbert Avenue #211 Front

For someone moving to Dallas from a more densely populated city, our reliance on cars can be baffling at first. They’ll move to somewhere in East Dallas or Oak Cliff and realize that they’re going to spend 30 minutes in the car just to get to work downtown. POPPYCOCK. Why do that when you can get an adorable flat right in uptown for less than $300,000?

This is a super-cute contemporary condo right off of Gilbert, and it’s ready and waiting for a new urban-minded owner. Not only is it recently built, but this location is totally walkable! If you like what you see, call Lisa Peters at Caliber Home Loans today to get pre-approved and ready to put in an offer! An adorable condo like this one doesn’t come around often, especially at this price, so don’t wait — call Lisa Peters at Caliber Home Loans today.

Jump to see inside this fab flat, listed by David Griffin Realtor Courtney Tauriac.

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Preston Center Arial Pic

Last night I spent time at Preston Tower listening to Steve Dawson, the Pink Wall representative on the Preston Center Task Force explain the area’s poison pills for redevelopment.

There are two ways land usage can be shaped. Either through city/municipal zoning or through civil covenants and deed restrictions. According to the Task Force, aside from the Preston Tower and Athena PD 15 area and the new PD for the Laurel project on Preston and Northwest Highway, the Pink Wall is zoned MF-1 (A). Roughly, this designation equates to three-stories with the (A) designation adding some setback requirements. However according to Article IV on Zoning, the MF-1(A) setback requirements are only required of “nonresidential districts” and the Pink Wall is clearly residential.

In addition, when the Pink Wall was developed in the 1950s as part of the town of Preston Hollow, the builders placed deed restrictions on the lands from Northwest Highway to the alley between Bandera and Del Norte and from one lot inside Preston Road to Edgemere. Covering several tracts, the restrictions are the same. The restrictions essentially limit the building to the existing height, setbacks and unit counts per parcel. In other words: A dead end for redevelopment without intervention. Transwestern’s Laurel project is outside the restriction zone.

The deed restrictions, dating from 1956, had an initial enforceability period of 20 years and automatically renew every 10 years. The latest renewal was on Jan. 1, 2016.

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I don't know why shells scare so many buyers. Jump right in, I say!

I don’t know why shells scare so many buyers. Jump right in, I say!

Recently I was invited back to The W Residences to see a special transformation … unit number 2404 to be exact. The home was purchased by the current owner as a shell from the developer. It was the second shell purchased after the owner realized the views weren’t quite right.  And kiddos, it’s all about the views. You see, the owner wanted guests (and himself) to see the Dallas skyline perfectly framed by the windows while seated. That first unit decapitated some of the city’s best architecture, so it had to go.

The home is three-bedroom, three full and one half bathroom stretching over 3,610 square feet and listed with Wes Lewis at Coldwell Banker for $2.65 million.

As you can see, a lot has changed since its days as a shell.

Living-View Night

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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…)