It’s hard to capture accurate views with traditional real estate photography, but Nancy Guerriero is showing off this unit inside The Azure in an unconventional way.

Just telling you the truth: Nancy Guerriero’s listing on the 22nd floor of the Azure is drop-dead gorgeous. She is sharing the listing with Dave Perry-Miller’s Jarrad Barns and Joseph Gullotto — yep, top agents sometimes share listings across the broker border just to get the job done.

But this one is worth a fifth look. Trust us. We have seen every inch and sipped bubbly from the balcony, even got a little lightheaded — from the view, not the bubbly. Inside and out, this high-rise unit on the 22nd floor of one of the most notable buildings in Dallas is one of the ONLY truly custom units in the building. Beyond any expectations, the sky estate belongs in Architectural Digest. See?

The Azure

The half bath inside Unit 2201 at the Azure is just one example of what a jewel box this high-rise is.

The seller is a design aficionado with impeccable taste. He took multiple plain jane units and reconfigured them to his exacting standards. He brought in the pinnacle of luxury, married it to crisp, transitional design that incorporates traditional shapes and contemporary materials, spending more than two years with designers to get it just right. And this unit is one of a kind: a buyer will never be able to combine all these units in this huge configuration.

There was only one problem: Traditional real estate photography didn’t capture all of the best angles Unit 2201 had to offer. Yes, you see the copious marble trimmed with designer tile, the spectacularly huge kitchen with its mercury glass Ann Sacks tile on the backsplash, oceans of rare Bahia and countertops that surround the cooking areas, a true chef’s paradise when it comes to cooking and entertaining.

What traditional photography doesn’t show us is one of the main reasons you buy inside the Azure — the way this particular building gives incredible views.

So marketing genius Guerriero, who’s co-listing with Dave Perry-Miller’s Jarrad Barnes, decided to do something she’s never seen before: commission a high-rise drone video. The results are worthy of this impeccable mansion in the sky, and pretty darn dramatic TV.




At the tip top of Museum Tower, 42 stories high in the air, is a 9,350 square foot space I was privileged to see about two years ago with a friend who was then considering a Dallas condo. The view is unlike any other in town, more special if you have lived most of your adult life in Dallas, as I have. On a clear day, it’s as if you can see forever — downtown Dallas and Love Field, of course, but also the SMU campus and places frequented over the years with family and friends, even Fort Worth! I recall thinking, at the moment I was up there — a very different time in my life — living here would be like living with a 360 degree road map of my life in Dallas surrounding me every single day.  From the hour I arrived in Dallas for the very first time via Love Field to find my first place to live, to the top-heavy car trip from Chicago through downtown en route to our apartment, to having two babies at Presbyterian Hospital. Then raising those babies, educating and watching them become adults and parents of their own. Celebrating the extreme joys and tragedies that are, I have come to understand, a steep price-tag of life.  It was like living with Vladmir Gorsky’s famous Tapestry of the Centuries, only customized to the eyes and life of the viewer.

I realized that this could well be the most valuable dirt in Dallas, not just the highest. The value was in all the dirt you could see, as far as the eye could take you.

Now Museum Tower has announced its vision and yes, the pricing, for this unique Penthouse opportunity.

Museum Tower Penthouse 2



HOA dues are a mixed bag when you consider what they include.

HOA dues are a mixed bag when you consider what they include.

Buying into a multi-tenant dwelling will likely add another wrinkle to your finances: HOA dues. Yes, there are some multi-tenant townhome developments that have no HOA dues at all. While on the surface that sounds marvy, in reality, it’s a bit flying-without-a-net for me. With no cash reserve, any shared issue or expense has to be agreed on and hastily paid for.

As far as I know, except for The Beverly, Dallas high rises base their dues on unit square footage per month. For example, a 1,000-square-foot unit in a building charging 60¢ per-square-foot, per month, would equate to $600 per month. The Beverly has a set rate for every unit, regardless of its size. Some buildings, like Park Towers, increase the rate based on unit location – the higher the floor, the higher the rate (the closer to God?).

The monthly “nut” for a single-family home will include a mortgage (or not), utilities, insurance and property taxes. It may also include gym memberships and maintenance costs for landscaping and swimming pools.

A multi-tenant home will have some of those expenses bundled into their HOA dues. The nut needed for a condo will include a mortgage (or not), HOA dues and property taxes. Condo HOA dues may also include utilities, insurance and maintenance.

Personally, I’m a big fan of life automation. What bills I have are charged to a single credit card that I pay electronically. Similarly, HOA dues rollup my individual bills for water, sewer, gas, electric, cable TV, pool maintenance, insurance, landscaping and even contribute to a reserve savings account for unexpected issues. When I think back on all the checks I used to have to write…

But not everyone thinks as I do (more’s the pity, eh?). I pointed out in a previous post that many high-rise newbies will chafe at the thought of HOA dues. I sure did.


photo from John Sughrue’s Blackberry

Last week, I described my hard-hat tour through the glorious Museum Tower. I had so much to tell you and yes, was trying to get out of Dodge for a California Thanksgiving celebration, so I may have omitted some juicy news. Like the Residences at the Ritz Carlton, The Palomar, The House and One Arts Plaza, Museum Tower will not be without it’s very own designer-kissed models. To be honest, I have been holding my breath (almost) to tell you this. I mean, MT had to top the designers strutting their stuff at those other high rises, be LOCAL and yet be INTERNATIONAL. It was not easy!

Try Emily Summers, of Emily Summers Design Associates; Ann Schooler, Schooler, Kellogg & Company; and Marco French, of Marco French Studio.  The three featured homes, ranging in size from 2,100 square feet to 3,700 square feet, will reflect the vision of its respective designer and show buyers how they can incorporate contemporary, transitional and traditional treatments into the gleaming glass tower. The model homes at Museum Tower will be completed by early 2012, which means I have to hold my breath a bit longer.

A nationally recognized designer with numerous awards under her belt, Emily Summers of Emily Summers Design Associates is known for her refined interiors and creative eye. Throughout her 30 years in business, her work has been defined by her integration of architecture, art and interior design. In 2007, Summers was named to the AD100, Architectural Digest’s directory of the world’s top 100 designers and architects. Emily Summers Design Associates has consulted and contributed to the interiors at the Wyly Theater and The Winspear Opera House, while Summers herself is currently a member of the Building Committee at the Dallas Museum of Art. Her MT Mission: modern.

Ann Schooler, founder of Schooler, Kellogg & Company, began her career leading groups to England and Virginia to study the great houses of Britain and their influence on American decorative arts.  Her career of over 22 years includes projects in the United States and abroad.  Schooler’s works have been featured in leading shelter publications and she was named one of the Four Under Forty, the four best designers in America under the age of 40, by Southern Accents magazine. Her MT mission: traditional.

Marco French, founder of Marco French Studio, has been on the forefront of interior architectural design for 25 years, with 20 years of international experience working exclusively with five star properties.  His ability to create beautiful and dramatic spaces that don’t sacrifice comfort has been the key to his success. Marco’s attention to detail allows him to develop an individual unique style for each client. His MT Mission: timeless.

“My vision for the model home at Museum Tower is to create a mood of easy elegance with a timeless quality, and an environment that the most discerning buyer can envision as home – very personal, unique and inviting,” French says. “Harmony between a building and its’ interiors has always been of utmost importance to me, and with the architectural feat that is Museum Tower, this will be of special emphasis.”

For French, it is about the experience and the individual client. By utilizing durable yet opulent materials with color and texture, he aims to design a space of timelessness. He is well known for interior projects including luxury residences in Dallas, Palm Springs, New York City, and throughout the East Coast. Most recently, a Moscow design project by French was chosen as the top design for 2004 in the 10 year anniversary issue of Russian Elle Décor Magazine.

Oh. My. God. I have been to heaven and back. I’m talking about unit 3001 at the tip top of the Azure, a two-story, 5025 square foot custom (I mean, honey, custom) penthouse right up there next to Deion Sanders that makes his unit next door, which is leased out to a physician, by the way, rather ordinary. The home is that of Greg A. Brady, former president of the enormously successful Farmers Branch-based company called i-2 Technology, and once described as the smartest man in the supply-chain industry. Talk about supply chain, the guy has all but minted money.

 Greg custom built this amazing custom space at the Azure in 2008; he put it on the market this spring for $7,499,000, and my word it’s just been reduced to $6,490,000.  Do not hyperventilate — Greg has gotten a little cheaper on his price but is still tossing in the one week cruise on the owner’s mega yacht, “Noble House”. That’s six state rooms, plus captain and full crew (no food, booze or airfare included). And… drum roll please… Greg is also throwing in a 2001 BMW Z8 at closing. 

Or at least he was at $7.5. Word is Greg is married and wants to move the fam to Southlake/Vaquero, or maybe already has. Can you say motivated seller? All the more reason why this penthouse is the deal of the century!

2001 BMW Z8

So coming from a man of his means and intelligence, it is quite obvious Greg spared no expense in customizing this 3 bedroom (2 are master suites, one includes a steam shower), 4 and a half baths, three living area two story residence with elevator, rooftop entertainment terrace, pool, spa, patio, and party room environment in the air. There are four fireplaces, a huge theater screen over the lap pool, wine storage, billiard room, and high tech that would impress Steve Jobs. (Steve’s been here, actually.) Agent Babs Holder tells me her internet visual tour netted several jet-setters, lots of high profile Cali’s and foreigners after she had it on the cover of the DuPont Registry of Homes. HGTV called her for “Million Dollar Room”.



Master bath I

Master bath I

Hidden TV and wine butler

Ok, we know Azure, righto? James KM Cheng architect, first LEED-certified high rise in Big D, sculptural contemporary silhouette signature high rise developed by Harwood. Brady took the shell and customized it off the charts from the get-go. My favorite, besides the loaded kitchen, smart house everything (lights and electronics controlled by a single touch on an i-pad like tablet) is the custom designed master bedroom with the TV that lifts up out of the cabinet and a very James Bond-like hidden chest that, at the touch of a button, comes up holding a bottle of wine and two glasses.

Here are all the extra goodies:

second floor party room


· Full height solid core wood suite entry door with
stainless steel door pull
· Ten foot ceilings in prime living areas
· Stone flooring at suite entrance and bathrooms
· Custom designed wool carpet in bedrooms with
hardwood floors in main kitchen, living room and
dining room living spaces
· Gas fireplace on most terraces and an electric fireplace
in most living rooms
· High quality roller shades of woven sun control fabric
housed in a specially designed recessed architectural
pocket with the option to upgrade to a motorized
shading system
· Optional built-in custom millwork unit – varies by
suite type
· Sub-Zero 36” or 30” st ainless steel refrigerator with
upgrade option of a wood overlay
· Miele 36” or 30” gas stainless steel cooktop and Miele
designer wall hood with shelving
· Miele 27” st ainless steel self-cleaning oven with
multi-tier operating modes
· Miele 24” stainless steel Incognito dishwasher with
upgrade option of a wood overlay
· Panasonic built-in stainless steel microwave
· Bosch front-loading washer and Bosch electric
condensation dryer
· Optional Miele stainless steel coffee maker with builtin
design and fully automatic one-button grinding,
measuring and brewing upgrade
· Optional Sub-Zero 24” wi ne cooler upgrade
· European wood cabinets by Studio Becker from
Germany with stainless steel hardware
· Contemporary under-cabinet valence lighting
· Stone countertops with detailed edge
· Hardwood flooring (3 colour options)
· Optional tile flooring
· Kohler two compartment undermount stainless steel
sink with built-in GE garbage disposal
· Hansgrohe Interaktiv faucet

~Imported hardwood flooring
~3 Balcony gas log fireplaces
~Motorized recessed woven sun control roller
~Control 4 Smart Home system controls shades,
lighting, pool/spa, Audio & video*
~TV wall in foyer with custom software*
~Anti-glare UV film on all windows with 60%
efficiency savings rating
~Upgraded closets in bedrooms
~ Elevator to roof terrace
~Lighted spiral staircase to roof terrace
~ 2 30” Sub-Zero Refrigerators/freezers with
wood overlay
~Double Miele Ovens with multi tier operating
~Miele Built-in Coffee maker with fully
automatic grind, measure, brew & serve
~Granite counter tops including 2 service bar tops
~ Center island with Granite top & under cabinet
~Stainless steel roll top door appliance storage
Game/Billiard Room
~Granite Top Bar with sink
~Ionized water attachment for sink
~Sub-Zero Icemaker
~Large Sub-Zero dual Control Wine Vault with
glass front
~Custom stainless rimmed open door cabinet for
Audio/Video equipment*
~Custom lighting for “Shane Pennington”
commissioned painting
~Custom built-in cabinets with Granite tops and
shelving above for collectables and glasses
~Electric Fireplace

Master Ensuite 1
~Custom built bed with electronic pop-up TV &
wine bar, and upholstered bench
~Open & covered terrace with gas log fireplace
~Large Steam Shower
~A “Tea for Two” jetted Kohler tub
~ Massive built-in drawer storage
Master Ensuite 2
~Large private wrap around open terrace
~His & Her entrances to bath
~Separate Jetted “Tea for Two” Kohler tub and
glass shower
Guest Ensuite
~Separate Jetted “Tea for Two” Kohler tub and
glass shower and 2 sinks
~Private covered balcony with Gas Fireplace
Roof-top Bar/Game Room
~Custom made Granite topped “walk behind” bar
with raised glass serving area
~Full length Granite topped built-in storage
cabinets behind bar with upper stainless and glass
fronted doors with lighted glass shelving
~2-drawer Sub-Zero Beverage Cooler
~Sub-Zero Ice Maker
~ Sub-Zero under Counter Wine Chiller.
~Imported hardwood floor with removable party
carpet squares laid over top.
~Full bathroom with glass shower
Roof-Top Terrace
~Over 2900 sq. ft. of outdoor entertainment space
~Pool with attached Spa
~Glass wall enclosed with large stone columns
~Flooring is Pedestal System Roof Pavers
allowing for changes in electrical and plumbing
~Blue backlit glass AZURE wall
~Custom built steel awning
~Large outdoor projector TV system*
~6 “Potted Plant” speakers for sound system*
~6 Outdoor electrical outlets for spot lighting.

Audio Video Equipment List
“Control 4” full home automation – controls lights, shades, pool/ spa, climate as well as all of the A/V systems
in the home.
1 – Control 4 HC 1000 – master controller for the control 4 home automation system
8 – Control 4 HC 300 – one controller for each room
1 – Control 4 16Amp3 – 16 Channel Amplifier for all no surround rooms
5 – Control 4 CCZ-T1-W – Control 4 Wireless Thermostat integrated with the home automaton systems
1 – Axonix Media Server Pro Raid 6 – Media server with 4 TB of storage with 6 additional bays for expanded storage
2 – Axonix Media Deck HD – 2 players for the media that is stored on the media server
3 – Denon AVR-8888 – 7.1 Receivers for surround sound
1 – Key digital 16×8 Pro Switch – switch to handle all of the video switching for the entire house
4 – Time Warner HD DVR Cable Boxes
1 – Sysco AP 4131 – Commercial Grade wire access point to control the entire wireless signal in the unit
9 – Samsung 40in Professional series displays set up
3-across X 3-down to display a custom picture
program, each display has a built in computer running
XP Professional
1 – Gateway laptop to control all of the displays
1 – Custom Built splitter box to give custom
configured signal to each of the displays
Living Room
3 – TruAudio REV LCR.1 – 3 way Front Right, Front
Left and Center for surround sound
4 – TruAudio Rev-Sur.1 – 2 way mid rear and rear
speakers for surround sound
1 – TruAudio TC12 – 12 inch carbon fiber subwoofer
down firing with a 12 inch passive front firing woofer.
1 – Chief Motorized wall mount
1 – Control 4 in wall 10inch touch screen
1 – Samsung LNT5265F – 52inch 1080p Led/LCD TV
1 – Wii
1 – Blue Ray DVD Player
1 – TruAudio R26 – 1 pair of 6 ½ in ceiling speakers
Game room
1 – Sonance ipo70005 – iPort for iPod integration into
home automation system
2 – TruAudio R26 – 2 pair of 6 ½ in ceiling speakers
1 – Control 4 inwall touch screen – 3.8 inch full
control touch panel
1 – Samsung LNT5265F – 52inch 1080p Led/LCD TV
Master Bedroom
2 – TruAudio R26 – 2 pair of 6 ½ in ceiling speakers
1 – TruAudio REV LCR.1 – 3 way channel speaker
1 – Control 4 wireless touch screen
1 – Samsung LNT4671F – 46inch 1080p Led/LCD TV
1 – Custom built cabinet with hidden TV lift as well as
a pop up wine cabinet
Master Bath
1 – Samsung LNT3242H – 32inch 720p LCD TV
Bedroom 2
1 – Chief Motorized wall mount
1 – Samsung LNT5265F – 52inch 1080p Led/LCD TV
2 – TruAudio R26 – 2 pair of 6 ½ in ceiling speakers
Bedroom 3
2 – TruAudio R26 – 2 pair of 6 ½ in ceiling speakers
1 – Samsung LNT5265F – 52inch 1080p Led/LCD TV
Upstairs Bar
1 – Samsung LNT5265F – 52inch 1080p Led/LCD TV
1 – Control 4 in-wall touch screen – 3.8 inch full
control touch panel
Upstairs Patio/Pool Area
1 – DA-Lite 94025 – 220” diagonal HDTV screen
with pearlescent fabric
6 – Niles PB6Si – Niles Outdoor Planter speakers
designed to accommodate live plants
1 – View Sonic Pro8100 – Ful 1080p HD Projector