If you’re looking for a Dallas high-rise home so you can get as far off the ground as possible, be prepared to shell out big bucks or live in close quarters. 

In parts one and two, I outlined how Dallas has relatively few high-rise listings, and because of a lack of new high-rise construction, Dallas isn’t going to have a lot more buildings anytime soon. In this final installment, I break the 133 active units and 11 units under contract and analyze them by what floors they’re on. 

The distribution under the 20th floor is fairly even between 21 and 29 units in each category. For those interested in units above the 20th floor, inventory drops off because a lot of high-rises are under that height overall. Once you’re into the 30s, you’re pretty much at Museum Tower, which might be out of your price range.

But even more than height, the most important buyer criteria revolves around the unit size and overall cost (mortgage, HOA dues, insurance, and taxes). A studio on the 20th floor doesn’t help someone looking for a two-bedroom unit.

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As Dallas becomes more dense, high-rises should become the choice for more residents. The problem is that Dallas isn’t really building for-sale condo high-rises outside the ultra-luxury market. As noted in part one, there are currently just 133 high-rise condos on the market by my count – that’s it from $159,000 to $9.2 million. That’s not a lot of inventory.

The Stoneleigh, Ritz Residences, and Museum Tower may be where the money is, but it’s not where normal people are. As I’ve noted before, Dallas hasn’t built a big, mid-range high-rise in 20 years and it’s not because there isn’t a market. It’s because there is no financing.

And that’s different. When The Renaissance was built in 1998, it wasn’t luxury. Similarly, when 3883 Turtle Creek went up in 1963, it was planned as HUD housing. Preston Tower’s 362 units have always been affordable. All of those projects knew that cost containment came at scale. In addition to Preston Tower’s density, Renaissance has 603 units while 3883 Turtle Creek has 373. The closest in recent memory was the 75 units in The Cedars’ Beat lofts in 2007 – a relatively small project in a then transitional part of town.

I covered those condo buildings in that most-reasonable strata of high-rise living. Units ranged in price from the $150,000s to $700,000. In that range, you were almost certainly in the sub-2,000-square-foot range (perfectly fine for nearly everyone).

From here on out, it’s bonbons and champagne as we look at what you get when the sky’s the limit.

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Dallas hasn’t been a great high-rise condo town when compared to other cities. It seems like Dallas builds a lot of high-rises that come online the day before there’s a huge recession. Many old-timers connect high-rises with recessions as financially troubled properties hit the skids when storm clouds circle. Their touchpoint is the 1980s S&L scandal-driven recession that hit Texas unmercifully hard.

And while it’s true that high-rises took a bigger hit even in the latest recession, the difference was single-digit. And when the economy came back to life, so did high-rises – often with a vengeance. One Turtle Creek high-rise is trading at triple its recession low.  Even had I not renovated my lowly Athena condo, it would have still risen by 75 percent in the six years I owned it.

This is all to say that condos are pretty much as resilient as single-family. Which is good considering Dallas, like the rest of the planet, is becoming more urban. In 2015, the US Census reported that on average, 62.7 percent of US residents lived in cities with Texas reporting 65 to 75 percent urbanization. The Census further reports that 39 percent of Texans live in its top 20 cities – in a state with 41 cities over 100,000 residents. The United Nations’ World Urbanization Prospects say 82 percent of US residents live in urban areas. While there is a 20-point disparity here, likely driven by definitions of “urban,” it’s still a lot.

We all know Texas, and specifically Dallas, is growing rapidly – Texas is one of nine states that account for half of the US population. We also know that a lot of our new arrivals come from markets that are more high-rise markets – e.g. California and New York – and their money goes further in Texas.

What do high-rise buyers have to buy?  Not a lot…

If you total up all the high-rise condos (buildings above 12 stories) for sale at this minute in downtown, Uptown, Victory Park and Turtle Creek, there are 133 by my count.  There are an additional 11 under contract. For reference, The Warrington at 3831 Turtle Creek has 132 units in total. That’s right, the sum total of high-rise buyers’ options would all fit inside one building.

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By Barbara Dewberry
Guest Contributor
 
Last week in a CandysDirt.com column, Jon Anderson stated in reference to the Jennifer Gates called community meeting on August 7th that I said that, “the neighborhood doesn’t want green space.
 
In fact, I said “We don’t want a public park,” and many people heard this.  The four acres that are proposed to be developed is too small to dedicate land to a public park and also the City has said they will not maintain it.  Thus, to have a park that outsiders will discover and have picnics, kiddie birthdays, and bring dogs and not pick up, will be an invasion into our now quiet neighborhood.  It will be very expensive to maintain.
 
I have always advocated green space around the buildings like that of the Preston Tower and the Athena which allows permeable space, which will be helpful in stopping run-off flooding.  PD-15 is experiencing flooding already and this needs to be addressed before anything is built.  I, with our neighbors, have demanded a 100-foot setback for any buildings facing South toward NW Hwy.  This would allow for more green space, guest parking and save several vintage Live Oak trees.  Our small 4 acres to be developed is not large enough to dedicate 1/3 acre to a park.  Besides, there is a lovely park at Hillcrest and W. NW Hwy.  Also I have always championed green roofs on any buildings that are built in PD- 15. We are demanding for a right in and right out opening to be made in the Pink Wall so that construction vehicles will not be wandering around decimating streets we own and breaking tree limbs.
 
The proposed park is just another device that the developers use to get additional height and density which the neighborhood is against.
 

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People are making the move from expansive homes with huge backyards to luxurious condos for many reasons. Part of it could be that apartments are inherently more low maintenance, but another reason is that it’s a liberating change of pace to be in walking distance of raved-about restaurants, amazing shopping, and lush nature parks and trails. The world is wide open and the best city experiences are always at your fingertips. If that sounds like something you’re interested in, you definitely need to take a look at this beautiful unit in the Claridge Condominiums of prestigious Turtle Creek.

 

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For performers, the winning combination for success is singing, dancing, and acting. In condos, it’s location, selling price, and HOA dues.  In every condo purchase, the topic of HOA dues comes up.

For buyers comfortable in the digital age, that topic and resulting self-editing arrive when listings and HOA dues pop onto computer screens. That’s because condo buying adds a cost that’s not factored into single-family home purchasers. For single-family buyers, a monthly nut equals mortgage, utilities, insurance, and taxes. There is no maintenance component – each owner can neglect or maintain as they see fit. In a condo, maintenance is a monthly fee.

Many non-condo people are uncomfortable paying a monthly HOA fee because it typically adds hundreds of dollars to monthly budgets reducing what they can ultimately purchase. Almost everyone has a budget, so it’s an important consideration. Unreasonably high HOA dues crimp the buyer pool even more.

Me? I’m OK with reasonable HOA dues. One check a month and I don’t do a gosh-darn thing outside my front door. I don’t pay separate utilities, cable, internet, window washing, or even regular exterminator spraying – in my case, it’s all rolled into the monthly HOA dues.

But not all condos charge reasonable fees, especially when compared with similar buildings. The results aren’t good.

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The Azure is a building that draws plenty of buyers thanks to its beautiful design and great Uptown location. But how often do you get to see a one-bedroom condo that offers the top three asks for almost every condo buyer? This unit, represented by Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate’s Jarrad Barnes, is the perfect alchemy of location, accessibility, design, and amenities. 

This Uptown condo easy pick for our High Caliber Home of the Week presented by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans thanks to the unit’s breathtaking design. Plus, there’s so much storage in this unit that you’ll always have a place for everything, and everything will be in its place!

“This unit has been completely reimagined,” Barnes said of Unit 302 at 2900 McKinnon St. “So it is unlike any one-bedroom in the Azure.”

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Jeanne Milligan will open her beautiful, eclectic Vendome unit for the 2019 Turtle Creek Association Tour of Homes on April 7.

Jeanne Milligan’s love for art and travel has presented the Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s agent with a unique problem — an abundance of wonderful art and decor for her tasteful and eclectic unit inside the luxurious Vendome on Turtle Creek. One of Milligan’s favorite destinations is Marrakesh, a spot where she often finds wonderful pieces for her home.

“Every time I return, I bring back a bit of art,” she said. And those treasures have made her beautiful high-rise a sight to be seen — one you can see for yourself, in fact, in this year’s Turtle Creek Association Tour of Homes. Milligan’s exquisite decor and superb views will be one of the five fabulous stops on the tour, which benefits the Turtle Creek Association‘s mission  to preserve, protect, and enhance the natural beauty and quality of life within the 87-acres of greenways and parkland of the Turtle Creek Corridor. 

“I have some of the most beautiful gardens and parks all around me, thanks to the Turtle Creek Association,” Milligan said. “The whole area wouldn’t be the same without it.”

Of course, Turtle Creek wouldn’t be the same without the Vendome, either. The building is known for its luxury and amenities, and fabulous views of the surrounding area. 

“Immediately, what drew me to the building was the view. I’m along the back of the building, and the view at night is a beautiful backdrop for my life,” Milligan said. “It’s completely full-service. It’s like living in a five-star hotel every day.”

Jeanne Milligan’s Vendome unit offers a look insider her travels.

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