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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Incorrect and highly misleading graphic used to represent city’s draft proposal

When I first heard about Preston Tower and Athena owners meeting to discuss PD-15, I nicknamed it a “witch burning” and it did not disappoint. Bill Kritzer, the main speaker from Preston Tower, accusingly called out Council Member Jennifer Gates’ name so many times that if she had a dollar for each utterance, she could fund the Preston Center garage out of petty cash.

The troubles of the world were heaped on her shoulders, every real or imagined slight (OK, they were all imagined) dumped on her doorstep. Meanwhile praise was reserved for the Preston Hollow South Neighborhood Association (PHSNA) and its work for the neighborhood. I find that praise comical. It was PHSNA leadership that gave residents the Laurel apartments – that are universally reviled. So the talk track was that the Laurel process was better because the developer met with PHSNA leadership – but the neighborhood wound up with a building they hate. Somehow that irony was lost on the packed house at the Athena.

The Laurel: hated by a neighborhood that wants more just like it

Also lost on the group was the understanding that the Laurel building they hate is three and four stories – the same height they cheered for. While the biggest example, it was hardly the last piece of incoherent thinking observed. Had their been Kool-Aid, there’d have been a fight for the pitcher.

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New blood. That’s how neighborhoods change and progress. Child-friendly neighborhoods mature, children grow and leave, parents downsize, younger families move in – all very Lion King. High-rises have the same issues, but while interior renovations are under an owner’s control, the common areas are subject to the cheapness or largess of the community.

I’ve said in the past that Plaza I and II didn’t appear to be keeping up with other high-rises when it comes to renovation. That’s apparently changing. The sallow hallways are about to be refreshed with the outdoor Pavilion already complete.

One thing that doesn’t need a renovation is the view over the Mansion Park area of Oak Lawn. All that green you see to the right? It’s the yard for the modern home behind it. It’s like being across the street from a park. I know at street level, it appears to be an empty lot waiting for a mansion to land on it, but nope, it’s green space just for you (sorta). If you’re wondering about the coming Toll Brothers building, fear not, it will be out of sight around the corner.

On the inside, I had the pleasure of touring a gutted and renovated unit 501 with listing agent Sue Krider from Allie Beth Allman priced at $674,000. Krider knows CandysDirt.com readers thrill at seeing a good renovation, but before we get to the goodies, this unit contains 1,305 square feet within its one bedroom and one full and one half bathroom footprint. (I like to put all the details in one place for when you fall in love.)

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Neither Teixeira Duarte Version is Awaiting Planning Approval

Neither Teixeira Duarte Version is Awaiting Planning Approval

On July 26, Teixeira Duarte and Masterplan had what would be their final meeting with the neighborhood to negotiate a better plan for their lots on Hood and Dickason tentatively called Turtle Creek Haus.  The following week, Masterplan presented to the Oak Lawn Committee about the progress being made.  All seemed to be progressing well.

Apparently not.

In September, Teixeira Duarte filed plans with the city for a within-zoning (by-right) plan for the lots.  Because the plans have not been approved, the public can’t see what’s going to be built.  The permitting office told me it was to be an 18-story apartment tower. Another source who’s been through permitting a time or two told me that a September by-right plan still awaiting approval is a little odd.

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"New" logo designed by 30-year resident Robert Emery offers youthful vibe

“New” logo designed by 30-year resident Robert Emery offers youthful vibe

The Pink Wall has been dominated by Preston Tower for 50 years.  Oddly, it’s first residents were welcomed into this modern high-rise in the same year viewers welcomed Star Trek!  Preston Tower is a pinch older than the neighboring Athena, but the Pink Wall’s two-story walk-ups were already swinging when Preston Tower leapt from the ground.  My unofficial guess is that in 1966, at 29 stories, it was the tallest building between Dallas and Oklahoma City.

I had a chance to speak with one of its loooong time residents, Robert Emery, who’s called Preston Tower home for nigh-on 30 years.  Like many happy high-rise residents, he’s bounced around in the building before winding up on top of it all in one of the penthouses. At the precise moment a wet and windy hell broke loose, I was walking over to meet Emery. I can say with confidence that I saw no leaks during my tour.

Preston Tower was built by Hal Anderson (no relation), designed by architect Jacob Anderson (Hal’s brother?), and currently contains 362 units.  In the beginning there were a few more, but over time some units have been combined (high-rise owners can’t build additions, so we absorb our neighbors).

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