Julie Provenzano

Julie Provenzano, left, Dallas Stars player Tyler Seguin, and Rebecca Bruant at the Dallas Stars casino night. All photos: Julie Provenzano

Real estate is a business of relationships, and no one knows that better than Julie Provenzano, a Realtor with Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate and founder of The Provenzano Group. She’s the official Realtor for the Dallas Stars, handling real estate transactions for all players and management.

“Our business philosophy centers on the relationship more so than the individual transaction,” she said. “Long after the deal closes, we continue on a resource for our clients, whether they need contractor recommendations or resale opinions on remodeling projects. We want to create long-term value with them.”

In addition to The Provenzano Group serving as agents for the players and their families, Dave Perry-Miller is a sponsor of the Dallas Stars, and the official real estate firm of the team. The luxury service that the brand embodies is a perfect fit for the partnership.

“We strive to offer concierge services for the team just as we do for other relocating clients,” Provenzano said. “A move can mean a major upheaval for a family and we try to smooth that transition as much as possible. We take that responsibility seriously and many of our clients become personal friends through the process.”

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This lovely Highland Park English Tudor at 4524 Edmondson ticks all the boxes. Timeless style, smart updates, great flow, and most of all, a modern house that successfully capitalizes on the charming look of an older home.

From the curb you could easily mistake this as a 1920s build instead of 2001 construction. This is only one of two spec homes built by Karl Hirschey, who was known for his hands-on approach. It’s a pity he’s retired from the building business, but some lucky buyer can move right into this beauty and know they won’t have to do a thing but entertain. They’ll also have bragging rights.

“The first owners were Brenden and Anne Marie Morrow,” listing agent Sylvia Scott with Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, said. “Brenden was a captain with the Dallas Stars from 2006-2013 and is now retired from hockey.” A classic home and a brush with sports fame — what more could you want? (more…)

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Update 11:00 p.m.: so I spoke to Julie P, and she gave me the scoop. Seems she put the house in Facebook Friends, which is how our friends at Busted Coverage must have found out. Julie has been busy with a new wee one! Also the Horcoffs have a baby, too, and wanted to get over to their summer home to free Wentwood for showings. Coats Homes is the builder, and the master is upstairs, plus three bedrooms, fifth bedroom or gameroom on the third level.

Talk about getting out of Dodge as fast as you can. The other thing I find weird about this is that the listing agent, Julie Provenzano, has the home all over Zillow but NOT in MLS, well not yet, at least. Is this the new norm? Thanks to the folks at Busted Coverage for this alert, and then to my good LA Times pal Neal Leitereg for the heads up! Yes, Neal, it does look just like Jose Calderone’s pad, methinks it’s the same builder and designer.

3417 Villanova ext

3417 Villanova

3417 Villanova living

3417 Villanova

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5511 Park Lane new exteriorThis story about one of the biggest scams in sport history may have been my first reckoning that when I write about homes, I write, really, about dreams and aspirations…  homes today have become statements of personal success, trophies, our financial statements on display. Eight thousand square feet is not enough — I want 15,000 and a room of animal heads. Or I want a waterpark for my kids.

Reading over the Spano story I wrote for D in 1998, I am laughing like a woman looking at herself dressed in 1980’s-era padded shoulders and big earrings. What the hell was I thinking? 

“Late November 1997. Our Preston Hollow home had been on the market for almost a year and was probably overpriced. We had shown it to so many people I was dizzy. The neighborhood was overwhelmed with tear-down fever, but our home-a stately, traditional two-story listed for S 1.05 million-was moving like Geritol in molasses. By November, my husband and I had dropped the price to $990,000, eager to move on.”

ONLY $990,000 for an effing 1.20 acres corner of Park and Hollow Way in the honey pot?

Park Lane tear down

It’s funny how we look at real estate during different time periods. In 1997, I thought a million dollars for a home was jackpot. Unattainable, almost.  But as I wrote just this week, lately a million looks almost paltry compared to the double-digit homes out there that are bigger and more complicated than any of us could ever imagine! In fact, no one can imagine all the media rooms morning rooms panic rooms security safes barre ballet studio Zen garden enhanced putting greens bedroom basketball courts multiple fireplaced triple master bedroom separate master baths with sauna bidet and Toto rainfall showers gourmet kitchens (so 2006) butlers’ kitchen butlers’ kitchens’ kitchen pastry kitchen pantry wine cellar underground garage parking for 18 and — how can I forget — waterpark in the back-yard that are going into these trophy homes today. Remember Kelly Ford’s home in Highland Park with the Turkish Bath?

My point is this: what I thought was hot stuff in 1997 is like, well, not so hot today to put it mildly, including my 1990’s wardrobe.

I write this because Hot Shot is showing at this weekend’s USA Film Festival, Sunday night at 7:30 at The Angelika.  It’s an ESPN 30 for 30 production focusing on one of the biggest scams in sports history, the scandal surrounding former New York Islanders owner John Spano. It debuted in New York mid-April. The documentary will air in October on ESPN. It explains and examines how the New York-born, Ohio-raised John Spano agreed to purchase the New York Islanders in October of 1996 from then-owner John Pickett for $165 million. Here’s the problem: Spano turned out to be a fraud, his net worth barely more than $2 million when he claimed $200 million. But for four months, from when the NHL approved him as owner in February until July when New York’s Newsday published a story and blew his financial bs wide open, John Spano actually owned the Islanders, all without paying very much at all. Spano also had some fun in Dallas.

Reading this now, I almost feel like I am back into Michael Lewis’ The Big Short. News for you: people were faking it ’till they made it all over the place in the mid-2000’s. Likely they just didn’t lie on their financial statements, which is what John did allegedly, along with sending out phoney letters of recommendation and bank statements.

“Big Shot” thus “is a twisted look at the sometimes corrosive power of the American dream.” Big houses are always, always included in that dream, preferably five of them. Kevin Connolly, an actor who plays (played?) Eric Murphy (a.k.a. “E”) on “Entourage,” is the documentary filmmaker who made this film and traced Spano’s rise and fall. He interviewed NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, former Islanders business managers and even Spano himself to tell the true story of a man who managed to con so many into believing he was incredibly wealthy. I’m told Spano sat in the audience for one of the premieres.

What did John Spano do in Dallas? Oh, just try to buy the Dallas Stars in 1995, this before he tried to buy the Islanders.  Maybe he was warming up.  As I wrote back then, and forgive me because I have slept a little since 1997,

“…in a complex financial maze spanning more than two years, this guy had managed to con some pretty savvy people in his quest to buy Dallas’ hockey team — Stars president Jim Lites, investment banker Robert Innamorati, then Staubach Company president Jim Leslie. (The Staubach Company was acquired by Jones Lang LaSalle) (He also took down a banker who believed him at Comerica Bank.) In nearly every case, Spano displayed wealth, promised to wire money, and produced phony bank letters assuring funds that never materialized.”

The Dallas Observer had a long story on John Spano, great piece. It details his background, though his family did not return phone calls. It explains the detailed nuances of what he was trying to do with these teams, how he did it, and reminded me that we all used to use fax machines before we could scan and email. I saw John Spano’s fax machine in his home on University, and I remember thinking like the typical dramatic writer/woman I am, this is the machine — this right here is where it all happened.

And I almost got stuck in the home elevator, too.

But if you read the Observer piece, tell me if you feel a little like I did, that perhaps what Spano was doing foreshadowed the games played on Wall Street just a few years later. The games that brought down our economy for a good five years, maybe more. Sure, Spano may have been more blatant, and you certainly don’t lie about your ability to pay for something when you seek financing. That’s fraud. But also, isn’t it every big shot’s dream to take $2 million and turn it into $200 million or more, buy a home in the Park Cities, a couple ski homes and at least a private jet membership, then give it all to charity like George Soros?

That’s what the movie is all about.

And houses are a major part of any Big Shot’s ambitions. This story may have been my first reckoning that when I write about homes, I write, really, about dreams and aspirations. Homes are the way we nurture and protect ourselves, our families, but let’s face it: that can be done in 2500 square feet. No sir, homes have become statements of personal success, trophies, our financial statements on display. Eight thousand square feet is not enough — I want 15,000 and a room of animal heads. Or I want a waterpark for my kids.

Homes, it turns out, are really about the people inside them. That is why I am so obsessed with House Porn.

Our home on Park Lane is shown above. It was torn down in 2010, a 9882 square foot stone construction trophy home with basement re-constructed in it’s place with bird-houses built into the stone fence like turrets, a six-car motor court, the pool and tennis court we enjoyed ripped out and replaced with stunning new landscaping. They took down trees, but many of them had to go. Every time I drive by, the lot speaks to me and kind of winks, almost saying, you won’t believe what they are putting in this place!

 

Bloomberg is reporting that Chuck Greenberg, former CEO and co-owner of The Texas Rangers, has come forward to say he may want to bid on the bankrupt Dallas Stars Hockey franchise, according to a lawyer. This cannot be, not that Greenberg wouldn’t be a terrific owner. But Vancouver-based businessman Tom Gaglardi is pre-approved, and if he moves to Dallas, he’ll have to buy a home or two here. I’m thinking Preston Hollow.

Grenberg already lives here.

Update: It seems all these sports teams buying, selling and going belly-up are very good for the local real estate market. Remember, it brought Chuck Greenberg to Vaquero!

So, the Dallas Stars have filed a bankruptcy package that will ease them out of some debt and hopefully smooth the way for a possible sale to Vancouver-based businessman Tom Gaglardi and his family. Gaglardi, reports Bloomberg,  is chairman and chief executive officer of Sandman Hotels, Inns & Suites. (Is that like “Mr. Sandman?”) According to the Dallas Morning News (subscription required):

“Gaglardi, 43, is involved in hotels and restaurants in Canada through his family’s Northland Properties. Gaglardi recently purchased the Sutton Place hotels in Edmonton and Vancouver for $198 million.

Gaglardi has a hockey background. He tried to purchase the Vancouver Canucks in 2004 and currently is majority owner of the Kamloops Blazers, of the juniors-level Western Hockey League.

Gaglardi’s father, Bob, studied mechanical engineering at LeTourneau University  in Longview, Texas. The magazine Canadian Business listed Bob Gaglardi as No. 39 on its list of richest Canadians, with an estimated worth of $1.47 billion. His son did not crack the top 100.”

Tom Gaglardi - Vancouver Sun

 

Terms of the sale, which is always subject to a court-approved auction and acceptance by the league, and could be changed a hundred times, weren’t disclosed.

What I want to know is: how will this affect Dallas real estate? Will Mr. Gaglardi and his family move here? Will Mr. Hicks, who has recently been removed from the Forbes billionaires list, downsize to their beach home in California or elsewhere?

Forgive me, I hope the Hicks stay put because I cannot imagine packing up 29,000 square feet. But I’m trying to get ahead of the game. I have found the perfect home for Mr. Gaglardi in one of Kari Schlegel Kloewer’s beautiful listings: 9727 Audubon Place. $9,950,000. I have no doubt that Kari’s dad, Robert Schlegel, knows the Gaglardi’s because of their shared Canadian background and hockey conections. Surely Kari will show Mr. G. those seven bedrooms, at least 7.5 baths, three dining areas, 9 — NINE — living areas. Plus I think this includes the lot next door, which once belonged to some friends. When they sold their home, they were told it was going to be made into a driveway for 9727.

As for the Hicks gang, if this summer did you with the watering of 20-plus acres and A/C — though the Crespi Estate has it’s own well — let me suggest this beautiful and slightly more humble abode not too far away at 9339 Hathaway: construction by Sebastian Construction Group, interior design by Richard Trimble and landscape design by Harold Leidner. Less Italianate than what you have, this is a true French retreat in the heart of Dallas, Texas! Iron gates open to a cobblestone drive, and 2 prime Preston Hollow acres will still get you a well but far less watering. You will love the multi-level grand entryway,  marble flooring and a beautiful double staircase. The two-story formal living room has an exquisite fireplace, a custom-painted ceiling and views of the resort-style pool through a wall of windows. The formal dining room and the library feature antique paneling and moldings and French doors that open to verandas. The spacious master suite is downstairs and includes a sitting area with a domed ceiling and views of the pool and grounds. The master bath has a barrel-vaulted ceiling, a double shower, a jet tub, dual vanities, walk-in closets and a cedar storage closet plus an attached exercise room. The kitchen is just out of sight — Dacor, Asko and Sub-Zero, breakfast area with a fireplace offer views of the grounds. On this floor you will also have a theater with seating for twelve, a den with two walls of windows and a cast-stone fireplace, a card room, wet bar, and climate-controlled wine room. Oh also a guest bedroom with bath, of course, down here — great for grandbabies. Upstairs three bedroom suites, and an upstairs den. You also have an elevator, a guest apartment and seven garage spaces, a koi and goldfish pond, stone bridge leading over a creek to a bamboo forest and even a walking trail. Of course you are right down the street from your previous home, so it will be really the same old same old, just with a LOT less maintenance!