(Photo: Dan Piassick)

Over off North Central Expressway, there’s a sign you know. But if you’re into high-end kitchens and appliances (and Dallas heritage), it’s one you really know.

In 1947, Buddy Jarrell opened Jarrell’s appliances, and in the 1970s, he opened that very location off of North Central Expressway. The sign is a Dallas icon and the building? It’s basically a landmark.

Buddy Jarrell sold the company a while back and it changed owners, changed names, and then landed in the very capable hands of current president Eric Neel.

Neel made a few key decisions. First, the name change, but we covered that. Next, he invested in an incredibly legit build-out of the showrooms. (The second showroom is in Grapevine.) Finally, he pulled off a feat he’d been working on for years. He lured Garth Blackburn away from the Sub-Zero/Wolf showroom and put him on the Jarrell payroll.

(Photo: Garth Blackburn)

Blackburn is quite the hire. He’s a chef and a sales rep, which means you can have your custom kitchen designed by an actual chef. His insight is invaluable and his background is like no other. We’re going to get to all of that, but first, let’s talk about why he made the move.

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PlanoPlano and Arlington are at the top of a list of best places to drive, pending home sales fell in July, and Realogy announced that its agents lead a top LGBT+ agent list. We have all this in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

Plano, Arlington Rank in the Top 25 for Best Places to Drive

You have to wait until No. 13 to find a North Texas city on WalletHub’s Best and Worst Places to Drive, but once you get there, it’s Plano that leads the DFW pack. Arlington comes in at 25th, according to the study, which looked at the 100 most populated U.S. cities. (more…)

Dallas ISD

Photo courtesy Dallas ISD

The good news? Dallas ISD maintained its B grade from the Texas Education Agency this year, in fact, it went up from an 81 to an 86. In fact, of 232 Dallas ISD schools, 28 got an A and 102 earned a B, making it 57 percent of Dallas ISD schools making an A or B this year.

The bad news? Last year the district had four schools that didn’t meet state standards. This year, the number is eight. But even that is couched in some good news/bad news. Only one school is a repeat from last year, meaning three of last year’s schools met state standard this year. But yes, it’s bittersweet when seven new schools join the list.

So Who Got an A?

Lots of expected schools, of course, but also some incredibly bright stories from places like Edward Titche Elementary and Jack Lowe Sr. Elementary, all schools that not that long ago didn’t meet state standards.  (more…)

Medrano

Photo courtesy Dallas iSD

From staff reports

A local attorney whose offices are only two blocks away from Esperanza “Hope” Medrano Elementary School donated $50,000 to build a food pantry there, Dallas ISD announced last week.

Todd Tracy, the head attorney at the Tracy Law Firm, wanted to do something for young residents of this neighborhood. He contacted Principal Mario Mondragón, who suggested building a food pantry at the school to support the families with limited financial resources. (more…)

Clean and spacious three-bedroom homes with Dallas ZIP codes don’t often make it into the 100s – unless they’re classified as “cute” or a “fixer-upper.” This one is, in fact, cute, but it’s already fixed up and billed as a turn-key investment property.

Clean and spacious three-bedroom homes with Dallas ZIP codes don’t often make it into the 100s – unless they’re classified as “cute” or a “fixer-upper.”

This one is, in fact, cute, but it’s already fixed up and billed as a turn-key investment property.

Listed by Juan Vega with Rendon Realty, the home at 9922 Hustead Drive is on the market for a modest $129,900.

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Dallas ISDIt happened again this week. Someone (in our comments section, no less) came in at a rate of speed somewhere between Miley Cyrus’s wrecking ball and the Kool-Aid man through a wall to utter this phrase: “Dallas ISD is failing.”

Now, to anyone who has paid attention, we know this isn’t true. Anyone who is a regular reader here knows this isn’t true, because I’ve told you it isn’t true, in five-part harmony and in interpretative dance, and continue to do so weekly as part of our ongoing School+House feature.

But instead of going with facts and figures (and yes, I’ll have a deeper dive on the latest TEA scores later this week), I’m going personal.

I’m going to tell you why my husband and I chose Dallas ISD over the plethora of options we had for our son. And I’m going to tell you something else that isn’t really a secret, but something I don’t think I’ve ever shared here. (more…)

property taxes

(Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Allen Gwinn is a number cruncher. Or a gadfly. Or a muckraker/local political analyst. By day, he teaches at SMU School of Business as a Professor of Practice.

Basically a detailed data miner, he has taught information technology at SMU Cox School of Business for 30 years. For years, Gwinn also ran a popular website called Dallas.org, which was 18,000 registered users rich, as large as many local media sites. As he puts it, “I had lots of bandwidth.”

Now Gwinn is gearing up a reboot of Dallas.org, because he believes that taxpayers need a constant stream of data about government spending. An informed citizenry, he feels, makes better voting decisions, which is why he analyzes public data.

“I’m putting together a bunch of data to analyze revenue and expenses at DISD,” he said by phone. “We can show exactly what tax dollars they are getting. It’s eye-opening. DISD historically has been very, very closed with the very data taxpayers need.” But before we dug into school taxes, I flipped out over his tracking of who pays property taxes. I hope a fainting couch is nearby:

Keep in mind that tax revenues levied on Dallas residents and renters have (not quite) doubled since 2013.” (more…)

Dallas

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

With a mayoral and city council election still rather close in the rearview mirror, a recent WalletHub study into the best and worst run cities in the country — and where Dallas falls on that list — highlights some of the issues that drove at least a few people to the polls twice.

The study, which was released earlier this month, sought to measure the effectiveness of local leadership by focusing on how efficiently a city was run.

“In other words, we can learn how well city officials manage and spend public funds by comparing the quality of services residents receive against the city’s total budget,” the report explained.

WalletHub compared 150 of the largest U.S. cities, constructing a “quality of services” score comprised of 37 benchmarks grouped into six service categories, which were then measured against the city’s per-capita budget.

Source: WalletHub

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