1469738205-DartRailStationRadius

 

[Editor’s Note: Candy Evans is the founder and publisher of CandysDirt.com and is now running for Dallas City Council in District 11. The opinions expressed in this column are her own.]

My announcement that I am running for Dallas City Council District 11 (and running this blog, of course, too!) has brought out some very interesting and supportive emails. I asked to publish this one, from Beth Carruth in Plano. She is not in my District, in fact she doesn’t even live in Dallas, but she has some strong views on the Cotton Belt line that is being pushed by my incumbent opponent, Lee Kleinman. Lee believes the Cotton Belt line is needed because of the density in the area:

But Dallas City Council member Lee Kleinman, who chairs that city’s transportation committee, said the population density in the northern part of the region and a lack of rail service between two far-flung north-south lines warrants rail service on the Cotton Belt.

If you need some catching up, the Cotton Belt will be a SINGLE line, so you won’t see another train zipping by going opposite way, unless you are at a station. This is cheaper: about $1 billion versus $2.9 billion, and the track would be “fast-tracked” to get it up and running faster. But the single line would also slow things down. One guy I intend to talk with is Carrollton mayor Matthew Marchant, who I bet is related to Kenny.

Single-tracking the Cotton Belt is one reason that Carrollton Mayor Matthew Marchant opposes plans to fast track rail service on the line. He prefers bus rapid transit in the corridor.

“Single track is essentially pointless – you get ‘rail’ but only 30-minute [frequency] and any issue on the track and service is totally disrupted,” Marchant said. “All of the existing light rail lines are double tracked.”

Lee is right: there is a lot of population density in these areas, but Beth says stations are not where the stations will be: (more…)

It took years for the Oak Cliff Streetcar route to go from a dream to reality. Rail expert Hayley Enoch breaks down the long process of how new mass transit comes on line.

It took years for the Oak Cliff Streetcar route to go from a dream to reality. Rail expert Hayley Enoch breaks down the long process of how new mass transit comes on line.

By Hayley Enoch
Special Contributor

[Editor’s note: The now free Dallas Festival of Ideas kicks off tomorrow and runs through Saturday, with speakers and panels focusing on the future of our city. One subject that comes up time and again is the need for walkable cities and more accessible mass transit. To facilitate that discussion, we asked rail journalist Hayley Enoch to break down the long process of how mass transit ideas become reality.]

Dallas-area residents don’t have to travel too far from their driveways to see that our local highway system has not kept up with demand. One hour drive times, even for small errands, have created a population eager to invest in light rail, streetcars, and other forms of public transportation.

Despite the demand, new public transportation projects and expansions to the existing system have been slow to materialize. This gives ammunition to those who call for wider highways and more toll roads, and believe that public transportation cannot efficiently serve Dallas-area residents. However, what makes expanding the system to keep up with demand difficult isn’t so much that civic planners are unaware of the need for additional capacity, but that there is a  complex pre-planning process that must be carried out before any new construction can begin. A better understanding of the process could help residents of Dallas-Fort Worth plan for our transportation future.

(more…)

Gabriel Barbier-Mueller

The Barbier-Mueller family, from L to R: Alexis Barbier-Mueller, Niña Barbier-Mueller Tollett, Gabriel Barbier-Mueller, Ann Barbier-Mueller, and Oliver Barbier-Mueller at the the Samurai Collection traveling exhibition in Quebec City. All photos: Gabriel Barbier-Mueller

Many diners at Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar and passers by admire the Virgin de Guadalupe monument standing outside, a tile-and-brick structure that murmurs the history of the area.

This Harwood Avenue location was Dallas’ first school for Hispanic children, the 1927 St. Ann’s school house. It was located in the heart of Little Mexico, in what is now the Harwood District of Uptown, the signature development of Gabriel Barbier-Mueller, Founder and CEO of Harwood International.

After buying the historic schoolhouse, Barbier-Mueller’s company brought in an art preservationist to refurbish the tile mural of Our Lady of Guadalupe. They kept the original brick school building and transformed the interior into a sophisticated-yet-comfortable eatery in 2010. The second level houses The Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: The Samurai Collection, an assemblage of samurai armor and related objects that is one of the largest and most complete in the world. Outside, the patio is one of the biggest and most lovely in the city.

This is just a tiny part of the Harwood empire, which spans the globe and has offices and developments in select parts of Dallas, Beverly Hills, Sunnyvale’s Gold Coast, Geneva, London’s West End, Paris, and Zurich’s Golden Triangle. But it speaks to Barbier-Mueller’s vision and European sensibilities when it comes to his work.

It’s not “out with the old, in with the new,” but rather a reimagining of space, with a focus on robust capital investment, energy conservation, leading-edge technology, green spaces, and designs that are built to stand the test of time.

(more…)

1505 Elm

There’s a new downtown property on the market that’s got the kind of luxury amenities you usually see on Turtle Creek, but for under $300K: a sixth-floor corner unit on Elm Street at North Akard with a stellar view, modern interior, and prime location.

The condo at 1505 Elm St. #604 is pretty much everything I imagine people desire in a downtown Dallas address: big, open floorplans; high-end appliances; awesome amenities; and easy access a DART light rail station across the street.

This 1-1.5 with a study is 1,482 square feet, listed by Gregory Iker at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate for $235,000.

1505 Elm Y

Dallas architect George Dahl designed 1505 Elm, which was constructed in 1957 and served as Dallas Federal Savings bank for years before being abandoned. In 2002, it was part of the first wave of residential redevelopment in downtown Dallas, bringing 68 units to the market.

They didn’t cut corners in this building: it has an incredible level of amenities, which helps explain the whopping HOA fees of $1,001 per month. But those fees earn access to a 24-hour concierge, valet parking for residents and guests, a pool, sauna, private dog run, fitness center, Moroccan-style party room with billiard table and caterer’s kitchen, three high-speed elevators, and a super cool former bank vault that is now a wine cellar with a large dining table and individual wine lockers for residents. There’s even access to downtown tunnel system through lobby.

(more…)

old town 2

Old Town Lewisville. Photo courtesy of the city of Lewisville

When you think of hip, fun destinations to live, work, and play in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the city of Lewisville is not usually at the top of the list.

But city leaders in this northern suburb of almost 100,000 residents are changing that as redevelopment moves into full swing in the Old Town area. New houses, townhomes, restaurants, and retail shops are all in the works as developers and entrepreneurs take note of the changing atmosphere.

“Everybody has been hyper-focused on Collin County, but these changes in Lewisville will give people another option,” said David Maez, Broker and Co-Owner at VIVO Realty, which represents the developer Belleville Village, the builders of Uptown Village Lewisville townhomes near East Main Street and East Mill Street in Old Town. “It’s close to Lewisville Lake, close to the airport, close to I-35, which makes it easy to get to Dallas. These changes will make that area more appealing for buyers, especially younger professionals.”  (more…)

We need the help of interior designers to keep us on the straight and narrow. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it twice: interior designers SAVE YOU MONEY. I think we could have educated Jon & Kate’s brood with all the money I wasted buying furniture and objets d’art I did not need and had no flow in my home. Finally, a few good interior designers set me straight! It’s no different in a first or second home. So we have this nice ad in the fabulous Dallas-Fort Worth Design Guide  — best design site ever AND they are active in Austin and San Antonio, besides DFW. We’ll be sharing some content and Dallas-Fort Worth Design Guide designer tips to help our readers figure out what to put in their second homes, and how to keep it all pulled together.

Now, this calls for a celebratory trip to the Hill Country!