Sunday may be a day of rest, but it seems that journalists, politicians, and Twitter never really rest, and that was borne out yesterday when Dallas city councilmember Jennifer Gates took to Twitter to air her feelings about a recent op-ed about Preston Center traffic woes that former Mayor and Preston Hollow resident Laura Miller wrote for the Dallas Morning News.

We were, of course, sitting up for this super straight. Because over at CandysDirt.com, we’ve been writing about Pink Wall/Preston Center shenanigans for years now, and our own Jon Anderson has been doggedly covering the issues Miller wrote about — to a different conclusion, natch — for years now as he covers PD-15. And before he picked up the baton, Candy was writing about it as well. Candy has also been transparent about owning property there, as does Miller (through her husband, Steve Wolens, who inherited an Athena unit) except she was not so transparent. And we were the first media outlet to report the terrible Preston Place condo fire in which a woman lost her life.

Miller wrote in the Dallas Morning News about the prospects for the Pink Wall and Preston Center (and that interchange), and then said this:

“On the other side of Preston Center, council member Jennifer Gates and Plan Commissioner Margot Murphy have been pushing for 18 months to up-zone the 12 acres in and around the Athena and Preston Tower so developers can demolish four low-rise condo complexes and replace them with rental-apartment towers as high as 25 stories. Hal Anderson, who designed and developed the iconic Pink Wall community 60 years ago — one of the last fully owner-occupied, tree-lined, condo communities in Dallas — would be heartbroken.”

And that was news to a lot of people, including Jon (more on that in a minute), who not only lives at The Athena but has been faithfully covering the meetings surrounding the issue for years, and, apparently, to Gates, who took to Twitter to insist she hadn’t taken a position, and in fact had been seeking neighborhood input

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cedars

The Cedars Collection’s Park Plaza project, located at 2000 Park Ave., will offer 13 units at a $399,000 price point.

In the beginning, the Cedars was a bustling community that was also a Dallas hot-spot — and it remained so from its beginning in the 1870s until the 1920s, as the more wealthy denizens of the neighborhood moved on. By the 1960s, the neighborhood took a hit from progress, as homes saw the wrecking ball to make way for highway projects. 

But the area is having a bit of a renaissance. The artists, musicians and longtime residents of the Cedars will tell you that it’s always been percolating. But once again, new development is beginning to sprout, and the area is attracting new businesses, too.

Some of that burgeoning development comes courtesy of the Cedars Collection, which is working to take its substantial land holdings in the neighborhood and turn it into walkable development with townhomes, condos, apartments, live/work spaces, and retail space.

We wrote last week (in our CandysDirt.com Open Houses of the Week feature) about the group’s first project — Hickory Vista, where there is one townhome remaining.

The view of the city skyline from the rooftop deck at the Hickory Vista project.

But Coldwell Banker Realtor Courtney Michalek told us that she’s also  now pre-selling their upcoming 13-unit project at 2000 Park Ave., where the homes will sell for $399,000.

The Park Plaza Project

She’s also holding a broker’s open house at the Park Plaza project Tuesday, Dec. 11, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., where brokers can come hear about the Cedars Collection plans for the neighborhood, as well as get the skinny on the pre-sale, and even have some breakfast (they’ll have donuts, coffee, and mimosas).

But before then, we got a little bit of the scoop, courtesy Brian Jennings of Charter Investments, who is one of the developers for the Cedars Collection. (more…)

slowdown

Where did Dallas fall in a list of metro areas experiencing a market slowdown? How did home sales in Dallas and Fort Worth compare to statewide numbers?

We have all this and more in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

DALLAS IN TOP 10 METROS EXPERIENCING BIGGEST SLOWDOWNS

After a spate of headlines about a slowdown — or even sputter — in the housing market, Realtor.com took a look at the 10 metro areas experiencing the biggest shifts. On the list, Dallas comes in at No. 8.

“To be clear, prices aren’t always dropping in these places, which are predominantly located on the West Coast,” the piece reiterates. “Mostly, they’re decelerating, coming back down to earth. So bargain hunters can put their wallets away.”

However, the report also says that things like surging amounts of inventory and number of days on market could also signal market adjustments are happening — list prices rose this year (from October 2017 to October 2018), but only by 7.3 percent nationally, less than the 10 percent increase in 2017.

“There’s a rebalancing that needs to happen,” says Freddie Mac deputy chief economist Len Kiefer told Realtor.com. “Prices have risen so high in some of these markets that it’s very tough from an affordability perspective [for buyers]. … It’s not surprising to me that we’re seeing a little bit of a leveling off.”

In other words, the bubble isn’t popping — but the bathwater is leveling. (more…)

Freelance

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

From staff reports

The gig economy means that more and more people are taking the plunge and working for themselves — often in a freelance capacity. The freedom of choosing projects, being your own boss, and working from home can be attractive to many.

But how much do you need to work to be able to afford to live in your city? A recent COMMERCIALCafe study compared average monthly housing expenses and a variety of coworking options that freelancers might choose in different metro areas. The results were enlightening.

Census data shows states like Texas, Florida, Nevada, Utah and Colorado’s population growing by double-digits since 2010,” the company said. “In Texas, six counties―Harris, Tarrant, Bexar, Dallas, Denton and Collin — are among the top 10 net gainers in terms of numbers.”

The south had the most freelance workers — 37 percent of those responding said they worked in the region. Plano and Houston were among the best picks, in fact, for those who wanted access to a private office at an affordable price. (more…)

pagewoodThis week’s Saturday Seven Hundred near Pagewood Park may feel like a Midcentury Ranch straight from the Sixties, but in reality, it’s a well-done and impeccably updated 1986 Contemporary with plenty of space for entertaining.

The one-story ranch is located at 10819 Pagewood Place, on a corner cul de sac lot. With 3,204 square feet of well-designed living space, vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors, and plenty of windows with natural light make the open floor plan feel spacious and gracious. (more…)

Bellaire Park Court

According to Laver’s Law, 3509 Bellaire Park Court, lies somewhere between amusing and quaint. James Laver was an esteemed and influential curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum who enunciated a timeline for the cycle of fashion, receiving a Neiman Marcus Fashion Award in 1962. Ten years ago, you might have lethargically said this house was so 70’s. Now,  you would enthusiastically say the multi-level residence, embedded into a tree-lined hill, is so 70’s! (more…)

 

Lewis McKnight with McKnight And Associates has listed 5732 Llano Ave. for $474,000.

For people who want to live in the heart of Dallas, it can be hard to find an eye-catching, updated home that’s affordable without sacrificing location. But this week’s Friday Four Hundred is all that and more, and sits right off Greenville Avenue. One look at the photos, and you’ll see why this Craftsman cutie is causing a stir.

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islands

Photo courtesy Pexels.com

We all have our own list of things that are on trend, but maybe don’t excite us. Shiplap. Inspirational phrases on walls. Soaking tubs. But when one writer said she hated her kitchen island, we decided to ask our readers if they harbored similar disgruntlement against the fairly ubiquitous feature.

Realtor.com writer Cathie Ericson said:

“Kitchen islands are so popular, in fact, that most homeowners fall into one of two camps: those who have a kitchen island, and those who wistfully wish they did.

I fall into the former. But after years of hosting countless dinner parties with guests gathered round, perched on barstools, pouring out their hearts over glasses of merlot, I have a confession to make.

I hate my kitchen island.”

She lists several reasons — guests linger at the island instead of mingling throughout other parts of her home, the island is a magnet for clutter, it brings people to the food before you’re done preparing it, and that it invites people barstool quarterback your cooking technique.

All of these things, however, don’t sound much to me like it’s the island’s fault. Why not set out appetizers and drinks in another part of the house, or provide some kind of activity that is nowhere near your kitchen. Or, you know, just simply say, “I’m sorry, the food’s not quite ready yet, but feel welcome to have Joe mix you a drink over at the bar cart?”

We took to Facebook and Instagram to ask our readers what they thought. (more…)