The AD EX — formerly the Dallas Center for Architecture — launched its new digs at Republic Center to go with its new name Dec. 8. (Photo: Craig D. Blackmon, FAIA)

There’s a new spot for your architecture and design fix in downtown Dallas from a source you’ll recognize. The AD EX — formerly the Dallas Center for Architecture and short for The Architecture and Design Exchange — had its official launch on Saturday, Dec. 8. The organization held the celebration with Downtown Dallas Inc. and the Better Block Foundation in its new digs located at Republic Center, which is near Thanks-Giving Square. Even with the new name and location, the Ad Ex will have the same great programming, including diverse exhibits, weekly free Lunch Learning Sessions, and guided architecture tours.

If you’re already intrigued, you can stop by between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, with late and weekend hours of 8 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

Photo: Craig D. Blackmon, FAIA

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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…)

downtown

The rooftop deck of this townhome in the Cedars is one of two homes in this week’s roundup of open houses with downtown Dallas views.

If you’ve been thinking about moving closer to downtown Dallas, but weren’t sure which downtown-adjacent neighborhood you wanted to live in, or whether you wanted to be smack-dab in downtown, we have some great options this week.

Every Thursday, we bring you our pick of the hottest North Texas properties in our CandysDirt.com Open Houses of the Week. These are the places you don’t want to miss that weekend. And this week, our homes are in Belmont West, the Cedars, and the Farmers Market areas.

This week, our homes range in price from $439,000 to $575,000. Which ones will you visit?

BRAND-NEW BELMONT WEST CUTIE

Open house: Dec. 8, 2-4 p.m.

When we asked Coldwell Banker Residential Realtor Alex Prins where he was hanging out this weekend, he pointed us to this new construction west of the Belmont Hotel at 1213 Walmsley Ave.

“This new build is like a dream!” he told us. “Floor the ceiling windows, tons of sunlight, hand-scraped hardwoods, 12-foot ceilings, and so much more!” (more…)

Developer Tanya Ragan of Wildcat Management is hosting an event from noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 27 that will collect new or gently used handbags filled with toiletries and necessities for the “Pack the Purse” event.

It’s probably more than a coincidence that developer Tanya Ragan of Wildcat Management is both hard at work fixing up the Purse Building in downtown Dallas’ West End and hosting a “Pack the Purse” event from noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 27. While the Purse building will likely be packed full of occupants by its completion, Ragan is getting a chance to pack a different kind of purse in the meantime. 

The event, a partnership with the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, is a way to get new and gently used handbags full of the kinds of everyday necessities women and children require to look and feel as successful as possible. For Pack the Purse, Ragan is asking the community to donate these handbags, as well as hygiene and grooming products that will fill the purses. The bags will then be donated to the Strong Start program, which focuses on providing the foundation for the lifelong love of learning and giving parents the tools they need so their children have the skills to enter kindergarten ready for a strong start in life. The event will be held at Full City Rooster Roasting Company in Dallas located at 1810 S. Akard St., #100 Dallas, TX 75215.

“It is so important for women to be a support system for each other and empower one another through acts of kindness and encouragement,” Ragan said. “It’s an honor to be able to use my time to support these women and help provide them with the essentials needed to successfully manage their day to day activities.” 

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Life in downtown Dallas is vibrant with lots of residential real estate options, from industrial loft to chic and sleek in the sky. So much has changed over the past 10 years! 

In this week’s Splurge vs Steal, we’re looking at downtown Dallas living and two higher-end options. Which one is your favorite?  

 

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Texas is known for its barbecue, but you don’t have to hit up a restaurant to enjoy the state’s favorite cuisine. Pick the right apartment, and you’ll be able to do your own grilling when the weather is warm. These are our favorite Dallas apartments with upscale barbecue grills so you can impress guests and perfect your ribs recipe.

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The Purse Building, located at 601 Elm Street, will be the visual gateway to the historic West End district of downtown Dallas. The restoration of the 113-year-old building has begun, and will be complete in 15 to 18 months. (Images: Wildcat Management)

“I’ve spent almost the last 12 years downtown. I was there when no one wanted to be there,” says Tanya Ragan, President of Wildcat Management and one of the few female commercial developers in Dallas. “I know that when you talk about the Central Business District, you are really talking about 15 distinctly different districts.”

Tanya Ragan

One of those is the West End, an area Ragan describes as almost a “Boston within Dallas” now loading with offices, restaurants, retail, and some residential.

“The offices are central — so close to downtown and the core,” she says. “You can hop on DART. Or you can walk outside and still see cobbled streets.”

Now the Minnesota native is taking one of the oldest buildings in downtown’s West End at 601 Elm Street and restoring it into a hub for the very kind of end users that are finding their way to Dallas.

“For over a decade, the biggest story in Dallas real estate has been the redevelopment of the city center. With the rehabilitation of the Purse Building, we’re bringing that energy to the West End,” Ragan said.  “We want to encourage technical innovation and smart city solutions, while preserving the neighborhood’s amazing heritage.”

We know it’s Statler Hilton Week in Dallas, the official grand opening of the historic hotel that will revitalize downtown Dallas dramatically. 

This is also the official grand opening of the Statler Residences, though they are already occupied. In fact, 68.49% of the 150 separate units are occupied.

(Not sure whether that .49% is a coat closet or what.)

Whatever, wanna take a look inside these very cool homes? (more…)