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Photo courtesy of The Boston Globe (KEITH BEDFORD/GLOBE STAFF)

The buzz in Kennebunkport this summer is, once again, the Bush family. They are well loved in these parts. Not only have they had a busy summer of birthday parties and a trip to Maine Medical in Portland, in May the Boston Globe broke the story about a 3,000 square foot “summer cottage” being built for the Jeb Bush family at Walker’s Point just as he commences his presidential campaign:

Jeb Bush, who has a longtime relationship with this seaside town where generations of Bushes have vacationed, is having a house built for him at the family compound on Walker’s Point, with a wraparound porch and expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean.

The home, on a 1.3-acre site assessed by the town at $1.4 million, was initiated for him by his mother and father, who have tried to preserve the family ties to the picturesque property.

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KW ARCHITECTS

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My Beautiful City Austin Heymann

It feels like a trend: Architects are writing books all over the place. Of course, this is a trend we can get behind, especially when architects write fiction as David Heymann, FAIA, has.

Heymann, who designed George W. Bush’s Crawford sustainable compound, will read excerpts from his collection of stories entitled “My Beautiful City Austin” as part of his Fort Worth AIA Design Talk. The event, which is free and open to the public, will kickoff at 7 p.m. at the University of Texas at Arlington’s Fort Worth Center, room 121.

David Heymann, FAIA, designed George W. Bush's Crawford, TX, retreat. (Photo: Architectural Digest)

David Heymann, FAIA, designed George W. Bush’s Crawford, TX, retreat. (Photo: Architectural Digest)

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David Heymann, FAIA

With degrees from Cooper Union and Harvard, a teaching position at the University of Texas School of Architecture, and clients from the very highest walks of life, it seems like writing fiction would be the next big adventure for an award-winning architect. But this is no vanity title, as Heymann’s book has received fabulous reviews. The Texas Observer is calling it a “bracing tonic for the ongoing flood of sentimental, snarky and just plain stupid writing about Texas’ capital … This is an intensely engaging book, the record of a writer intensely engaged with his subject.”

To find out more details on the Heymann and tonight’s Design Talk, hop on over to the Fort Worth AIA calendar of events.

 

7108 Briarmeadow Front

Our dear friend and commenter, Wyman Elrod, sent us this gorgeous North Dallas home. We are just as smitten with it as he is, and for good reason — it’s practically a supermodel!

I feel like I should go ahead and tell you that this home, 7108 Briarmeadow, is about two miles from the Bush family residence. It’s also about four miles from the George W. Bush Presidential Center at SMU, “but we don’t smell anything,” added Elrod. That kidder!

7108 Briarmeadow Living

It’s spacious without being oppressive at three bedrooms, two baths and 2,961 square feet. There are master suites both upstairs and down, too. Fair warning: Both bathrooms are in desperate need of updating. One has awful blue check tile that just makes me nauseated looking at it. And the other is just very blah. I prefer to see them as a great project, though. You can create your own luxury bath! Who doesn’t want that?

7108 Briarmeadow Kitchen

The kitchen is just gorgeous. It has a beamed ceiling and lovely cabinets. The counters are granite and the appliances are all top-notch with a Viking stove and Dacor ovens. I love the island, too, and the kitchen really showcases the herringbone glazed brick floors, which run throughout the first level.

7108 Briarmeadow Master

In the backyard you’ll just fall in love with the pool, which was just resurfaced. In fact, there are tons of updates to the outside of this house, including new siding, a new steel roof, and new windows. There’s also a pool-side cabin with air conditioning.

7108 Briarmeadow Back

And the price isn’t too shabby, either. Coming in at a very reasonable $549,000, you could have this home and some fantastic neighbors. Just ask Elrod.

Allie Beth Allman.new photo.2009Allie Beth Allman’s charm jumps across the phone line from the very first first “hello.” From her West Texas drawl to her thoughtful and gracious answers, I felt like there was no one else she’d rather talk to than me even though I know she’s one of the busiest women in Dallas real estate.  She was somewhat reserved talking about her own accomplishments and I had to prod a bit, but the minute we started talking about her agents, she was animated and full of admiration for their work ethic, character and integrity.

For more than 30 years, Allie Beth Allman has been a real estate legend in Dallas and on the Top 10 List. For three consecutive years she was Dallas County’s Top Producer – head and shoulders above 7000 competing agents. She made national news in 2008 for helping George and Laura Bush find their new home in Preston Hollow. Her company has been named the Consumer’s Choice Award for Business Excellence in the category of Dallas/Fort Worth Executive Home sales three years running. Her team consistently ranks #1 in Park Cities sales and is recognized annually as the most productive single office in Dallas County both for sales and listings. And to crown all those achievements, in 2012 her office had over $1 billion in transactions. Yep. With a “B.” After that amazing billboard went up on Central/75 celebrating their year, we had to find out more.

CD: Where are you from originally? 

Allie Beth: Graham Texas in West Texas.  It is near Possum Kingdom Lake.

CD: How did you get into real estate?

Allie Beth: I came to Dallas originally for college. I went to TCU. Upon graduation I had a job offer in radio and TV with WFAA. I met my husband Pierce Allman there. He was the Program Director.

CD: The same one who witnessed the Kennedy Assassination?

Allie Beth:  Yes. After we got married, I quit working at WFAA and managed some apartments for something to do. In the 1970’s I sold my own home “by owner,” and then a friend asked me to sell hers. And then another friend asked for help and suddenly I was in real estate. I got my license and never looked back. I worked for a while with Hank Dickerson & Company until I had more business than I could handle and I went out on my own in 1985.

Working in the luxury marketplace just happened. I sold Jerry Jones his house on Preston Road when he first moved down here which led to more and more listings in the area. The company grew and I sold it in 1995 to Henry S. Miller so I could retire.

I missed it terribly. Luckily, I have loyal customers who wouldn’t let me retire. Sammons Enterprises, Inc. called me with a project – 130 unit high rise luxury condominium at Crestpark in Highland Park. It was a fun project. I also had many of my previous agents asking if I was going to come out of retirement because they wanted to work with me again. In 2004, I went to Henry Miller and asked him if he would support me in re-opening Allie Beth Allman.  He not only agreed; he gave me his home to list – the Park Plaza condos across the street from the Crestpark.

Since then we’ve grown to over 300 people in our office with over $1 billion in transactions in 2012.

CD: Where is home for you in Dallas?

Allie Beth:  Not only did I sell 130 condo units at the Crestpark in Highland Park, I’ve lived there myself for the past 10 years. I love it. The services and amenities are wonderful and the people are lovely.  We lived on Stratford before that, but it was too much upkeep after our children were gone.

CD: And you drive a… let me guess, Mercedes Benz???

Allie Beth: No. People will probably be surprised to know that I find cars to be unimportant. I drive my cars a long time and don’t care about the latest models.

CD: Do you have a second home?

Allie Beth:  Yes on Possum Kingdom Lake.

CD: What have you learned in 40 years of selling?

Allie Beth: I’m old school from West Texas where your handshake is your bond. I tell my agents always be honest whether you win or lose the sale. Don’t try to sell at a price that isn’t right or tell a customer what they want to hear just to get the listing. Tell the truth. It will pay off in the end. I also tell them to do what they say they are going to do and work with integrity.

If there is a “secret” to our success at Allie Beth Allman, it is excellent and honest customer service. I have the best agents in Dallas. They are smart and on the ball. They are brought in because of their character, strong work ethic and integrity.

CD: Do you still sell yourself?

Allie Beth: My agents handle most of the transactions, but there are always those every year that I do myself because of our friendship and long history together.

CD: What do you like best about real estate?

Allie Beth: I enjoy the thrill of the deal and the wonderful people. I am so happy when the kids and grandkids of my customers come to me to help them with their homes.

CD: What is next for you?

Allie Beth: I take it day at a time. I guess I’ll be Ebby one day. She set such a good example for the rest of us.

The Gingerbread Stroll features the creation of Pastry Chef Randy Gehman (left) of the Four Seasons Resort and Club, shown with longtime Community Partners supporter Mrs. Laura Bush. Also pictured is Executive Chef Christof Syre (right) of the Four Seasons.

This is a home tour you can sink your teeth into! Dave Perry-Miller agent Christine McKenny sent us this great photo of longtime Community Partners supporter Laura Bush with one amazing gingerbread house at this year’s Gingerbread Stroll.

Intrigued? Then head over to Celebrity Cafe & Bakery in Highland Park Village before Nov. 30 and vote for your favorite gingerbread house created by some of the top pastry chefs in Dallas. These aren’t your ordinary amateur creations, folks. These are amazing miniature mansions and are completely edible!

When you vote, you’re entered to win a ton of great prizes, too:

– Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek Overnight Stay & Breakfast Certificate
– Holiday Carriage Ride Departing from Highland Park Village
– $150 SER Steak + Spirits Gift Card, Hilton Anatole
– Dinner for Two at Cafe on the Green, Four Seasons Resort and Club
– $100 Highland Park Village Gift Card
– $100 Celebrity Cafe & Bakery Gift Card
– $100 Tom Thumb Gift Card
– Carolina Herrera Candle

If you’re feeling a little hungry after voting in the Gingerbread Stroll, which benefits Community Partners of Dallas, get a gingerbread cookie to snack on. A portion of the proceeds from gingerbread cookie sales will go to Community Partners, too!