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It was probably the most beautiful memorial service most of us will ever attend, and it was totally befitting Ebby Halliday Acers, the Duchess of Dallas Real Estate as her pastor, Dr. Jim Denison, called her. The sanctuary at Park Cities Baptist Church on Thursday afternoon was loaded, as was the balcony, and I’m told it holds 3000. The church hall, which holds another 1000, was set up for the overflow.

The afternoon service was laced with beautiful music, beginning with a performance by the Happy Hill Farm Academy choir, Happy Hill being one of the many charities Ebby supported.

Mary Frances Burleson, president and CEO of Ebby Halliday Realtors, remembered Ebby first. Mary Frances started with the company as a temporary secretary, who Ebby asked to stay on permanently. Back then she said she made about $2.50 an hour — “Ebby was my graduate school,” she said. (more…)

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.

 

PHEHOA

The homeowners who live in the single family neighborhood just to the north of The Pink Wall — that is, the small cluster of multi-family living at the north east corner of Northwest Highway and Preston Road — is the Preston Hollow East Homeowner’s Association. PHEHA consists of all single family homes located within the street boundaries from the North Dallas Tollway to Hillcrest, Joyce Way to Del Norte. Trivia: this includes 6029 Northwood, which was once the home of former President George and Laura Bush. The association has drafted a petition on Change.org that already has 282 signatures and growing plus numerous comments.

Their message is pretty obvious: they are petitioning City Councilman Lee Kleinman and Jennifer Staubach Gates to vote AGAINST rezoning the south west tip of the Pink Wall to accommodate an 8-story (on one end) tall, $80 to $100 million proposed apartment complex. From reading most of the comments, it seems clear that the biggest beef is the potential increase in traffic at the Northwest Highway/Preston Road intersection:

It bring too much additional traffic into our neighborhood where people walk, ride and run with children and animals. The intersection at Preston and NW Highway is already a traffic nightmare. These are rental properties which we already have too many of in that area. No ownership means they won’t ‘own’ the neighborhood and care for it either. AND, the building is too high and invades the privacy of the surrounding homes. Bad precedent, period.

Here is the petition, and here is what it says:

Currently, there is a 24 unit apartment complex on the corner and 12 town homes behind them.  The area would be torn down and 300 units would be developed.

The current zoning (MF-1) allows for three stories. The developers will submit a re-zoning application for a planned development that will include an 8 story high-rise.

If this development was approved, our neighborhood landscape would change drastically.  We want to keep that neighborhood feel.

This development would cause:

-Increased Traffic at an already crowded intersection

-Increased Density (up to 550 additional residents in that 3 acre area)

-Loss of neighborhood feel

-An 8 story High-Rise looking into our yards and homes

-Decreased in Ownership vs Increase rental Properties

-Effect on city service

PHEHOAThe homeowners who live in the single family neighborhood just to the north of The Pink Wall — that is, the small cluster of multi-family living at the north east corner of Northwest Highway and Preston Road — is the Preston Hollow East Homeowner’s Association. PHEHA consists of all single family homes located within the street boundaries from the North Dallas Tollway to Hillcrest, Joyce Way to Del Norte. Trivia: this includes 6029 Northwood, which was once the home of former President George and Laura Bush. The association has drafted a petition on Change.org that already has 282 signatures and growing plus numerous comments.

Their message is pretty obvious: they are petitioning City Councilman Lee Kleinman and Jennifer Staubach Gates to vote AGAINST rezoning the south west tip of the Pink Wall to accommodate an 8-story (on one end) tall, $80 to $100 million proposed apartment complex. From reading most of the comments, it seems clear that the biggest beef is the potential increase in traffic at the Northwest Highway/Preston Road intersection:

It bring too much additional traffic into our neighborhood where people walk, ride and run with children and animals. The intersection at Preston and NW Highway is already a traffic nightmare. These are rental properties which we already have too many of in that area. No ownership means they won’t ‘own’ the neighborhood and care for it either. AND, the building is too high and invades the privacy of the surrounding homes. Bad precedent, period.

Here is the petition, and here is what it says:

Currently, there is a 24 unit apartment complex on the corner and 12 town homes behind them.  The area would be torn down and 300 units would be developed.

The current zoning (MF-1) allows for three stories. The developers will submit a re-zoning application for a planned development that will include an 8 story high-rise.

If this development was approved, our neighborhood landscape would change drastically.  We want to keep that neighborhood feel.

This development would cause:

-Increased Traffic at an already crowded intersection

-Increased Density (up to 550 additional residents in that 3 acre area)

-Loss of neighborhood feel

-An 8 story High-Rise looking into our yards and homes

-Decreased in Ownership vs Increase rental Properties

-Effect on city service

Five-living-presidents-at-George-W.-Bush-Presidential-Center-dedication-in-Dallas_160512

Courtesy Alex Wong/Getty

Several Dallas Realtors attended yesterday’s remarkable dedication for the George W. Bush Presidential Center, including independent agent Mickey Stuart and Dave Perry-Miller’s Steve Collins. I have not heard from her yet, but am certain Allie Beth Allman and Pierce were included, and Kari Schlegel may have accompanied her parents. Mickey, a Dartmouth buddy, gave me a full report, and shared some fabulous photos:Bush Center DART

Bush Center Busses 2 “One of the most interesting things was riding DART — because of security they had blocked off all the streets around SMU so people were encouraged to use DART. Basically, it was unless you have a motorcycle escort do not have anyone dropping you off. I live north, so I took a Dart bus to the Richardson Arapaho station where I got on the red line rail line for the first time (!) and headed south down Central down to Mockingbird Station. I think we arrived about 8:00 a.m. Shuttle busses were waiting to take us to the event at SMU, where golf carts took everybody closer to the seating area. You had to have your ticket and photo ID. Securing was as tight as airport security, you had to walk through a metal detector,  but everyone was gracious and not intrusive. (Note: Mickey did get “wanded”.) It was a gorgeous day, cloudless sky, great day to be outdoors. I saw folding chairs set up for 10,000 people. Because of my long-time relationship with GWB, I somehow got into the VIP Section right in front of podium, sitting with Ohio Senator Robert Portman (also a Dartmouth grad), Jim Baker, Karl Rove, Don Evans, Rex Tillerson, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, David Dewhurst, Tom Ridge and Dick Cheney.

Bush Center lawn Bush Center crowd seatingNearby were Governor Chris Christie, Ted Cruz,  John Cornyn, Mike Rawlings, Ed Cox, Bush Center VIP empty seatsBush Center CornynRay Hunt, Trevor Rees Jones,  Steve Collins, Rick Perry,  Nancy Dedman, Alphonso Jackson (now head of JP Morgan Chase banking ops in NYC), Jim Baker, Jerry Ford,  Jerry Jones and respective spouses.Bush Center First Ladies Bush Center Laura and Barbara Bush Bush Center Jimmy Carter Bush Center Condi Rice Bush Center Clinton Bush Center 41 Bush Center Obama

Military buglers lined the top of the new center. The First Ladies walked out first, took their seats, then came the presidents. Condoleeza Rice came up and welcomed the visiting dignitaries from other countries, like former prime minister JapanYoshihiko Noda,  the prime minister of Australia John Howard, Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi, Secretary General of NATO, and the former president of Ghana. Tony Blair was there, also. All presidents spoke in this order: Carter, Clinton, H.W. Bush, and Obama, each saying nice things. Then Laura Bush spoke, and then George W. did his magic.

Bush Center GWB

There was a VIP reception at the Bush center immediately after, then a VIP luncheon set up with 30 or 40 tables. Then it was back to Mockingbird Station, DART to Richardson and the bus.

Thursday night was the invitation-only block party for members of the SMU community and Bush people, very informal, about 3000 people plus great food from the food trucks. There was a soundstage with Jack Ingram, then when it got dark people were invited to the Bush Center where they lit Freedom Hall for the very first time and set off fireworks outside.

Bush-Presidential-Center-Opening-Ron-Kirk_152045

Courtesy Jerry McClure

Then back to the shuttles and DART. It was really a very memorable experience and once in a life-time opportunity, and Jeanne Johnson Phillips pulled it off flawlessly!”

Bush-Presidential-Center-freedom-lighting-crowd_142357 Bush-Presidential-Center-freedom-lighting-crowd_142540

 

 

 

 

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!

 

I figure that once you leave the White House, you might be a little weary of pomp, circumstance and overdosing on traditional. Laura Bush is said to vastly prefer clean lines in her home decor, I guess that’s what all that Williamsburg cherry ball and claw does to you after eight years! So why not make your NEXT White House a striking, clean as a whistle contemporary like this uber mod baby by Lionel Morrison, he of the $9.75 million  Northaven home design fame (off the market, currently), One Arts Plaza, among many, many others. 3215 Princeton boasts three bedrooms, three and a half baths in 3680 square feet with excellent natural light, fourteen-foot ceilings, limestone walls, art lighting, built-ins, rich, warm hued hardwoods and a wall of magnificent floor to ceiling windows (with retractable electronic shades) that overlook a lap pool, picturesque fountain and outdoor fireplace. Priced at $2.4 million. The only problem I can see is the home’s address on Princeton Avenue. Say what? I’m not saying Princeton is NOT one of the most prestigious addys in town, but most recent presidents have hailed from Yale and Harvard.

Well, guess we could always make an Ivy League exception!