When a condo is first built and still controlled by the developer, HOA dues are kept low to not scare off buyers. Once the developer is gone, those payments have to be reassessed to ensure they meet the needs of the ongoing repair and maintenance of the building. (Hint, they’re not.) The Mayfair, neighboring Lee Oak Lawn Park, is 18 years old, and like all buildings, various maintenance requirements need to be met. 

Soon after the Mayfair gained independence, they began conducting reserve studies that detailed the condition  of their infrastructure, its life expectancy, and estimated costs to repair or replace.  As you know, I’m big on HOAs doing reserve studies to avoid surprises that typically equate to a special assessment and/or the sudden failure of a critical element of a building (That noise you heard? Surprise! The A/C will be out for the month of August).

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[Editor’s Note: This column reflects the opinion of the writer. It is not to be interpreted as the editorial position of CandysDirt.com]

The recent brouhaha surrounding Confederate monuments is a furtherance of the elimination of the Confederate flag that has gained steam in reaction to the white-supremacist leanings of our president and his supporters. It’s a pretty easy series of events to break down, made easier when our sitting president has David Duke stumping for him.  Ahh, David Duke, whose Wikipedia page opens with, “David Ernest Duke is an American white nationalist, politician, anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist, Holocaust denier, convicted felon, and former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.”
(Every parent’s dream.)

Prior to a few months ago, when you didn’t think about Confederate monuments at all, you may have thought these statues were the last remnants of a bygone and painful era never to be repeated again.  You’d be wrong.  Humanity habitually repeats history by changing the lyrics to the same tune.

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This statue of Robert E. Lee overlooks Lee Park in Dallas. Could removing this statue celebrating a controversial Confederate leader hurt Turtle Creek real estate?

[Editor’s Note: This post reflects the opinion of the writer and should not be interpreted as the editorial position of CandysDirt.com.]

I lived in Dallas for at least 10 years when I asked someone, “Who is Lee Park named after?” I assumed it was a great city forefather.

Robert E. Lee, I was told; the man who surrendered to Union troops in the bitter War Between the States, the only civil war in U.S. history.

Now, a movement that is growing like a snowball rolling down a mountainside — and crescendoed Saturday night at an anti-hate rally reportedly attended by thousands in front of Dallas City Hall — wants our city to rid itself of Lee Park’s eponymous statue. Duke University removed their statutes yesterday. However, this is also not an overnight movement: some Dallas City Council members have been working on a removal since last April.

I’m not sure if changing the name of the park will follow. The statue was built in Dallas during the Depression in 1936, when the Civil War was well over. Though the war ended, deeply rooted racism was not wiped out with Lee’s unconditional surrender at Appomatox Courthouse in 1865.

I’m not a native Southerner, so I have to wonder why the statue was erected in the first place. This is not Lee’s hometown; he was a native of Virginia. After Virginia, Texas has the largest collection of  Robert E. Lee monuments in the nation.

Why look up to a man who fought to let human beings own other human beings?

And last week, Jennifer Staubach Gates, City Councilwoman in District 13, who is making a lot of mayoral-like noise, wrote her conservative, wealthy constituents that the statue must come down:

My office has received a number of inquiries about the removal of Confederate statues in the City of Dallas, so I want to be clear on my position. 

I strongly support the removal of these statues. Symbols of white supremacy, neo-Nazis, the KKK or other hate groups are unacceptable and must be removed from public spaces that serve all of our citizens, including our public schools. The issue should not be whether or not they are removed, but rather the process of how they are removed, and I look forward to an open dialog on moving forward. 

The sooner we complete this process and remove these unacceptable symbols in public spaces, the stronger we will be as a City. If you have questions about this issue or thoughts on the process, please feel free to contact my office.

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William Briggs

Integration of landscape and architectural ornament create a sense of peace and repose in this William Briggs-designed home in Dallas. Photo: James Edward

When hiring an architect, a lot of people think mostly in terms of the style of their home and details they want in the house. Makes perfect sense, right?

But a truly successful relationship between architect and client begins with a different way of thinking, says William Briggs, founder and owner of William S. Briggs Architects. He’s on a mission to transform the conversations he has with clients and move deeper.

“The real issues are space, materials, light, and how they support a life within them,” said Briggs. “Ornament and style should only be seen as servants to these larger ideas.”

Briggs wants his clients thinking about how they live their lives, how they use their space, and how they function within their home. He wants to create classic homes, no matter the style, that stand the test of time.

“When an architect meets with a client, the client has certain preferences and tastes borne out of how they see their life to be lived,” he said. “It’s incumbent on the architect to listen carefully and give them best version of what that means. Once you can do that, the project will stand the test of time and be refreshing for years to come.”

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Renaissance - Poston Map

In January, the lots located at 3407 and 3409 North Hall Street were reported in DCAD to have been sold to TDRE Lee Park LLC. The actual owner is currently masked behind the LLC with a local address of 4100 Spring Valley Road, Suite 310, in Dallas. However, TDRE Lee Park is a Houston registered LLC, set up by Houston attorney John W. Wood who acts as the registered agent for over 200 LLCs largely located in Houston. Wood is a pretty successful guy who lives in the tony Tanglewood section of Houston – meaning the Poston plots are unlikely to have been purchased by a Mom and Pop looking to restore the property.

TDRE Lee Park LLC is one of three TDRE-named LLCs all registered by Wood and include TDRE Hood LLC that was registered on the same day as TDRE Lee Park LLC (Dec. 22, 2015) and TDRE Investments LLC registered on April 2, 2015. Like all LLCs managed by Wood, they all share the same Houston address (which is meaningless as it’s no more than a mail drop). None of the three list any officers and I suspect they are owned by the same person/organization.

TDRE Hood LLC may hint at a property acquisition on Hood Street, but there is currently nothing in DCAD about any TDRE ownership outside the former Poston properties on Hall Street. Pure speculation, but … there is certainly room along Hood Street to tear down redevelop any number of aging low-rises in this VERY HOT area of Turtle Creek.

In reviewing zoning, lots 3407 and 3409 North Hall account for a sliver less than a half-acre. Given a residential MF-2 listing within the PD-193 area, this limits the parcel to 60 units per acre unless it’s designated commercial, which DCAD says it is. In this case, commercial-designated parcels within PD-193 can accommodate 160 units per acre. However, setback requirements have scuttled deals in the past.

Stay tuned to CandysDirt.com for more as it becomes known.

Remember: Do you have an HOA story to tell? A little high-rise history? Realtors, want to feature a listing in need of renovation or one that’s complete with flying colors? How about hosting a Candy’s Dirt Staff Meeting? Shoot Jon an email. Marriage proposals accepted (they’re legal)! sharewithjon@candysdirt.com

Turtle Creek dallasTurtle Creek is a tony neighborhood in Dallas, with lovely parks, historically significant architecture, and the largest collection of residential highrises in the city.

Addresses in Turtle Creek are typically associated with big bucks—according to city-data.com, the average estimated value of detached houses in 2010 was $791,697 (compare that to a city-wide average of $236,454). But there are deals to be had if you’re willing to live in a smaller highrise unit.

Today, we’re looking at a condo in the Renaissance On Turtle Creek, 3225 Turtle Creek Blvd. #1533B, a 1-1 with 831 square feet. It is situated along the eponymous Turtle Creek and offers a sophisticated residence and private suite floor with keycard access for under $200K.

Turtle Creek dallasThe Renaissance condos were built in 1998 and this unit has monthly HOA fees of $449. That includes an underground parking space, access to a health and fitness center, dry sauna, swimming pool and sundeck, Jacuzzi, business center, a 24-hour doorman, complimentary valet parking, and concierge services.

This condo is newly listed by Joe Kobell at Ebby Halliday Realtors for $198,500.

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"Sham" says it all.

“Sham” says it all.

Last night, a coward was busy in Lee Park trying to put forth their agenda of erasing the past – or more likely trying to “go viral” on the Internet. Somehow emboldened by recent events surrounding the Confederate flag’s removal on everything from state capital buildings to The Dukes of Hazzard‘s own General Lee, someone too afraid of dialogue took to blaring their ill-spaced thoughts in Krylon.

Personally, I think flying outdated flags and clutching equally outdated symbols are dubious pursuits no matter the context. Imagine flying the British Union Jack at U.S. government buildings. It’s today, not yesterday. It’s a flag pole, not a history class film strip.

But aesthetics aside, flags and symbols often carry personal weight for those on both sides of their meaning – especially symbols born of conflict. The confederate flag being flown in public areas is a daily reminder of not only the historical tension over slavery that spawned the war, but also of the “sore loser” who uses it to demonstrate the racial motives it represents. To still fly the Confederate flag over a century later is only evidence of ideological stagnation. For a government to fly it demonstrates that, while it’s supposedly the protector of the downtrodden, the government itself sees its own citizens as unworthy of that protection or respect.

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3225 Turtle Creek A

An address on Turtle Creek Boulevard has a certain cachet in Dallas, and often come at a hefty price tag, so an affordable listing always catches my eye.

In today’s Tuesday Two Hundred, we’re looking at a high-rise condo at 3225 Turtle Creek Boulevard in the Renaissance on Turtle Creek. Unit 620B is priced at $259,000 with 1,154 square feet. It is a 2-2, located on the sixth floor of the south building, which has 16 floors. It is listed by Sue Krider at Allie Beth Allman & Associates.

The Renaissance is located near the intersection of Cedar Springs Road and Turtle Creek, in close proximity to Downtown Dallas, Uptown, Oak Lawn, and the Park Cities. In addition to urban lifestyle options, the condo is also steps from Lee Park and one block from the Beasley entrance to the Katy Trail. The actual Turtle Creek has green spaces, parks, and walking paths, as well.

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