Mark Cuban must really be celebrating this year.

According to my colleague Neal Leiterg at The LA Times, Cuban just bought a $25.5 Laguna mansion. And tough Shark Tank negotiator he is, Cuban reportedly paid only $19 million for it plus some change. And even more, the mansion is located in a very exclusive Laguna residential neighborhood, tucked into the coveted front row of Montage Residences overlooking the ocean. The views are incredible, the interiors California contemporary. Mahogany and glass doors disappear into the walls, merging vast indoor indoor areas to the outdoors seamlessly, revealing breath-taking views of Catalina Island. High ceilings complete the airy ambience and I cannot even fathom what the Pacific sunsets look like from this home. Laguna Beach is one of the most famous resort and luxury home communities in the world, with magnificent coastlines, pristine coves, white sand beaches, and breathtaking cliffs. Celebrities and business titans are all drawn to Laguna’s communities, and with good reason. Montage is an ocean-front Laguna resort community. And if you have never been to a Montage property, oh my: think the Ritz Carlton on steroids! Montage International is a luxury hotel and resort management company founded by Alan Fuerstman and based in Orange County, California. 

Cuban’s pride and joy company, the Dallas Mavericks, has been in the news this past year as a veritable poster child for the #MeToo movement. That is, a poster child of how bad it is to work in some environments if you are female.

But as soon as the misconduct became known, Cuban took quick action  and hired a Dustbuster to turn his company’s culture around: Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall.

I hope she gets to check out these digs! (more…)

Preston Hollow Estate

I admit it; I’m hard to impress. Writing about luxury properties several times a week pushes the bar higher and higher. So, when I find a home like this Preston Hollow estate, I’m not just excited to share it with you, I’m over the moon. Superlatives simply don’t do justice to this three-story custom mansion at 9236 Hollow Way Road. It sits on just under an acre of land, and if you need an extra basketball, Mark Cuban is within walking distance, and no doubt has a few lying around. (more…)

Toor lockbox

Junior Desinor

UPDATE, 10:30 pm: Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban totally got it, but in the end Kevin O’Leary and Barbara ended up investing in TOOR: $300K loan, $200K investment. I’ll have a full background story next week!

We couldn’t be more excited and more proud of our own Junior Desinor. That is, Garcia Junior Desinor. We first met when I was editing DallasDirt over at DMagazine, and he was a rookie agent at Keller Williams Turtle Creek, where he landed fresh from Texas tech, where he had already been buying and flipping homes, churning funds from a business he started while still an undergraduate, R&J Party Supply. Next he started his own brokerage on McKinney, Level properties, totally unique with salaried agents and even a company car. Then came Toor, Junior’s uniquely conceived smart lockbox for real estate. Bluetooth- and cellular-enabled, it allows agents and buyers to request home showings with the push of a button on a custom smartphone app/scheduling tool.

Now Junior is headed to the big leagues: from bouncy houses to flips to disrupting the entire real estate industry, you can see him in action tonight on ABC’s Shark Tank, all because of this.

Toor lockbox

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8600 Douglas Exterior

If Preston Hollowers felt a disturbance in The Force in June, it was likely the transfer of the latest Preston Hollow estate near Northwest Highway and Preston Road to Mark Cuban.  The billionaire continues his crusade to own the entire northwest quadrant of that intersection.

The property at 8600 Douglas Avenue is the former home of Dallas personal injury attorney Andrew Sommerman.  It was last listed for sale at $4.25 million by Dave Perry-Miller’s Gianna Cerullo.  The home was sold on June 3 for $4.15 million. Ever accurate, DCAD values the home at just $2.813 million after a 5.5 percent rise in 2016, its first since construction. The buyer’s agent was a non-MLS member, likely an attorney.

The 7,169-square-foot David Stocker-designed home (and quarters … and tennis court) was built in 2013 by Tatum Brown and contains four bedrooms and four full baths plus two half baths.  It sits on a 1.76 acre lot.

Shortly after the deed transfer, the home was relisted by Cerullo as a rental for the princely sum of $22,000 per month.  Truthfully, I was going to automatically write that this was the most expensive rental in Dallas because … it just had to be, right? Nope. Checking the MLS, I see it’s only the second most expensive rental in town, falling $500 per month behind 5138 Deloache’s $22,500 per month … one of three rentals currently in the $20K-plus-per-month club.

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Ebby Exterior No Clouds

The iconic Little White House at Preston Road and Northwest Highway has been a fixture in the neighborhood since Ebby Halliday purchased it in 1964. (Photos: Ebby Halliday Realtors)

So much change is happening at the intersection of Preston Road and Northwest Highway. New luxury apartments are being built on the northeast corner of this busy intersection, construction cones seem a permanent fixture on the southwest corner, and Mark Cuban has bought up several lots nearby and razed the existing homes.

But the northwest corner, home of Ebby Halliday’s Little White House — the signature office of the grand dame of Dallas real estate — isn’t changing anytime soon. In fact, the iconic building was just renovated to perfection, offering gorgeous interiors for clients and the latest technology to the Ebby Halliday Realtors who office there.

“The vision for our remodel was an updated, usable, relevant space that works better; one that allows for easy collaboration between agents and staff,” said Keith Newman, the office’s sales manager. “As part of the remodel, every surface was touched, from the lobby, conference rooms, agent offices and workspaces, even the kitchen and bathrooms. While consistent with the office’s exterior, our interior is all-new, with artwork from local galleries, including paintings and vintage sculptures.”

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Preston-Center-640

I bet the task force members thought I’d given them a Christmas present by not writing up the Dec. 3 meeting. Nope. I was just outta town. So what happened at that meeting (you didn’t show up for)?

First was a recap of a Nov. 3 meeting, the Task Force open house held to share preliminary data to area residents and to ask for feedback. As in previous open house sessions, there were “topic stations” setup with flip-charts and markers for capturing thoughts. This time, 66 residents attended. For those keeping count, that’s 1 percent of the 6,736 residents in the task force area. I suppose the other 99 percent were either out of town (like me) or more likely apathetic (waiting for any action to be a gavel-bang away before piping up). You know the type — the first to complain and the last to volunteer — and if you live in Task Force-land, you likely only have to look in the mirror. (Although I do love those with total apathy — no opinion and no interference.)

Before I get to parking, one topic seeped into every question posed of the meagre attendees. That question was, “How do we ensure Mark Cuban gets the shaft on Northwest Highway?” In one question, attendees were asked to put colored “dots” on locations they want to see Residential, Office, Greenspace, or “Other.”

First, there wasn’t a single dot placed that wasn’t spitting distance from the intersection of Preston Road and Northwest Highway. So again, while the task force’s mandate covers a huge area, only that intersection is of any real interest. Is that “concern” really just attendee self-interest? Probably. The vast majority of attendees to these meetings reside or have businesses within blocks of this intersection.

Does it call into question why a resident’s opinion on the outskirts of the task force area carries more weight than a non-resident who works daily in Preston Center? Probably. Should the task force have included the opinions of people who navigate Preston Center every day? Probably. Just 8 percent of survey respondents actually work in Preston Center. Given this task force is so focused on one intersection, shouldn’t University Park (one quarter of the intersection) officially be part of this foofaraw? Probably.

Have I said all that before? Very probably.

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Sure he hasn’t technically done anything wrong, but Mark Cuban’s unwillingness to kowtow to the neighboring homeowners of  the spate of Preston Hollow properties he’s recently bought up sure doesn’t seem, well, neighborly.

He’s cleared trees from the estates that line Northwest Highway and Preston Road, leaving little visual screening from the busy six-lane thoroughfare. Dallas City Council member Jennifer Staubach Gates says Cuban can do what he wants with his property, and that he hasn’t done anything to run afoul of city regulations. Still, he’s refused to meet with residents and doesn’t seem interested in the Preston Hollow Area Study. Of course, these are the same homeowners who arranged angry town halls over residential developments on two corners of Northwest Highway and Preston Road, so they may already be sharpening their pitchforks and lighting their torches.

In a story from the intrepid Eric Nicholson over at the Observer, emails between Cuban and Gates paint the billionaire as someone who sounds a lot like Cartman. To help you digest the emails, we’ve added a few fun gifs of Cuban doing what we imagine as he reads and replies to Gates:

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Mark Cuban PH props (7)

So as Eric Nicholson over at The Dallas Observer pointed out, Mark Cuban seems to have plans to build some commercial buildings in Preston Hollow. We are talking on his 10 ish acres at the north-west corner, behind Ebby’s Little White House. In June Cuban added another acre and a half to his holdings.

Eric says Cuban bought 8601 Jourdan Way, which I have not confirmed yet. (I’m sure he is correct.) The home did sell on June 15 for $2.900,000, after an asking price of $2,999,999. So the seller shaved off $99,000. The home was incredible as we told you when Dave Perry-Miller had it listed: 7703 square feet on 1.46 acres, main house of Austin stone, expansive, mint condition, large study, huge master with his and her’s dressing areas plus work-out room, separate guest house with bedroom suite and even a below ground, temperature-controlled wine cellar and dining room. (more…)