Task Force Title SM

UPDATE:  Both D Magazine’s Frontburner and Dallas Morning News’ City Hall Blog referenced this posting today.


The session on Feb. 16 was different from the recent Preston Center Task Force meetings. Nearly all the task force members were there … and about 50 residents showed up as well! Before I run through the high points, a pair of interesting things …

During the meeting, I was paying particular attention to Laura Miller, as she tends to speak often and with some authority. I’m not sure if her demeanor had softened with the blue jeans she was wearing, but at some point I realized she’s smart-smart versus just opportunistic-political-smart. I’m not saying I completely agree with her, but she connects the dots quicker than most. And lately, I’ve been in too many rooms filled with people unable to connect the dots.

Secondly, after the meeting I approached councilwoman Gates to make a (constructive) suggestion (that I’ll get to later) and her preemptive question was to ask if what was said tonight matched up with the plan I’d crafted oh so many months ago. “Kinda” I said, caught a little off guard. (In truth, I’ve said I don’t have the resources to drill into development comparisons as these consultants have, but my plan and conclusions have a lot of similarities.)

Anyway …


9722 Boedecker Front

With the extra “e” in the name, you know that this home on Boedecker is on the northward stretch of the street, across Northwest Highway from the University Park stretch of the road spelled “Bodecker.” No matter how you spell it, though, it’s a great street, and as it stretches northward toward Meadow, it turns into a treed lane with lovely traditional homes.

Not only that but The Meadows is also one of the safest neighborhoods in Dallas according to the Dallas Morning News, thanks in large part to its tight-knit network of neighbors looking out for one another. Evidence of that is in the sellers’ letter to prospective buyers.

“I wanted to express my love for this community since I know it is something not easily seen or realized,” Renee and Jose Tamayo said in the letter. “It is a voluntary neighborhood organization with very active involvement by over 85% of the households. There are two annual gatherings, a spring social and a fall chili cook off. While the website has struggled to remain current, we have an active newsletter that is sent out regularly and have made big strides to drive the community to use the Nextdoor app, which allows people to quickly inform others of anything going on in the area — from lost dogs to Dallas city communication and everything in between. I have felt that my neighbors have become my friends that I can easily reach to for help and advice on many things.”

It sounds like Mayberry, doesn’t it? But nope, it’s just The Meadows.


Really nice piece here in the New York Times explains why we are beginning to see home prices creep — I said CREEP — upwards,  even in markets like Phoenix and Las Vegas: lack of inventory. It’s a very similar situation here in parts of Dallas, mostly the Park Cities, Preston Hollow, and Lakewood: hip pocket is becoming a mainstream word, as agents clamor for listings. There’s just not enough to go around for several reasons:

-Builders credit died up, so builders are not building as many specs. Few specs, in fact.

-It still is much harder to get a mortgage, especially if you are self-employed.

-People pulled back from selling unless they had to.

-People leased in lieu of selling, holding out for rosier prices.

-In some cases, the foreclosure inventory has gone down or is being held back by the banks.

David Blitzer said it best:

 “Because of new buyers having difficulty getting mortgages and because of the still-large number of foreclosures hitting the market in some parts of the country, it’s hard to say that we’ve turned a corner,” David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor’s, said in an interview.”

Bottom line: don’t get too excited. The market is improving, but we are not out of the woods, yet. Still, that home pictured? Custom build by Tatum Brown Custom Homes. Glorious. Sold without even being on the market about two seconds after the owners decided they might want to sell.

I have watched, no, stalked, this home at 9839 Rockbrook for a long, long time hoping it might descend into a downward price cycle spiral and end up under $2 million so I might could buy it. But that, my dear readers, is just California Dreamin’ on my part.

Where do I begin? Maybe by wiping the drool off my face. Perfect location, really one of the best in Dallas. Forget Park Cities, Preston Hollow is way too crowded. Rockbrook has always been the street that to me, says, “you’ve arrived.” Rockbrook means that you have it together so much you don’t even think about arriving. This the “Stretto” house was built in 1990 by Thomas Byrne Co for an oil exec and published so much the house is starting to smile for photos. It is probably among the most architecturally significant residences in the city, on the very short list. Set on 1.459 acres, the home feels isolated though you are minutes from Fernandos and Preston Center.

The home evoked the same feeling I had when I visited Farnsworth house in Illinois one frosty morning.

It’s been reduced from $5 million to $4,400,000. Well, every little bit helps!

The home is tucked behind a narrow gravel drive —  provides privacy from the street — nestled behind old growth trees. The owners hired architect Steven Holl after they encountered his work in a show at the Museum of Modern Art. Holl says the overlapping ponds and terrain inspired him. Water is very much a part of this home. Rooms are dramatic and expansive for large scale art, yet there are cozy nooks for living. The first floor is the living, dining, library, kitchen and guest room, and the entire second floor is a master suite, complete with its own outdoor terrace and his and her baths. That’s it: 5000 square feet, two bedrooms.

But your precious guests get to chill in a separate two bedroom, two bath house, accessed by a bridge over a stream. They will enjoy sky, tree and water views from every angle. The main home has 5485 square feet on 1.45 acres, including a wine cellar, media room, library and study and tons of storage. There is another 1 acre lot to the south (9825 Rockbrook) available for extra cashola, an additional $2,500,000 to be exact. That purchase would give a buyer a total lot size of 2.459 acres. On Rockbrook. Heartbeat of Bluffview.

Interestingly, the owners of this home, Charles and Jessie Price, also own a 5049 square foot unit, $3 million plus unit at The Mansion Residences that is NOT on the market. Have owned it since 2010, when they bought it from Lawrence Pollack.  Sounds very much like another well-known natural gas baron who owns multiple Dallas properties and is busy buying more. Stay tuned!  




by Karen Eubank

Which neighborhood in Dallas has defied current market trends? What area of town has steady new construction and extensive remodeling on almost every street? What neighborhood is so solid that young professionals return to buy homes around the corner from their parents?

Lake Highlands of course! It’s one of the few places you can find homes in a broad price range, enjoy exemplary Richardson schools and still get downtown in fifteen minutes. And within Lake Highlands is a wonderful area known as White Rock Valley that has vast lawns, large homes and big beautiful trees. I’m a bit of a house snob, so when I heard about a new build high up at 9506 Parkford Drive I was not really expecting to be impressed.  I figured it would be your typical builder home: big, bold and boring. I was wrong. In fact I’d move into it tomorrow if I could.

“This is an amazing new construction home, a mile from White Rock Lake, with high-end finish out rivaling anything in the Park Cities, Preston Hollow or Lakewood,” says Realtor Donald Wright with Gilchrist & Company.

The present homeowners purchased the property from the estate of the original owner. After living in the home a few years, the couple decided to expand. It made more sense to tear down the existing home than renovate. The new home was built in 2009. The result is a two story, five bedroom beauty with four full baths, two half baths and a 20 x 17 covered patio with the requisite outdoor fireplace and grill. Total square footage is 5699. 

This house is the most well thought out, beautifully designed new build I’ve seen in years. Grand without being grandiose, nothing is overdone. We’re so used to seeing over the top construction that will never feel like “home”,  it’s striking when you find a house which retains a distinct family feel while remaining tasteful and stylish.

Got ya drooling yet? Here are some deal sealer details: the kitchen opens to the den with a view of the back yard. The playroom is directly above the kitchen so when the kids are in the upstairs game room, replete with indoor swings, you can easily determine if a trip upstairs is warranted! (“Any broken bones?”) The master bedroom has a cylindrical vaulted ceiling and what I think should be a standard feature these days, a chandelier in the 13 x 12 walk-in closet. The piece-de resistance is what I like to call the “Candy Spelling special”: an impressive gift-wrap room! Asking price for a Lake Highland home with a wrapping room: $1,299,000. And it’s already under contract!