703 McKinney Landscape Plan

Tuesday’s Oak Lawn Committee meeting wasn’t the chock-a-block agenda November was, but there was still an interesting project to see and a presidency to decide. First up was an application for a landscape special exception by the 703 McKinney Athletic Club. If you’re like me — more used to dealing with four-digit McKinney Ave. addresses — it will help to know 703 is north of Woodall Rodgers at the Interstate 35 connector at the south end of Victory Park. To the more uncouth, it’s kitty-corner from Hooters. To Realtors, it’s south of The House. To those of a certain age, it’ll always be The Starck Club.

In the mid-1980s, a lot of cities birthed signature dance clubs (or discos as they were called). New York had Studio 54 and Danceteria, in London it was Heaven and the Hippodrome. In Dallas, it was The Starck Club – an over-the-top nightly extravaganza that brought everyone with rhythm and shoulder pads out onto the dance floor. It was designed by a very young (weren’t we all) Phillipe Starck (who designed neighboring high-rise The House much, much, more recently).

While this chat with the OLC involved landscaping, there’s more afoot here than trees and shrubs. In addition to an athletic club overhaul, Mr. Starck himself is working with the building’s new lease-holder to revive The Starck Club. The club’s bones still exist, most recently as Zouk. Lord knows this country needs a good dance.


Update: Sales at The House by Phillipe Starck were at 24 of 133 units in June, when the new lease-purchase program was offered. That’s 24 sales since 2007, probably a few more since the LP program got started. So if MT has already sold 15 units and the thing isn’t even yet complete, not too shabby… what think ye?

This is brilliant: the good folks at Museum Tower want to sell condos, something which might be a little harder to do when major media outlets are screaming about your glass. So they are offering buyers an unprecedented two-year, money-back guarantee

“We are just getting this info out to the real estate community,” Steve Sandborg told me via message. “All I can tell you at the moment is it is a COMPELLING offer for potential buyers.”

I’ll say. I called Steve for deets because I am all ears. Like,  what all are they guaranteeing? As soon as he swoops in at DFW I plan to find out. Does this mean you could basically live at Museum Tower for two years FOR FREE? Any interest involved?

“We’re confident and proud of Museum Tower and are willing to financially stand behind the project,” tower spokeswoman Rebecca Shaw told the Dallas Morning News Monday.

As you know, the $200 million, 42-story tower in the Arts District is owned by the Dallas Police & Fire Pension System and due to be completed next month. I can hardly wait for the opening party! Word is that 15 of the more than 100 units in the building have been sold, according to tower officials. Which is not atypical for a high rise by any means. In fact, that may be better than The House by Phillipe Starck. It is true some parties have pulled out over lawsuit concerns. It’s also true others have bought units trusting a resolution. If anyone is on the fence, this offer will make them jump out and into the water faster than a tsunami.

Officials from the Nasher and Museum Tower have been meeting for about a year, trying to figure out a remedy for the glare from the tower that allegedly fries the grass at the Nasher. The latest under discussion: Nasher officials would like to favor attaching an automated louver system to the Nasher side of Museum Tower. Tower officials would just like to re-orienting the thousands of specially designed cone-shaped light receptors on the Nasher roof.

Neither party wants to budge an inch.

With asking prices at $800 a square foot, most condos in the tower cost from more than $1 million to more than $4 million, though some smaller, lower floor units could be found under $1,000,000. The top-floor penthouse is priced at $20 million, and I believe there are a few penthouses.



Gonzalo Bueno’s Living Room extraordinaire

By now any agent with half a brain knows that to market a high end downtown condo unit, they need to bring in flair. As in, designer flair. Let’s see, we have the Showcase Residences at the Ritz Carlton which have each a Carlton Varney, Laura Hunt, Barry Williams, Ann Sutherland and Jan Showers units. Over at the Palomar, we have Mark Godson’s touches on not one but three beautiful condo homes. Over at the Azure we have, we had — which designer did we have at The Azure? Mind just went blank. Phillipe Starck is all over The House the moment you walk in and see that breathtaking silver mailbox unit. The whole residence room and pool area is like a Starck tributary. That leaves One Arts Plaza, who tomorrow night debutes two customed designed residence units, by Gonzalo Bueno and Brent McFarlain. The dynamic duo were given cart blanche to deck out and pull out all the stops on these the last remaining of six One Arts Homes left to sell.


Bueno got unit 2206, a two bedroom doll that he has jazzed up —  with exotic touches and bursts of color. He says he doesn’t want you to take it too seriously — ha! not with Museum Tower going up next door!/ He brought in a selenite crystalline mineral chandelier, vintage 1960’s mahogany dining chairs, burnt orange metallic wall coverings and a custom made sofa resplendent in vivid fabrivs.

Brant McFarlain got unit 1801, 1749 square feet with great downtown Dallas views and terraces, two in fact. In keeping with McFarlain’s style — I have seen a nu,ber of his homes — he used contrasting colors of dark and light, seagrass limestone floors, museum finish polished walls (they are like glass) and recessed aluminum baseboards. I believe the master bath was also tweaked with a new soaking tub. McFarlain said he wanted to break typical furniture stereotypes, and he did just that.

Tursday night is the grand debut at 1717 Arts Plaza… we’ll be getting you some photos in case you have prior engagements. One Arts is being marketed by the famous real estate duo/team of Erin Mathews and David Nichols, and their splendid team of agents. I know at one point David Griffin had the One Arts listing, but seems like it’s been with David and Erin forever.