PD-15

The run-up to Wednesday’s tenth PD-15 meeting should’ve filled area residents with anger. The self-centered towers were at it again. On Monday, Athena management company ICI Real Estate sent residents an “URGENT!!!” call for Athena residents to attend last night’s meeting (Preston Tower did the same).

It said Bob Bowling from Preston Tower was going to make a motion to dissolve the authorized hearing and send developers directly to City Plan Commission. Athena representative Margaret Darden was scheduled to second the motion after which residents in the audience were encouraged to stand and applaud. It was so kindergarten, I’m surprised there wasn’t a warning about not eating paste.

Their argument consists of the same tired, disproven tropes as always – four high-rises, unprecedented traffic and 10 years of non-stop construction. Blah, blah, blah. If you want to sing that song, read this or this.

NOTE: ICI seriously overstepped their bounds by sending such a loaded, propaganda-filled email to residents under their own account. Darden and Dewberry should have sent their drivel opinions and plans from their own accounts. (Full disclosure: I send email wrap-ups and links to PD-15 stories to residents within the building under my personal account. I have never asked or even thought to involve the management company.)

You may recall back in July, I reported on an email Preston Hollow South Neighborhood Association (PHSNA) president John Pritchett sent to committee members where he said they’re “not the A-Team in terms of zoning matters.” Apparently, Towers representatives Bob Bowling, Tatiana Frierson, Margaret Darden and Barbara Dewberry agree with the assessment, so hot are they to disband the committee. It’s almost comical, too. The Laurel apartments on Preston Road and Northwest Highway are pretty universally disliked and yet these representatives are in the same camp as Pritchett, who —to hear him tell it — single-handily led the negotiations for the neighborhood with developer Transwestern.

NOTE: If any member of any committee feels too stupid to do the job, resign and stop trying to crater a process everyone else is working in good faith to complete. (more…)

A Graphic intended to inflame

Last night, the two towers bookending PD-15 held a “Town Hall” meeting to talk about “proposed rezoning” of their low-rise neighbors.  It was ironic to hear the word “neighbors” spoken so frequently by a group who, at the end, raised their hands in favor of continued “towers only” meetings. In this case, “neighbors” really means “us.”

The meeting was run by

  • John Pritchett, Preston Tower resident, PD-15 working group and, secretary and recent president of the Preston Hollow South Neighborhood Association
  • Carla Young, Athena HOA president and PD-15 working group member
  • Susan Conard, Preston Tower
  • Roger Albright, attorney hired to advise the Athena and Preston Tower in PD-15 matters

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A high-rise condo with custom everything that’s priced well under a million? You’re not dreaming. Rub your eyes, folks and take a gander at this week’s Saturday Eight Hundred.

This Preston Tower condo, made up of four single units, is the largest in the building. It comprises three bedrooms and three full and one half bathrooms in 2,855 square feet and features and incomparable 120 feet of balcony – and the views to go with it. Clocking in at $850,000 this impeccable condo at 6211 W Northwest Highway is listed by Nancy Martinez with Virginia Cook Realtors. It’s a see-to-believe wonder, my friends.

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Back in December 2016, we reported on a lawsuit brought by a Preston Tower resident.  In that case, the HOA board was sued for shifting home repair costs to residents after a 2015 catastrophic flood resulting from an unmaintained water pump. According to court documents, the HOA chose to shift the financial burden away from their own building insurance at the suggestion of that insurance company. Soon after that story was published, that resident won (nothing to do with us, we reported late in the game).

On March 6, 2017, Preston Tower owners Sanjeva and Madhu Khemsara filed suit against Preston Tower for water damage from a different source.  For over two years, their penthouse unit has been the victim of a persistent leak or leaks likely originating on the roof of the building. Like many high-rise roofs, a roof isn’t just a roof.  Over the years, in addition to existing HVAC pipes and equipment, various communications antennas and other equipment have been installed. For every new thing on a roof, there’s the potential to create a tear in the roof’s seal.

The maintenance of the roof and HVAC equipment is (obviously) the responsibility of the HOA, not the resident who lives below. Prior to this suit, court documents state that the Khemsara’s made many requests for repair … for over two years. The plaintiffs claim the results of the repairs were always short-term fixes, sometimes lasting hours. While there is suspicion that HVAC pipes are to blame, no definitive cause has been established.

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Amenity Deck at Turtle Creek's Vendome

Amenity Deck at Turtle Creek’s Vendome

Welcome to our second installment of the Dallas High-Rise Buyer’s Guide as I break-down some of the costs associated with Dallas’ high-rises.  The first installment featured Turtle Creek’s first high-rises where utilities and their costs are contained within their HOA dues.  For this installment, I’m moving north of Northwest Highway to detail the Athena, Preston Tower, Grand Treviso, and The Bonaventure. I know you’re thinking that Grand Treviso is in Irving, not Dallas.  Well, out there on its own, if not me, who?

But before we head north, there’s one more Turtle Creek high-rise that also includes utilities in their HOA dues. Built in 2000, it’s decades newer than its sister-utilities buildings. I’m talking about the Vendome.  Surprised?  Me, too. But last week’s posting was already really long, so here we are.

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"New" logo designed by 30-year resident Robert Emery offers youthful vibe

“New” logo designed by 30-year resident Robert Emery offers youthful vibe

The Pink Wall has been dominated by Preston Tower for 50 years.  Oddly, it’s first residents were welcomed into this modern high-rise in the same year viewers welcomed Star Trek!  Preston Tower is a pinch older than the neighboring Athena, but the Pink Wall’s two-story walk-ups were already swinging when Preston Tower leapt from the ground.  My unofficial guess is that in 1966, at 29 stories, it was the tallest building between Dallas and Oklahoma City.

I had a chance to speak with one of its loooong time residents, Robert Emery, who’s called Preston Tower home for nigh-on 30 years.  Like many happy high-rise residents, he’s bounced around in the building before winding up on top of it all in one of the penthouses. At the precise moment a wet and windy hell broke loose, I was walking over to meet Emery. I can say with confidence that I saw no leaks during my tour.

Preston Tower was built by Hal Anderson (no relation), designed by architect Jacob Anderson (Hal’s brother?), and currently contains 362 units.  In the beginning there were a few more, but over time some units have been combined (high-rise owners can’t build additions, so we absorb our neighbors).

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Ritz Rendering

The Ritz Residences’ (fraternal) twin towers

Part 3 continues … and ends … my self-serving, completely subjective high-rise awards based on equally dubious categories.  Click here if you missed Part 1 or Part 2.

8. Best Private Club Feel: Ritz Residences

Ritz Lobby 1  (more…)

6211 W Northwest Hwy p

Carrera Marble is a classic stone, beloved for its timeless, elegant appeal.

In today’s Tuesday Two Hundred, it reigns supreme in a Preston Tower condo that’s undergone a big renovation. Located at 6211 W. Northwest Hwy Apt. 604, this home has marble galore in the kitchen and bathrooms. This is a 2-2 with 1,130 square feet, built in 1966.

The condo is owned by Valerie Elizabeth of Society Stylist. She personally oversaw all renos and picked everything herself—her chic touch is everywhere. It was creatively and meticulously updated, and the results are impressive. Similar units inside the Northwest Highway loop could be two to three times as much, said listing agent Brian Ellison.

“With its Midcentury lines, and proximity to NorthPark and Preston Center shopping and dining, Preston Tower is gaining popularity,” he said. “The current HOA has a strong commitment and is spending on common area improvements—I consider this building one of the best values in highrise living in the area and clients like [Elizabeth] are making significant investments in their property.”

It was listed yesterday by Ellison with Clay Stapp + Co. for $289,000. Monthly HOA dues are $797.

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