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…)

The Shelton

Wow! I stumbled into Carolina Rendon’s hip pocket and neither of us felt a thing – but I saw something wonderful that stirred my renovator’s heart. But I get ahead of myself…

In 1983, The Shelton popped up in Preston Center located on Luther Lane just south of Northwest Highway and east of the Tollway. It began life as a condominium but has had an interesting life since.

It was sold to Japanese investor Takeharu Miyama in the early 1990s who leased the units. In 2005, nearly 15 years later, the building was marketed to developers. The building sold in 2006 for approximately $35 million to Dallas-based Dunhill Partners who planned to return the Shelton to condominiums and committed $12 million for the renovation of units and public areas – estimated at about $65,000 per unit. In the process of renovation, the original 129 units shrunk to 115 as some units were combined and supersized.

(After the sale, Takeharu made the prescient move to buy 1909 Woodall Rodgers months before Klyde Warren Park was approved. The park transformed freeway frontage into park-side prominence.)

We all recall how real estate turned dollars into dimes in the late 2000s as global economies crashed and residential mortgage availability evaporated. While Dallas was no Miami or Phoenix, the real estate market still faltered as banks threw another log on the fire in overtightening mortgage qualifications. An ebullient 2005 turned grim by 2007 when the newly renovated Shelton units hit the market. As citywide inventory stacked up, the unsold Shelton units were again pressed into service as rentals.

Now, just over two years as Dallas real estate turned from indolent to incandescent, Shelton units are coming off lease and selling at a fairly brisk clip. This isn’t unique to the Shelton. Nearly all established high-rises have had a lot fewer listings and fewer days on market.

And it’s here that we get a peek into Carolina’s pockets.

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4242 Lomo AltoCrestpark Highland Park Condo

Are you planning to renovate a condo? Jon Anderson has a ton of great tips for you.

By Jon Anderson
Special Contributor

Armed with the renovation application, ideas, and sketches it’s probably time to find an architect, a designer, and a contractor.

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Preston Tower - Small

Want to renovate an older highrise unit? Planning and lists are your friends, says Jon Anderson.

By Jon Anderson
Special Contributor

Over the past few weeks you’ve read my bias towards buying and rehabilitating older high-rise condos. They’re cheaper, generally larger, and (in voce real estate-o) full of potential. But renovating is a bit of a headache no matter where it’s being done. So once you’ve settled on your location, location, location, it’s time to start planning, planning, planning.

Many of you may be thinking, “Heck, I’m not doing this, it’s my contractor/designer/architect’s problem,” which may be true.  But understanding these things will help you, your design, and securing more accurate quotes.  Many contractors haven’t worked in high-rises and so these nuances will not be discovered until the job is underway, opening you to surprise add-on charges (wallet-based surprises are rarely good).  Ultimately the total costs may not change, but wouldn’t you rather know up front and plan, versus being surprised in the middle?  I thought so.  Read on…

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