Gail and R. Gerald Turner, president of SMU, were named this year’s honorary chairs of the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society’s fundraisers.

It’s a banner year for the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society. The group, whose mission is to preserve and promote the history, architecture, aesthetics and cultural traditions of the Park Cities, just announced its spring events, which begin on Wednesday, April 11, with the Distinguished Speaker Luncheon featuring Jenna Bush Hager as the speaker, chaired by Tish Key at the Brook Hollow Golf Club. The home tour follows on April 14, highlighting five beautiful and historic Park Cities homes. The events close with a free and open to the public classic and antique car show on April 21 at Burleson Park. 

Additionally, Gail and R. Gerald Turner, president of Southern Methodist University, were named as honorary chairs of the annual fundraisers, which help preserve and maintain the Park Cities House at Dallas Heritage Village, support the new PCHPS archives at the University Park Library, fund the Society’s landmarking initiatives, and award scholarships to Highland Park High School graduating seniors planning to study architecture, history or preservation.


Photo courtesy of TOMMASO BODDI/AFP/Getty Images

Tate Lecture Series ticket holders get the first shot to buy tickets to hear Jeff, but I wonder if this has any connection to the news that the Wall Street Journal thinks Amazon is headed our way for sure for sure. I mean, Jeff Bezos could be coming here to just check out Whole Foods Market, as well as speak. Or, he could be checking the educational opportunities our city has to offer because we have SMU and the Bush Center right in our midst. Education, you recall, was one of the most important factors in Amazon’s search for a new headquarters: the company needs a lot of young, sharp brains, to supply tech talent to keep Amazon growing. The company plans to add 50,000 employees wherever it lands, over a 10 to 15 year time period. Those employees would be software developers and business minds. Hmmmm. 

Jump for the news on the Bezos/SMU partnership, and how you may purchase tickets — see you there!

Pic 2 Revised _ S Grujic copy

When you are looking for a Realtor, you should seek out someone who is more than a face on a bus bench. And truthfully, referrals don’t always tell the whole story. What you really want is someone who will negotiate for you, outsmart the competition, and seek out the best opportunities.

That’s Svetlana Grujic‘s M.O., and she’s got the attitude to go with it. She’s not really cocky — she’s just that good! It’s a stellar combination that we just had to share with our readers.

Naturally, all that attitude reminds us of Jeff Lindigrin at Great Western Home Loans. What has your lender done for you lately? Find out what you’re missing by calling Jeff Lindigrin at Great Western Home Loans today.

Jump to find out more about this clever, ambitious Realtor at Clay Stapp + Co.


Photos: Jo England

Photos: Jo England

I just chatted with Denise Edmondson, sales director at the Shelby Residences. This building, which wraps around the Twisted Root Burger Company on SMU Boulevard, is a rare bird in Dallas — it’s an apartment building that, in our hot rental market, is converting to condos.

“We did a lot of market analysis,” Edmondson said. What the developer, the Marquis Group, noticed was the severe lack of ownership opportunities in the University Crossing District. It’s a desirable neighborhood for Millennials, recent college graduates, and young professionals or graduate students thanks to its proximity to mass transit, walkability, and nearby grocery and restaurant options. “In this location, there’s nothing for less than $400,000.”

That may seem too steep for someone who is paying off a hefty amount of student loan debt, and the attractiveness of investing in ownership instead of renting, along with living a car-free lifestyle, might be too much to pass up. Interest in the 10 available units has been through the roof, Edmondson added, and they expect the market debut tomorrow, April 18 from 11-7, to be a feeding frenzy.


Jordan Towing

As if anyone needed an additional reason to buy a house in Highland Park, here’s one more: The town’s police are not going to let a bunch of rowdy football fans park their cars in front of your house.

During the past two weekends, SMU’s Gerald J. Ford Stadium has hosted three high school playoff games. As noted by our friends over at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, Highland Park enacted a “residents only” parking zone in the neighborhood immediately south of the stadium on each game day.

Saturday night’s game was the real barn-burner of the three. Allen erased an 18-point deficit to defeat Skyline and earn a berth in the Class 6A Division I state championship game. After watching that comeback victory, fans must have been euphoric as they made their way back to their vehicles. But that euphoria was short-lived for at least seven people whose vehicles were not where they left them. Highland Park police had the following cars and trucks towed from Drexel Drive, Cornell Avenue, and Sewanee Avenue:

  • A black Toyota Tacoma registered to a Garland address
  • A white Ford Explorer registered to a Richardson address
  • A gray BMW 530 registered to a Preston Hollow address
  • A white Chrysler 300 registered to a Duncanville address
  • A white Chevrolet Camaro registered to a Murphy address
  • A white Chrysler PT Cruiser registered to a Pleasant Grove address
  • A black Dodge Journey registered to a Northwest Dallas address

If anyone reading this happens to be missing a vehicle matching any of those descriptions, you can find it at Jordan Towing’s impound yard in Plano.

Mockingbird Station developer Ken Hughes has died. Hughes was instrumental in the birth of this mixed-use development that still remains a standard-bearer in Dallas. (Photo: Dallas Morning News)

Mockingbird Station developer Ken Hughes has died. Hughes was instrumental in the birth of this mixed-use development that still remains a standard-bearer in Dallas. (Photo: Dallas Morning News)

We were saddened to hear that the developer of the transit-oriented development by which North Texas judges all other rail-adjacent construction, Mockingbird Station, has passed.

Ken Hughes was the brains behind the mixed-use project that was anchored to the DART Rail station on Mockingbird Lane near US 75. It was a revolutionary concept when built in 2001, and still remains the standard-bearer for much of Dallas’ urban mixed use projects.


Rockwood Inwood HOUSE OF THE WEEK

Dang , my heart is still palpitating from touring 9800 Rockbrook yesterday. You are in for a rare treat today thanks to our good friends at Inwood Mortgage. Look at this property, does it look like it’s in Dallas? No, this estate screams Santa Barbara or Montecito!

9800 Rockbrook pool infinityLet me tell you one sure thing about this house: it has the best lawn sprinkler system in the world. The owner and crafter of this home is a former superstar college football player at SMU who also played on several pro ball teams, including the Atlanta Falcons, Houston Oilers, Denver Gold, San Antonio Gunslingers, and Green Bay Packers. He is President and CEO of the largest residential and commercial irrigation contractor in the United States. So you know that right off the bat, this home has the Rolls Royce equivalent of irrigation systems. The same can be said of basically everything else in the home, as well. It’s like a Rolls on steroids!

9800 Rockbrook front door 9800 Rockbrook foyer 9800 Rockbrook foyer IIThe home started being built in 2001, and took four years to complete, according to the agent broker, Rogers Healy. That could be because it is 10,600 square feet and has so much detailed perfection it pops. Every single wall surface is not just texture and paint but museum-quality plaster with special paint finishes, from the crackle in the family room to smooth red in the exercise room. I am not kidding — hallways, rounded archways, moldings, even the laundry room has a special finish.

But the most special finish of all comes in the media room. Since the home was constructed around 9/11, the fatal attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the plane that crashed in a western Pennsylvania field, the owners created a 360 degree skyline mural of New York City in the media room that is quite spectacular and moving.

9800 Rockbrook study 9800 Rockbrook LR 9800 Rockbrook DRThe home is nestled on a bluff overlooking a finger of White Rock Creek and has a majestic drive-up, as well as water views and lush, dense woods from nearly every window. There are multiple balconies off each room — even off the master bedroom closet — so you can take in these exquisite, priceless views from all sides of the home.

Vitals: five bedrooms, five full and four half baths on 1.73 creekside acres. Four car garage, media room, exercise room, outside sport court, 1875 square foot guest house overlooking the pool with bar and grill, 15 by 16 utility room/crafts room with desk and island, infinity pool, hot tub and fountains, fountains everywhere.

9800 Rockbrook bar 9800 Rockbrook FR 9800 Rockbrook FRIIAnother unique thing about this house: the huge granite bar with walk-in wine cooler is right in the foyer. Once upon a time I may have had a problem with this, but when we almost bought a home in the Hill Country that also had a big bar in the foyer, I was loving it. (Kari Schlegel Kloewer also has a bar in her W penthouse, right in the foyer.) This is actually a perfect spot for a bar when entertaining — people walk in, get their drink, and don’t cluster in the family room or kitchen where you are preparing food. It’s like the best welcome wagon ever, gives women a place to immediately set down her bags. I mean, what else do you use a foyer for?

9800 Rockbrook kit I 9800 Rockbrook kit IIThere is so much to say about this house, it is, after all, more than 10,000 square feet. Let me point out the highlights then let you be: the custom kitchen cabinets are made of a highly glossed and lacquered burl wood, I believe — if I am wrong, I will update. The photos really do not do them justice. Most floors are of limestone, even the stairs and second story. There are rotundas and hand-painted ceilings. The custom Vent-A-Hood is made of platinum and I will guess it cost as much as a collector car. 9800 Rockbrook master entrance 9800 Rockbrook master bath I 9800 Royal master II9800 Rockbrook masterThe master suite is truly a suite — it is tucked away, private, designed for a couple who enjoy each other, not someone who would rather see their spouse three times a year if they have to: Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. The master bath is huge with a round tub spa that could induce a party. Um, there’s room for four, ahem. The master closet is like no other I have seen with the exception of Champs d’Or and Phil Romano’s place on Strait Lane.  I like this one better, actually: again, huge custom cabinets of that lacquered wood, same as in the mammoth master bedroom where they hide a huge media center and coffee bar.  There is a huge center island made of exotic green granite for packing and sorting, and off this a closet for the lady of the house with built-in shoe cabinets and more storage than Noah’s arc. There is a TV and treadmill in here as well, and doors to that balcony.

9800 Rockbrook master tub 9800 Rockbrook master II 9800 Rockbrook shower 9800 Rockbrook her closet 9800 Rockbrook master showerOutside are multiple terraces, and the water features. The spa with fountain is on the upper level, an infinity pool is a few stone steps down and appears to be floating over the creek. Did I tell you about the sport court? Oh one more thing: the children’s bedrooms are upstairs and adorable, each with a huge private bath and closet — more like suites, really. How much has Rogers priced this majestic baby at: $12,000,000. And guess what else — it’s not in the MLS. So looks like you have to know someone to know someone… to see Santa Barbara on Rockbrook! And if you have to know someone to get a mortgage on a place like this, call over to Inwood Mortgage and tell them Candy sent you!9800 Rockbrook guest 9800 Rockbrook exercise 9800 Rockbrook girls 9800 Rockbrook girls' bath 9800 Rockbrook boy's room 9800 Rockbrook outdoor kit 9800 Rockbrook sport 9800 Rockbrook rear view 9800 rockbrook spa 9800 Rockbrook back sweep



Courtesy Alex Wong/Getty

Several Dallas Realtors attended yesterday’s remarkable dedication for the George W. Bush Presidential Center, including independent agent Mickey Stuart and Dave Perry-Miller’s Steve Collins. I have not heard from her yet, but am certain Allie Beth Allman and Pierce were included, and Kari Schlegel may have accompanied her parents. Mickey, a Dartmouth buddy, gave me a full report, and shared some fabulous photos:Bush Center DART

Bush Center Busses 2 “One of the most interesting things was riding DART — because of security they had blocked off all the streets around SMU so people were encouraged to use DART. Basically, it was unless you have a motorcycle escort do not have anyone dropping you off. I live north, so I took a Dart bus to the Richardson Arapaho station where I got on the red line rail line for the first time (!) and headed south down Central down to Mockingbird Station. I think we arrived about 8:00 a.m. Shuttle busses were waiting to take us to the event at SMU, where golf carts took everybody closer to the seating area. You had to have your ticket and photo ID. Securing was as tight as airport security, you had to walk through a metal detector,  but everyone was gracious and not intrusive. (Note: Mickey did get “wanded”.) It was a gorgeous day, cloudless sky, great day to be outdoors. I saw folding chairs set up for 10,000 people. Because of my long-time relationship with GWB, I somehow got into the VIP Section right in front of podium, sitting with Ohio Senator Robert Portman (also a Dartmouth grad), Jim Baker, Karl Rove, Don Evans, Rex Tillerson, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, David Dewhurst, Tom Ridge and Dick Cheney.

Bush Center lawn Bush Center crowd seatingNearby were Governor Chris Christie, Ted Cruz,  John Cornyn, Mike Rawlings, Ed Cox, Bush Center VIP empty seatsBush Center CornynRay Hunt, Trevor Rees Jones,  Steve Collins, Rick Perry,  Nancy Dedman, Alphonso Jackson (now head of JP Morgan Chase banking ops in NYC), Jim Baker, Jerry Ford,  Jerry Jones and respective spouses.Bush Center First Ladies Bush Center Laura and Barbara Bush Bush Center Jimmy Carter Bush Center Condi Rice Bush Center Clinton Bush Center 41 Bush Center Obama

Military buglers lined the top of the new center. The First Ladies walked out first, took their seats, then came the presidents. Condoleeza Rice came up and welcomed the visiting dignitaries from other countries, like former prime minister JapanYoshihiko Noda,  the prime minister of Australia John Howard, Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi, Secretary General of NATO, and the former president of Ghana. Tony Blair was there, also. All presidents spoke in this order: Carter, Clinton, H.W. Bush, and Obama, each saying nice things. Then Laura Bush spoke, and then George W. did his magic.

Bush Center GWB

There was a VIP reception at the Bush center immediately after, then a VIP luncheon set up with 30 or 40 tables. Then it was back to Mockingbird Station, DART to Richardson and the bus.

Thursday night was the invitation-only block party for members of the SMU community and Bush people, very informal, about 3000 people plus great food from the food trucks. There was a soundstage with Jack Ingram, then when it got dark people were invited to the Bush Center where they lit Freedom Hall for the very first time and set off fireworks outside.


Courtesy Jerry McClure

Then back to the shuttles and DART. It was really a very memorable experience and once in a life-time opportunity, and Jeanne Johnson Phillips pulled it off flawlessly!”

Bush-Presidential-Center-freedom-lighting-crowd_142357 Bush-Presidential-Center-freedom-lighting-crowd_142540