VisitDallas

A very good question: why does someone promoting Dallas, receiving almost a $700,000 salary funded by taxpayers to in fact promote Dallas, live and raise his family in Southlake?

Well, Mr. Jones actually does live in Dallas at The House, by Philippe Starck, where he and his wife, Patricia, own a 1,487 square foot condo on the ninth floor.

We should also clarify something else that has been a source of confusion, by the way: Funding for VisitDallas comes from a tax paid by visitors when they stay at Dallas hotels, not taxes from local residents.

Years ago, in 2004, Phillip Jones and his wife, Patricia bought a new house at 930 Deer Hollow Blvd. in Southlake. The house is now valued by the Tarrant County Appraisal District at $652,000. The home, in an area called Southlake Woods, is 3886 square feet on almost .60 of an acre. And this is where they raised their two children, who are now young adults.

About four years ago, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings apparently told Phillip that he really should live in Dallas, not Southlake,. So in 2014, the couple bought a unit on the ninth floor at The House by Philippe Starck. I’m told that Phillip actually rented the condo for seven years, then bought it. (more…)

It was back in 2014 that Engel & Volkers, a global luxury real estate brand that debuted in Germany, first made its entry into North Texas by merging with Roxann Taylor and Associates in beautiful Southlake. It was the company’s first foray into the Texas real estate market, its 28th U.S. shop. Founded in 1977, E&V started as a specialty boutique providing exclusive, high-end real estate services to the high net worth of Hamburg, Germany. Their schtick: Euro-style concierge level of service to real estate clients from the folks who invented the word “uber”. Engel & Völkers has now become one of the world’s leading companies specializing in the sale and lease of premium residential and commercial properties as well as yachts, castles and private aviation.

“They are European based and used to focusing on luxury,” says Laurie Moore-Moore of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. “They have a different perspective on the luxury consumer.”

In 2006, they franchised market share into Miami, marching on into 150 key U.S. markets. Like their fine autos, the Germans know how to create luxury, package, sell and service it. Engel & Völkers currently operates a global network of more than 5,000 real estate advisors (note advisors, not agents) in 34 countries across six continents.

Like an Apple store, E&V builds real estate showrooms, with every single store a clone so that when you see the clean, all-white brand, you immediately know what it is.

I knew Roxann had plans in 2015 and 2016 to expand E&V to Frisco, Park Cities and Dallas. And three new partnerships signal that expansion is about to happen:

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The ABA Southlake team: Gabriella Miller, Jennifer Spielvogel, Tonia Beard, Dona Robinson, Allie Beth Allman, Wynne Moore, Perry Moore. Susan Mathews, John Martini

More evidence of the red-hotness of the real estate market in North Texas.

For the first time, Dallas-based Allie Beth Allman & Associates is expanding out of the city and out of the county, to head into the lucrative but competitive Southlake, Colleyville, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club and Westlake real estate markets. 

Comes word Monday that Allman & Associates is leasing offices in the new Granite Place building at Southlake Town Square. The 14-year-old real estate firm plans to serve those aforementioned markets from the new location.

“It’s near the hotel where everyone stays when they come to Southlake looking for a home,” says the firms’ namesake, Allie Beth Allman. 

Veteran sales groups will be heading the new office: Dona Robinson and Wynne More are bringing two seasoned sales groups to the new location. This is a significant move and attention alert to the two other major Dallas real estate players in Southlake: Ebby Halliday, with a 12,000 square foot new Southlake office that opened and upgraded in 2014, and Briggs Freeman Sothebys, who has had a Southlake office for several years.

Dona, Wynne and John Martini moved to ABA from Briggs Freeman Sothebys’ Southlake office.

Clearly, the leading Dallas companies want a piece of the North Texas suburban pie and they are getting it.

The other significance of this move is that Allie Beth Allman sold to Berkshire Hathaway about two years ago. When a brokerage is sold, savvy buyers dole out the cash over a contracted period of time with certain stipulations designed to retain top producers in house. Allie Beth is getting straight “A’s” in this department: not only is she retaining top agents, others are signing on. That has not been the case with other recent brokerage sales where acquisitions have left agents feeling like, in one agents’ word, “we went to sleep at Neimans and woke up at Walmart”.

The prospect of expansion was mentioned back when the Berkshire deal was consummated. I have no doubt we will see more Allie Beth Allman offices across the ponds west, north, and east.

Here is the company press release which, in her charming way, Allie Beth told me she had just typed up on the typewriter:

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Your worst real estate nightmare: You close on your home, but the sales funds actually don’t pay off your mortgage. Enter Nancy Carroll, the prominent Southlake title agent whose title company was raided by the Texas Department of Insurance about a year and a half ago. Regulators said they were looking for $3 million missing from the company’s escrow accounts, and $2 million from separate investor accounts.

Well, Nancy pleaded guilty Monday in Fort Worth to stealing more than $1.6 million, before she attempted to abandon her business and skipped town last year.

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SOUTHLAKE 1900 Shady Oaks Front

Oh how they live in Southlake! The estates are bigger, the homes heftier, and everyone, it seems, has a zip line and a swimming pool environment in their back yard.

We scoped out 1900 Shady Oaks Drive listed by Ebby Halliday’s Quinn & Marcontell Group to give us a look at how large folks are living in Southlake just west of DFW International. Price tag on this puppy: $5,500,000.

Let me just put it this way — out here, 8,000 square feet is considered an average-sized home.

There are 8,882 square feet of glorious living space, from mega formals (including four living areas, to a hearth room and loft in the library, a card room and housekeeper’s living quarters over the garage), outdoor patio, kitchen and bar, pool (natch), a ten acre lot with koi pond and stocked tank, pasture, enough room for horses and even a barn, and automatic gates around the whole thing.

SOUTHLAKE 1900 Shady Oaks Front 2

What I love best, though, is the pizza oven in the kitchen.

Take that back: I love the humongous master bedroom with its own private garden and a sitting room. (more…)

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Grenadier Homes and the Hartman Terilli Realty Group at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage will host Dallas-born artist George H. Jones and his iconic contemporary western art during the Texan Tour of Homes in Grenadier’s luxury, 55-plus gated community of South Village.

Jones, known for his bold and whimsical works in the Texan vernacular, will paint a piece during the Aug. 7 event that will be auctioned at the upcoming Carroll Education Foundation benefit. The tour of homes, which will showcase the upscale, livable designs of Grenadier Homes, starts at 11 a.m. at 2908 Riverbrook Way in Southlake, with bites from Wildwood Grill and frozen treats from Texas Ice Cream until 3 p.m.

 

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The brand new Ebby Halliday Southlake office has opened!

Opened in 2014 across from Southlake Town Square, the new Ebby Halliday Southlake office is attracting more top producers.

With their slick new digs in Southlake, Ebby Halliday Realtors is attracting more and more top talent. Led by Carolyn Rosson, the Southlake office has brought in some of the area’s top agents.

“Our new location and beautiful office are a statement of our commitment to serving Southlake and the surrounding areas for many years to come but it’s our people who really make the difference,” Rosson said. “We are all so excited to be a part of this thriving community and truly value the opportunity to serve both current and future residents in the manner they deserve.”

Top producers, including the Quinn & Marcontell Group and Susan Mayer, have moved to Ebby and couldn’t be more pleased with the 13,000-square foot office that offers any and everything an agent could need — tastefully appointed collaboration centers, a bistro that would be the envy of many restaurants, and even a playroom for clients’ children.

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Front of home with French imported fountain and pavestone circul

Let the games begin. Gin Rummy anyone? It’s a long standing family tradition that whenever my mother-in-law is with her grandchildren, they all play cards. Usually they play on the dining room table after dinner.

But oh, how cool to have a room devoted entirely to card (or other!) games! (more…)