There are two columns today on the Oak Lawn Committee’s (OLC) latest meeting because there were really two agendas. First, was the business of reviewing the Crescent’s proposed redo of 2401 Cedar Springs and then the internal battle to wrest control of the committee towards a more developer-heavy make-up.

It began with a few bylaw changes proposed by a committee made up of four prior OLC presidents and Kyle Lyon who was later nominated as vice-president for the coming year. The changes were simple enough and targeted at strengthening the OLC’s position within the city’s development process. Those three changes were:

  1. Limiting membership to people who live, operate a business or own property within the PD-193 boundaries, but excluding investors who own shares in an entity that holds title to property. While every owner views their ownership as an asset, it was viewed that those who are merely investors (e.g. stockholders) were most interested in their investment over the neighborhood as a whole. It was said this change would affect one member.

In large part because of this proposed change, OLC vice-president Leland Burk sent an email to The Melrose Hotel, without OLC board knowledge, alerting them to the coming change and broadly hinting they would not be welcome under the new rules. The OLC board only found out when The Melrose started calling for answers. It was a disrespectful action, meant to whip up controversy.

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New blood. That’s how neighborhoods change and progress. Child-friendly neighborhoods mature, children grow and leave, parents downsize, younger families move in – all very Lion King. High-rises have the same issues, but while interior renovations are under an owner’s control, the common areas are subject to the cheapness or largess of the community.

I’ve said in the past that Plaza I and II didn’t appear to be keeping up with other high-rises when it comes to renovation. That’s apparently changing. The sallow hallways are about to be refreshed with the outdoor Pavilion already complete.

One thing that doesn’t need a renovation is the view over the Mansion Park area of Oak Lawn. All that green you see to the right? It’s the yard for the modern home behind it. It’s like being across the street from a park. I know at street level, it appears to be an empty lot waiting for a mansion to land on it, but nope, it’s green space just for you (sorta). If you’re wondering about the coming Toll Brothers building, fear not, it will be out of sight around the corner.

On the inside, I had the pleasure of touring a gutted and renovated unit 501 with listing agent Sue Krider from Allie Beth Allman priced at $674,000. Krider knows CandysDirt.com readers thrill at seeing a good renovation, but before we get to the goodies, this unit contains 1,305 square feet within its one bedroom and one full and one half bathroom footprint. (I like to put all the details in one place for when you fall in love.)

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When buyers select a single-family home, one of their criteria is of course, price, but there are other measurements of a successful home.  Yes, to an extent, location is dictated by costs, but the personality of a neighborhood isn’t.

There are blocks that regularly socialize and those where anonymity is expected.  A lot of single-family buyers’ criteria revolves around children … schools, playmates, etc., but never having been in that bubble, I’ll not comment on its subtleties except to acknowledge its existence. For the vast majority of buyers in the condo world, children are either gone, not arrived, or never will.

But once you decide to live in a communal environment, where your only “fence” is your front door, “neighborhood” becomes more nuanced. Because not only is neighborhood the area surrounding the building, it’s the area inside the building.  Let’s take a look at three condos, each with around 1,150 square feet, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms … and all steps from the Katy Trail.

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Claridge Terrace

We tend to obsess over condos here from time to time, searching through listings and Pinterest. (By the way, did you know you can pin photos from CandysDirt.com just by hovering over them and clicking the “Pin It” button? Well, you can.) Sometimes we find one that is so money and it doesn’t even know it.

Claridge Living

That’s pretty much this third-floor condo in The Claridge. Not only does it have excellent park views, but it also has an amazing updated kitchen, a huge walk-in shower in the master bath as well as a walk-in closet fit for a fasionista. Sure, it’s not on a lofty floor, but from that terrace I wouldn’t care.

Claridge Dining

This condo has two bedrooms, three baths, and more than 2,500 square feet all in one of the best areas in Uptown. Marketed by high-rise expert Sue Krider of Allie Beth Allman & Associates, it’s priced at $599,000.

Claridge Kitchen

What makes this condo worth all that cash? Well, you have direct access to the Katy Trail, you’re within walking distance to some of the best restaurants and nightlife our city has to offer, and you’re a stone’s throw from Arlington Hall at Lee Park, a Dallas landmark if there ever was one.

Claridge Master Bath

This building also has some very swanky public spaces, too. And I love the plethora of built-ins in this unit. I mean, who wouldn’t want a huge wall of bookshelves? I know I do!

Have you spotted a condo that’s absolutely to die for? Send us a link at jo@candysdirt.com.

No, not that Penthouse! Get your mind out of the gutter! 😉

Seriously, though, this one-bedroom, one-bath penthouse at the Renaissance feels huge with a tiny price tag. Unit No. 1615PH, marketed by Sue Krider of Allie Beth Allman & Associates, is a dream!

There are tons of updates, including a great eat-in kitchen where you won’t mind doing dishes. Why, you ask? Because you get a great view of downtown! And it’s C-H-E-A-P at just $212,000.

Other things to love: This penthouse is two stories, so if you’re entertaining, no need to clean up the bedroom because it’s on another level! This Turtle Creek condo comes with two covered parking spaces, which is pretty awesome in itself. The closet is pretty spacious with an excellent organizer inside.

There’s also a tiled balcony with a view of Turtle Creek. It’s plenty roomy for a bistro set to nibble on breakfast while you sip your coffee.

Now, I’m no expert on HOA fees, so I sometimes get tripped up by them. So tell me: Is $413 monthly too much for this property? Can lofty HOA fees put you off a home you love?