Dallas Heritage Village

Photos courtesy Dallas Heritage Village

Last week, the Dallas Heritage Village announced that it was closing the Blum House indefinitely until it could be repaired and rehabbed, causing a flurry of questions — and rumors — about the organization and the state of the Blum House and the other structures at the Old City Park that comprise the museum.

We sat down for a lengthy interview with DHV executive director Melissa Prycer to talk about the state of the Blum House, the intricacies of caring for historic structures, and how the organization’s funding has changed since its inception.

CandysDirt: Unlike your run-of-the-mill home that needs maintenance, these homes are museum pieces and have to be maintained and rehabbed differently. Is that where the bigger price tag comes in to play?

Prycer:  “Yes absolutely. So this is true of every structure at Dallas Heritage Village. We can’t buy anything off the shelf. So whenever we are replacing wood, generally speaking, we’re having that specially milled. And you know we’ve got a great relationship with Davis-Hawn Lumber, and they do provide a discount, but they still do you know, charge us — it costs them money too. There are a lot of misconceptions about historic preservation, but I think the biggest one is that we can just go to Home Depot to get, say, the siding for one of our historic homes.

Even the really basic lumber is not going to be the right dimensions to match what is there. So then when you have a house like the Blum House with a lot of really intricate gingerbread work and of course each of those porch spindles is fancy it adds up. And the other thing is that the roof is metal shingles which interlock, and they’re not super common. (more…)

What an address! Dallas’ newest luxury townhomes called Park Plaza Townhomes are available now at 2000 Park Avenue in the rapidly-changing Cedars neighborhood near downtown Dallas, Dallas Farmers Market, and Deep Ellum. Agent Courtney Michalek gave us the lowdown on this new luxury development of 13 one- and two-bedroom townhomes starting at $399,000. Three have already been sold, leaving 10 available on the new property by Charter Investments, the Dallas-based real estate and construction company that specializes in transitioning urban areas. Charter plans to bring approximately 750 apartment units, 150 townhomes, and retail/office space to the developing 20-acre area over the next three years. (more…)

ambassador

Photo courtesy Dallas Fire and Rescue

Although it’s currently unclear just when the blaze began, reports began to appear around 2 a.m. Tuesday that the currently vacant Ambassador Hotel was in flames.

Dallas Fire and Rescue arrived to find the second and third floors burning, and by 2:15 a.m., the structure was fully involved. It appears that more than 45 units responded to the four-alarm blaze, according to a rough count of the active call list on the DFR website.

What remained in the light of day was heartbreaking.

The building was vacant, so there were no injuries. There had been reports early on about the potential cause of the blaze being attributed to a transformer blowing, but Dallas Fire and Rescue spokesperson Jason Evans said that may not be the case.

“During the course of fire suppression efforts a transformer in front of the hotel blew, but I never heard any reports indicating power lines to be down before that point,” he said Tuesday morning. “As far as the cause is concerned, it is currently undetermined.”

“Considering the amount of damage done by the fire, debris left by it and the likelihood that the amount of debris will only increase when the rest of the structure is demolished,  the chances are slim that investigators could get the access that would allow them to fully examine the evidence they’d need to in order to rule anything out,” Evans added.

“We’re just west of it at The Beat – 1001 Belleview St,” said Facebook user Darlene Schneider, who shared this photo taken by her husband, Roman Montemayor, around 1:30 a.m.

A Youtube user captured this video (you may want to leave the sound off).

Dallas Fire and Rescue officials said the 9-1-1 calls came in shortly after 1:30 a.m. The building appeared to be a total loss. Nearly simultaneously, fire crews were battling blazes at the 600 block of South Harwood Street and the 1800 block of Corsicana Street. Reportedly, the roof of another hotel on Harwood caught fire after embers from the Ambassador fire fell there, but was quickly put out by firefighters. (more…)

 

After two years with Coldwell Banker, Courtney Michalek has joined Iconic Real Estate. Matt Scobee founded the firm last year. Michalek said she decided to make the move within five minutes of meeting with him.

“I like the team’s technological innovation and I just love Matt,” she said. “I think he has brought on a lot of good agents and I just wanted to be somewhere where I could have a little one-on-one help. I also love their branding.”

Michalek previously worked in technology sales. Unhappy with the direction of that career, she decided to pursue real estate. Her fiancé was developing properties in the Cedars, so she started off marketing and selling them. Before long she became one of the neighborhood’s most active agents.

“I absolutely love real estate- it’s probably the best job you can have,” Michalek said. “I have a flexible schedule, I get to see houses and I get to help people purchase their first home. It’s been a great new career.”

(more…)

blue house

[Editor’s note: Merry Christmas! This week, we’re taking time off to focus on our loved ones, so we are sharing some of our favorite stories from this year. Keep an eye out for our top features from the archives as we rest and get ready for a brilliant 2019! Cheers, from Candy and the entire staff at CandysDirt.com!]

Bethany: It never ceases to fascinate me, how entire homes are moved from one spot to another – and what has long been known as the Blue House in the Cedars was a very painstakingly precious undertaking. I had the chance to talk to the man who will be restoring the home to its former glory, and get a better idea of what it takes to bring a long-neglected beauty back to life.

It took a bit, but the Blue House is almost completely safe now.

Almost, because windy weather has held up the removal process, so it sits on two lots — its original on Griffin, and the new lot at Beaumont and Browder.

It may take a while for the entire house to make the trek over to the new location, Dallas developer Mark Martinek told me last week.

We’re still moving it,” he said. “It’s kind of half on the original location, half on the new location.” (more…)

cedars

The Cedars Collection’s Park Plaza project, located at 2000 Park Ave., will offer 13 units at a $399,000 price point.

In the beginning, the Cedars was a bustling community that was also a Dallas hot-spot — and it remained so from its beginning in the 1870s until the 1920s, as the more wealthy denizens of the neighborhood moved on. By the 1960s, the neighborhood took a hit from progress, as homes saw the wrecking ball to make way for highway projects. 

But the area is having a bit of a renaissance. The artists, musicians and longtime residents of the Cedars will tell you that it’s always been percolating. But once again, new development is beginning to sprout, and the area is attracting new businesses, too.

Some of that burgeoning development comes courtesy of the Cedars Collection, which is working to take its substantial land holdings in the neighborhood and turn it into walkable development with townhomes, condos, apartments, live/work spaces, and retail space.

We wrote last week (in our CandysDirt.com Open Houses of the Week feature) about the group’s first project — Hickory Vista, where there is one townhome remaining.

The view of the city skyline from the rooftop deck at the Hickory Vista project.

But Coldwell Banker Realtor Courtney Michalek told us that she’s also  now pre-selling their upcoming 13-unit project at 2000 Park Ave., where the homes will sell for $399,000.

The Park Plaza Project

She’s also holding a broker’s open house at the Park Plaza project Tuesday, Dec. 11, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., where brokers can come hear about the Cedars Collection plans for the neighborhood, as well as get the skinny on the pre-sale, and even have some breakfast (they’ll have donuts, coffee, and mimosas).

But before then, we got a little bit of the scoop, courtesy Brian Jennings of Charter Investments, who is one of the developers for the Cedars Collection. (more…)

downtown

The rooftop deck of this townhome in the Cedars is one of two homes in this week’s roundup of open houses with downtown Dallas views.

If you’ve been thinking about moving closer to downtown Dallas, but weren’t sure which downtown-adjacent neighborhood you wanted to live in, or whether you wanted to be smack-dab in downtown, we have some great options this week.

Every Thursday, we bring you our pick of the hottest North Texas properties in our CandysDirt.com Open Houses of the Week. These are the places you don’t want to miss that weekend. And this week, our homes are in Belmont West, the Cedars, and the Farmers Market areas.

This week, our homes range in price from $439,000 to $575,000. Which ones will you visit?

BRAND-NEW BELMONT WEST CUTIE

Open house: Dec. 8, 2-4 p.m.

When we asked Coldwell Banker Residential Realtor Alex Prins where he was hanging out this weekend, he pointed us to this new construction west of the Belmont Hotel at 1213 Walmsley Ave.

“This new build is like a dream!” he told us. “Floor the ceiling windows, tons of sunlight, hand-scraped hardwoods, 12-foot ceilings, and so much more!” (more…)

blue house

The Blue House has begun its trek seven blocks away to a new lot, after years of neglect and a couple of years of hard work by preservationists (Photos courtesy Preservation Dallas).

It took a bit, but the Blue House is almost completely safe now.

Almost, because windy weather has held up the removal process, so it sits on two lots — its original on Griffin, and the new lot at Beaumont and Browder.

It may take a while for the entire house to make the trek over to the new location, Dallas developer Mark Martinek told me last week.

We’re still moving it,” he said. “It’s kind of half on the original location, half on the new location.” (more…)