Mansion Park area under consideration

On August 16, 2016, the City Plan Commission voted 12 to zero “…to authorize a public hearing to determine the proper zoning on property zoned an MF-3 Multifamily Subdistrict and an O-2 Office Subdistrict within Planned Development District No. 193, the Oak Lawn Special Purpose District in an area generally bounded by both sides of Welborn Street on the northwest, Cedar Springs Road on the northeast, Sale Street and Enid Street on the southeast, and Fairmount Street on the southwest.”

That request was made in response to the (since approved) Toll Brothers high-rise (the large plot left of the “Subject Area” tag). The request for the authorized hearing was made by local homeowners from surrounding low-rise townhouse developments through their representative law firm Jackson Walker and former Council Member Angela Hunt (who has been fighting a protracted battle to upzone property on the other side of Turtle Creek for Lincoln Property).

If you want to catch up more, read this and this.

“Council Member Kingston invites you to a community meeting to hear from property owners, residents, and other individuals regarding interest in amending the zoning in the area shown in the map above … Council Member Kingston would like to know what, if any, changes should be made to the existing zoning regulations for this area…” (Click here for what little info there is available and here for invitation)

(more…)

constructionThe good news? In the past year, 909,000 new single-family homes have been started, and it’s projected that by 2020 starts on new home construction will hit the one million mark. The bad news? The need will be for 1.2 million, a leading economist said Thursday.

“The forecast is that home prices will continue to outpace income growth,” Robert Dietz, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Economics and Housing Policy for the National Association of Home Builders said.

Dietz was part of a panel discussion about home building at the annual National Association of Real Estate Editors conference held this week in Las Vegas. Ben Caballero of HomesUSA.com and Jim Boyd of Toll Brothers were also in the panel. (more…)

Westworth Falls is one of few natural waterfalls in the area

You’ll be asking yourself, “Did I take a wrong turn at Kerrville?”  Nope -— it’s Westworth Falls. (photos: Lee Nicol Interests, LLC)

Raise your hand if you knew that 10 minutes from downtown Fort Worth was one of the few natural waterfalls in the Dallas-Fort Worth.  I don’t see many hands raised.

In the ongoing quest to educate as many Dirty Readers on Fort Worth, I bring you the new neighborhood of Westworth Falls.

(more…)

At last week’s Lincoln meeting at Turtle Creek Terrace concerning their Lincoln Katy Trail project a question was asked about affordable housing units.  It was asked how many Toll Brothers was providing.  Some didn’t think there were any affordable units in that project.  I volunteered that there was a 10 percent affordable component.

I was wrong.

Toll Brothers is reserving three percent of their units as affordable (9 units) but they are also going to accept Section 8 vouchers (“over 12”) making for a combined 7-ish percent of units that will be available below market rates.

My mixup was from a proposed project by Alliance at Cole and Armstrong (Broadstone) that is offering a 10 percent affordable component (and who, along with Lincoln, will be presenting at tomorrow’s Oak Lawn Committee meeting at the Melrose Hotel at 6:30 p.m. … open to all).

I’m writing this to clarify (I don’t like being inaccurate), but also to propitiate a note from Angela Hunt correcting my 10 percent claim by noting the city told her the number was 3 percent affordable … though she did not account for the Section 8 component. 

 

Remember:  High-rises, HOAs and renovation are my beat. But I also appreciate modern and historical architecture balanced against the YIMBY movement.  If you’re interested in hosting a Candysdirt.com Staff Meeting event, I’m your guy. In 2016 and 2017, the National Association of Real Estate Editors has recognized my writing with two Bronze (2016, 2017) and two Silver (2016, 2017) awards.  Have a story to tell or a marriage proposal to make?  Shoot me an email sharewithjon@candysdirt.com.

Weir’s proposed Knox Street frontage

Weir’s Furniture has been a fixture about town for 70 years.  Their Knox store has sat witness to the area’s ups and downs.  I think it’s safe to say Knox is on the up and up and Weir’s wants to remain an integral part of the transformation (new residents need furniture).  You may recall back in July, I reported on Restoration Hardware’s plans to transform their piddly one story.  Weir’s wants in on that action and so last night made their way to the Oak Lawn Committee.

(more…)

Third time is a charm I suppose.  Today’s city council vote wasn’t unanimous, but one vote shy didn’t matter.  I will give council member Philip Kingston credit for finally bringing it home.  After all the pros and cons were done he called the compromise a “no brainer” and urged approval.  I’ve certainly given him enough grief for diddling around with this and giving false hope to those wanting to stop it … and I stand by that.

As I’ve said to friends in recent days, it’s like you want to break-up with your boyfriend. Is it better to do that the day before Valentine’s Day or the day after? They’re hurt either way, but “after” they know they were a pity-date and the roses a consolation prize. So yeah, I think he could have brought this ship into the harbor quicker and spared some of that false hope.

(more…)

Last night, city council member Philip Kingston spoke at The Mansion in an attempt to bring clarity to the Toll Brothers project.  Unfortunately, after a good start, he failed to seal the deal.  Kingston presented the big picture on the project – namely that Toll Brothers is completely within their rights to build a high-rise that’s uglier, boxier, more dense, with worse parking, and that looks terrible on the street.  In fact Toll Brothers delivered a letter to Kingston and the plot sellers stating that they have every intention of building the worse-in-every-way plan should this better-in-every-way plan be shot down at city council.

Kingston’s question to the audience was simple and rational.  Essentially, given the two alternatives, why should he support the worse “by right” plan? “By right” does what it says on the tin; no neighborhood or city involvement period. It’s a simple enough question. But for people for whom the only answer was “neither,” that question was rationally unanswerable.  “Neither” isn’t an option, something rich folks ain’t used to hearing.

(more…)

The fate of the proposed Toll Brothers high-rise in Oak Lawn remains stalled for another month. A bus load of Plaza residents showed up to voice their concerns without actually admitting their issue is view blockage and that the rest was just a smoke screen.  Several gave themselves away in saying that a midrise would be better (but then complained about other midrises in the area). So, why exactly would a midrise with essentially the same number of units be better than a high-rise?

(more…)