Highland Park Luxury Mediterranean
I have, and always will maintain, that the two most-coveted streets in the Park Cities are Beverly Drive and Armstrong Parkway. Imagine my delight in finding this Highland Park luxury Mediterranean on the corner of these two sought-after streets! When you imagine a home on Beverly Drive, what comes to mind is luxury, of course, but also gracious living, elegance, taste, style, and sophistication. Absolutely every one of these elements is found in this 8,955-square-foot Highland Park luxury Mediterranean at 4343 Beverly Drive. (more…)

If dreams of the Loire Valley and Château du Chenonceau fill your head but you hang your hat in Dallas, we may have found your next home. This University Park French contemporary at 2901 Bryn Mawr marries classic French exterior style with clean contemporary interior lines. The result is perfect.


Photos: Shoot2Sell

Photos: Shoot2Sell

Candy told you last week that this incredible Highland Park home on Normandy owned by none other than former Dallas Cowboy star quarterback Troy Aikman was listed with Allie Beth Allman for $5.3 million. Well, they’ve bumped that price up a bit to perhaps narrow the field of bidders, and now you can own this gorgeous Tatum Brown Custom Home on one of Highland Park’s most sought-after streets for $5.95 million.


4425 Highland DriveWe have talked plenty about Troy’s twin property purchases in the Park Cities. But who bought his Larry Boerder-designed home on Highland Drive?

They would be a MORENO, MICHEL B & TIFFANY. Deed transfer date is July 9, 2013. Now I have heard there was one other buyer lined up, so much that Troy actually called the movers and told everyone to get into action, he was moving (into a house on Lakeside)! But that deal fell through because the almost-buyer wanted more of a basement to park his vast collectible auto collection. This was right around the time Troy took the Highland home, listed for $14 million, out of MLS.

Mike morenoThen came the Morenos!

Anyhow, googling around I see that Michel Moreno is the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Green Field Energy Services. Looks like he’s from Lafayette, Louisiana. Originally from Cuba. Don’t know how long he’s lived in Lafayette , but he purportedly played baseball at USL for a while in college. Pretty darn good looking dude and just in his early 40’s. Green Field is an oil and gas services company for the fracking industry and has concentrated its hydraulic fracturing efforts in the Permian Basin in West Texas, the Eagle Ford Shale in southern Texas, and the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. Here’s what the company website says:

“GREEN FIELD ENERGY SERVICES has become this innovator for alternative fuel and technology, by learning from those before us and creating a better and more responsible energy future for those who come after. We are in the beginning of a new era in energy, where advancements in hydraulic fracturing can open doors and give America an independence its never had before.

But just Sunday, Green Field filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, hoping to reorganize its approximately $500 million in outstanding debt — about the same amount it lists in assets.

Leslie Turk of ABiz in Lafayette has the whole scoop:

“The man with the Midas touch, whose business deals almost always seem to end up in a heated court battle, might need to pull a rabbit out of his hat to get this venture out of bankruptcy.”

I spoke to Leslie, and she confirmed that the guy with the Midas touch is Mike Moreno.

Moreno is apparently a Realtor’s (and real estate blogger’s) dream. He likes to buy homes, big homes, multiple homes, and live the high life. Leslie tells me Moreno owns several multi-million dollar homes, including one at 2307 River Oaks Boulevard in Houston, and one stunner in Lafayette, LA, in an upscale neighborhood called River Ranch:MorenohousephotoLafayetteLA2

That Lafayette home is stunning.

But you should see the Moreno’s Houston mansion: 11, 236 square feet, five bedrooms, eight full and three half baths, a stunning Italian estate located on toney River Oaks Blvd. The home was built in 1951 but has been totally updated with gourmet kitchen, custom cabinetry, grand formals, marble-y master with dual  baths, custom closets, elevator, Lutron lighting, copper gutters, pool, spa and fountain, summer kitchen, apartment quarters and an exercise room. The home was listed for $7,900,000:

2307 River Oaks Blvd Houston 2307 River Oaks Blvd Houston foyer 2307 River Oaks Blvd kitchen 2307 River Oaks Blvd Houston master 2307 River Oaks Blvd Houston master bath 2307 River Oaks Blvd Houston pool 2307 River Oaks Blvd Houston rear

Gorgeous! Moreno also owns a gorgeous thoroughbred and the steed, named Moreno, is racing in this weekend’s $5 million Breeders Cup.

moreno-2013According to a source in Lafayette, Moreno also “has a major yacht and plane”. Well, duh! He also owns several companies and created a restaurant in Dallas near the Quadrangle, JoJo Eating House and Bar, featuring chef Laurent Poupart who was once his personal chef. According to the brilliant Teresa Gubbins at CultureMap, Dee Lincoln is “taking over the restaurant”.

He has certainly looked at a lot of real estate in Dallas. My LA sources tell me Mike Moreno is well-liked in southwestern Louisiana and is the kind of guy who always manages to make lemonade out of lemons in his business dealings. Once or twice he’s had a company in trouble, but pulled his way out. Once a company was “saved” by a hurricane.

It appears this bankruptcy is going to add some folks to the unemployment list, but I’m told Green Field was a company already in trouble when Moreno bought it in 2011. He, along with a group of investors, purchased the Hub City Industries in 2011, re-named it Green Field, and increased the manufacture and use of turbine equipment in the field. Since 2011, Green Field has expanded from 75 to more than 500 employees companywide, with operating districts in Lafayette, Texas and Pennsylvania.

Leslie writes “it’s unclear how many of Green Field’s 355 people at 14 facilities throughout Texas and Louisiana have been laid off. An ABiz source with information about its local operations says about half of the roughly 40 office staffers in Lafayette lost their jobs.” And the story is apparently just beginning:

The Wall Street Journal reports that of its Chapter 11 filing Sunday in Wilmington, Del., Green Field had $255.9 million in bond debt, an $80 million credit facility owed to Shell (the national newspaper points out that Green Field argues in court documents that Shell failed to perfect liens securing this debt, which the WSJ believes is a hint that a potential court fight could be in the making) and $98.6 million in trade debt. Green Field lost $74.6 million last year and $81.4 million so far this year.

Is the guy who bought Troy Aikman’s house taking on Shell Oil? Wow.

Sounds like Mike Moreno is the perfect new owner for a famous former quarterback’s mansion!


le274e043-m0o3801 NormandyTurns out that Troy closed on author/editor Jane Wolfe’s St. Johns home on August 16. The home, 4300 St. Johns Drive, was built in 1941 and has 6109 square feet. It was extensively remodeled in 1988, and Alan Peppard says Troy paid $4.3 million for the property, which I’m sure made Ms. Wolfe quite happy: DCAD has the home appraised at $3,305,170. This is yet one more home sale NOT in MLS. He bought this one month after he settled into Normandy, and though he is making some alterations on Normandy, word is he will be scraping the Wolfe home and building a new signature creation. Starchitect Larry Boerder designed the house on Highland, and I hear he was very pleased with the results. Before Aikman moved to Highland Park, he and his then-wife Rhonda lived in a Plano home built by Bob Thompson. I also hear that Aikman is the perfect client.

“He says, I’m an athlete, you’re the _____ expert (fill in area of expertise, landscape architect, architect, home builder),” one source recently told me. “Working for him is a true pleasure.”

Is St. Johns for himself or an investment? The new lady in his life? Will he stay on Normandy? Or is he just nesting there until the new home is complete on St. Johns. Or, as some claim, does he plan to get into the development of luxury Park Cities homes? A lot of wealthy Dallas movers and shakers do just that. Recall Kimberly Schlegel Whitman Homes? Al Hill II is a genius when it comes to building or even remodeling luxury homes. Generally, people who have basked in stunning properties all their life make excellent developers.

Developing would be a brilliant idea for Troy: he has a lot of experience building, great taste, fabulous resources, and his brand is stellar. Can you imagine the tag line: “This is a home by Troy Aikman.” Or, “Troy Aikman homes”. No no I’d do “Troy Aikman Luxury Homes” or “Luxury Homes by Troy Aikman.”

dez-bryant-meltdownWe are pretty sure it had something to do with real estate. Tony, as you know, is building a spectacular house in Glen Abbey. I am hearing it will push 12,000 32,000 square feet. Maybe he’s trying to sell his Cottonwood Valley home in Irving to Dez, who lives in DeSoto. Maybe Dez was telling him to follow in the path of former quarterback Troy Aikman, who has made some very sound real estate decisions, who in fact has made a bundle in real estate.

SAMSUNGDez Bryant’s mother’s house tony-romo-house11Tony’s place in Irving

“Glen Abbey my a*&%! You need to be the the Bubble,” maybe Dez was saying while he was jetting around.

But maybe Romo quipped back with, no way. We like the security of Glen Abbey — no rubbernecking drivers on my hiney like they are on Troy’s all day long.

Well, you know, Dez might have said, I don’t like your home being bigger than mine. I’m going to buy Michael Jordan’s place, it’s up for auction up there in Chicagoland,  7.39 landscaped acres just north of The Windy, 56,000 square feet of living space, with 9 bedrooms, 15 full bathrooms and, as one might expect from this basketball superstar stud, a regulation-size, NBA-quality basketball court – all surrounded by a living fence of 150 mature evergreens. He had it on the market for $29 million. Didn’t sell, auctioning it all now with no reserve but some starting bids.

Then Dez might have reminded Tony of yet another home hitting the market, that of former NBA guard Michael Finley, who played for the Mavs until 2005, and was once considered among the most gifted scorers during his peak, from 1995 to 2010.Michael Finley shirt Michael Finley tee shirts Finley made more than $138 million during his playing career, I read, but not pulling that much coin these days. He left the Mavericks for the San Antonio Spurs. In fact, Finley just had an estate sale at a Dallas home on Walnut Hill Lane like two weeks ago. He sold off baby shoes, jumpers, stuffed animals, furniture by Dallas designer Joanie Wyll, and signed jerseys. He also signed and sold his Fooz ball game, Coke machine, NBA Arcade game, Air Jordan shoes and his desk drawer! Just the drawer? What about the rest of the desk?


Troy Aikman just purchased this home on St. Johns for $4.3 million. 

This just in from the lovely, amazing, and talented Alan Peppard: Troy Aikman has bought his second Highland Park home in three months, this time opting for the 6,000-square-foot former home of reporter and author Jane Wolfe.

The mansion on St. Johns was purchased by Aikman for a confirmed $4.3 million. Aikman’s last purchase was an 11,000-square-foot Mount Vernon manse built by Tatum Brown on Normandy that is just incredible inside and out, with beautiful landscaping by Harold Leidner.

3801 Normandy


Aikman’s home on Normandy was built by Tatum Brown and features a lush landscape by Harold Leidner

While the home is gorgeous and has entertained and hosted notables such as former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, the 73-year-old red brick estate may not be long for this world. From Peppard:

Aikman has long expressed to friends his plan to build a new home and the Wolfe home sits on a stunning promontory overlooking the Connor Lake section of Turtle Creek.

Even more interesting is how the transaction between Aikman and Wolfe was completed. Wolfe, whose family owns the Columbus Dispatch and is considered the first family of Ohio, is also a well-known author and definitely has a flair for the dramatic.

It took an exchange of autographs to seal the purchase. Wolfe is the author of The Murchisons, a book chronicling the family of Dallas Cowboys founder Clint Murchison Jr.

“When we were back and forth negotiating the price, he asked me to sign a copy of my Murchison book,” she says. “I asked him for a signed Troy Aikman jersey.”

To celebrate the closing, Troy and Jane and her daughter, Lee Harris, had dinner at Fireside Pies.
“He gave me a big, beautiful jersey,” Jane says, “and I gave him a big Murchison book inscribed, “To the best Cowboy ever.”

Fabulous story! And now we must wonder, will Troy hire Tatum Brown, a CandysDirt.com Approved Builder, to construct his new Highland Park home overlooking Turtle Creek? In the meantime, check out these photos of Wolfe’s beautiful home, complete with mirrored ceilings and leopard-print carpet on the staircase!

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Word comes that Troy Aikman’s new abode on Normandy has a fabulous landscape designed and installed by none other than Harold Leidner Landscape Architects, our CandysDirt.com preferred landscape designer. What’s even more interesting is that this is Aikman’s third home with a Harold Leidner-designed landscape! The first two were custom jobs commissioned by Troy, and the third is the incredible Tatum Brown-built, Clint Pearson, Architect | Symmetry Architects designed abode he just bought.

Troy sure does have good taste, right? We think so, too. I mean, after a long, illustrious career spent on a grass-covered field, you have to know a little something about landscaping, so of course he would choose the creme de la creme in all things green.

So, what do the outdoor areas at his former digs on Highland Drive and his new abode on Normandy have in common? Lush, sculpted European-style hedges and seasonal plantings in front, for sure!