You all know Tanya Foster, right? Park Cities resident, lifestyle blogger, actor and now empty nester… which brings us to the point of this story.

Tanya is a wife and mother to FOUR grown children, a husband Pete, and two Norfolk terriers, Sparky and Max. She’s been blogging since 2016 at TanyaFoster.com – a lifestyle blog, covering all things lifestyle: fashiontravel, restaurants, recipes, beauty, aesthetic procedures and more.

I’m an everyday gal about town always exploring new opportunities. Do you have something you would like for me to consider in my editorial content? Be sure to contact me here. I hope that you will subscribe and stop by often. My intent is to inspire you to try something new while we’re talking over coffee via the daily blog post.

And where has Tanya’s empire been launched? Right in her beautiful University Park home at 3924 Bryn Mawr. But now the empty nesters want a more leave-able home, because they travel so much. Allie Beth Allman’s Lillie Young is helping them downsize Bryn Mawr and just popped it on MLS. It’s a beauty: Tanya’s style and incredible taste shines throughout! The 5266 square foot home was built by Tanya and Pete, sports five bedrooms, three and a half baths, formals and a guest house on a 65 by 160 foot lot within walking distance of Hyer Elementary. That big juicy lot also has a sparkling swimming pool and patio space galore. 

The floor plan  “is perfect for entertaining” – well, we knew that immediately. The “dramatic marbled entry flows to elegant formals with hardwood flooring & floor to ceiling windows. A 2015 kitchen remodel features natural marble counter tops, stainless steel Thermador appliances, and custom cabinetry. The kitchen area flows to large family living area which looks onto the back patio, the beautiful salt-water pool, spa, and landscaped yard.”

Salt water pool! The master bedroom, master bath, and master closet were all remodeled in 2015: got to see that closet! There is also a Guest House, one-bedroom with kitchenette and full bath above the detached garage. The home overlooks the pool. And yes, the place is what you would definitely call sophisticated, just like Miss Tanya, who tells us her real estate story: (more…)

3824 Centenary

A recent question in Quora posed, how do you find a home in this tight RE market before it hits the market?

Answer: Christy Berry. Berry tells me she has a hip pocket that is to-die-for great on Centenary in University Park that you might want to take a gander at: five bedrooms, four and a half baths, entertaining space galore and one of the prettiest HP pools I have seen. Asking is $2,349,000.

“The home is not going on the market until next week,” says Christy. “And it’s on one of UP’s most prestigious streets, with a Larry Boerder architectural pedigree.”

There are 5320 square feet of updated finishes with a large, bright kitchen, eat in breakfast area, and spectacular family room. Formals, of course. The second floor has all five bedrooms including the master suite, spa bath and laundry room. French doors open to the back yard, which is turfed, with a brand new pool and outdoor grilling area. There is potential for a finished third level and hence more square footage. This is Centenary: everything is an easy walk to the delights of Preston Center: Sprinkles, Swoozies, R&D Cafe, etc.

Come to think of it, I should buy this house and keep the kitchen pristine white by just dining at R&D every night… think I’d get a discount? Jump for more photos… (more…)

Photo courtesy Tatum Brown Custom Homes

Photo courtesy Tatum Brown Custom Homes

I really love this unusual listing at 3615 Amherst Avenue in the heart of University Park. I hope this house had a great holiday because all through Christmas I kept thinking of it, wondering if it was OK. That’s because I took two HGTV stars through the place to show off Dallas real estate in early December — remember my Capital One deal with Jillian Harris and Todd Talbott?

We were sitting in the Green Room at Stonebriar Mall getting ready for our big interview, and Todd started asking me about the Dallas real estate market. We chatted and then I said, hey, want to see some of our amazing homes?

You bet, they said. Then the inevitable —

“Anything on hills? Water?”

Contemporary Home, 3615 Amherst Avenue, University Park, Texas

3615 Amherst Avenue

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Golf extI know, I know, you think I’m talking about pitching a tent on a lovely piece of Turtle Creek creekside property on Golf Drive, one of the most desirable pockets of living in UP.

No, there is a house, a very nice house, indeed. English Tudor. One of my favorites. And it is more than liveable. And it’s practically free!

The property is now priced at $1,849,000. Because, frankly, the idea is to move it. And so you are getting a quarter acre of treed, creekside living on the prettiest creek in Dallas for lot value. Proof: two doors down, Booth Brothers, a CandysDirt approved homebuilder (we only have the best!) are building a brand spanking new home on the same sized property that sold  FOR THE DIRT and is now asking $3,995,000. Great builders. Ditto Tatum Brown, also CandysDirt-approved, whose 6629 Golf sold in 2013 for $3.2, THEN was listed with Chad Barrett of ABA for $3,775,000. I’ve heard it was close to that asking price when it sold this summer in a private non-MLS transaction. A large, irregular lot at 6825 golf sold in April through MLS for $3.2. Are you seeing this? 21 creek (more…)

3104 Hanover extDesigned by one of our fair city’s hottest starchitects, Robbie Fusch of Fusch Architects, 3104 Hanover is one of the most exciting new home builds I have seen in years. Built as a completely custom home, it is actually for sale as a custom spec home. Once you step inside, and get a load of all the extras (waterfall carrarra, extra wide halls, 300 year old beams, ship lap on walls and ceilings, double washer dryer in laundry…) you will only be thinking of financing, calling the movers and moving in.

Let’s start with the exterior. The builder, Jonathan Booth of Booth Brothers Homes, created a stunning French slur for the exterior with ceiling to floor windows. Note the side steps to the beautiful front door.3104 Hanover entrance (more…)

3108 Bryn Mawr Front

 

Let’s just plunge right into this stunning new construction at 3108 Bryn Mawr in University Park, and pretend it’s a pool. We are in LOVE! The home is brand spanking new, sits on a huge Parkie-sized lot of 70 by 160, and is one of the latest architectural masterpieces built by Barrow Durrett custom builders. Not only is the home just damn good-looking, it features a downstairs master in a neighborhood where this doesn’t happen all that often.

Of course, the master could be in the tree-house: most people would give a limb to live on Bryn Mawr!

The brand new home has five full bedrooms, six full baths and two powder, all with generous proportions. Of course, combining beautiful form and function is not always easy, but these B-D guys sure pulled it off.

The home packs everything into 6,435 square feet of living space, right from the entry. There is a large formal dining room with a huge English-style, walk-in wine closet. So nice, great location right where you need it! The open-concept living room has a masonry fireplace, built-in shelving and windows overlooking the covered loggia and private rear yard.

Now let’s take a look at the kitchen: high-end, designer brand appliances, the kitchen showcases the commercial-grade Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, under-counter icemaker, secondary under-counter refrigerator (really nice!) and over-sized butler’s pantry with sink. Yes, a sink, how smart is that?3108 Bryn Mawr Entry

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Preston Center Task Force Map

The Task Force’s 1,630 acre charge

As CandysDirt.com readers (and likely most all of Dallas) know, Councilwoman Jennifer Gates formed a task force to hire a consultant to tell them how bad traffic and parking are in the Preston Road and Northwest Highway area. Granted the scope of the project is much larger (see map), but this intersection is where the action will be. I just heard today that the consultant has been selected who will deliver suggested solutions for their $350,000 fee.

During the last task force meeting on April 27, it was revealed that they were about $100,000 short and seeking donations from concerned area citizens and businesses needing a tax write-off. The other $250,000 is being fronted by North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTOG).

NCTOG is a voluntary coalition formed from local government representatives from the 16 counties surrounding Dallas and Fort Worth and includes 235 members. NCTOG is a political subdivision formed by the State of Texas in 1966. NCTOG’s mission seems to be to a shared resource to help municipal planning in the region (judging from current job vacancies, traffic management is a large part). Unfortunately their reports and recommendations carry no force so no matter how smart (and right) they are, local governments can ultimately do whatever they want. Funding comes from member dues and local, state and federal government agencies.

The initial data will take 12-18 months to gather and present to the task force. I then easily foresee another 6-12 months of digesting and bandying around various scenarios before crafting a final document to present to the City Council. Or in other words, about two years. Then the work begins to beg, borrow and curry favor to implement whatever recommendations have made it that far. Best guess for seeing a first shovel hit the ground? At least four years from now … if at all.

If at All

  • “If at all” because if Dallas and University Park City Councils are not even supportive enough to fund the study, then surely they’re not anxiously waiting, wallet outstretched, to unleash the millions needed to actually better the area, are they?
  • “If at all” because, as pointed out by Morning News blogger Robert Wilonsky, today’s fracas is a near word-for-word repeat from 1976 which sought (unsuccessfully) to back-zone properties to three stories in an effort to curb development and traffic.
  • “If at all” because two later studies in 1986 and 1989 received little/no action or funding from the city.
  • “If at all” because Mayor Mike Rawlins, faced with overflowing property tax coffers, would rather cut taxes than fix crumbling infrastructure. Infrastructure that’s admittedly underfunded by the Texas Transportation Commission by $2-billion annually in the NCTOG area (I hate taxes too, but I hate crappy roads more).

I think the City Council is more likely to thank the task force for their work before ushering them out with a case of Rice-a-Roni and a year’s supply of Tic Tacs. The anti-development crowd knows the game being played is to stall and starve developers. The death of 1,000 City Council postponements.

Begun in 2014, we will spend over four years pretending this is a difficult and time consuming project. It’s not. In fact, I spent a few hours over a weekend and crafted the poor-man’s Preston Center Traffic and Parking Plan. I have mailed a copy to each member of the city council so that, years from now, I’ll have my big, fat, “I told you so” moment.

Granted my plan is more concise and isn’t full of the pretty sketches of happy, dog-walking models on tree-lined, car-less streets – I’m not good with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or AutoCAD.  But don’t be fooled, these kinds of images are all just a marketing “show” put on for the tourists.

But the same recommendations on how to fix traffic and parking will be there. Why am I so sure? Because the area surrounding Northwest Highway and Preston Road is finite and so are the solutions. It’s the simple application of math coupled with a little research on traffic management theory. After all, we’re talking physical roadways here, not a TARDIS.

Jon Anderson’s Traffic Plan for Preston Center

Jump for more details.
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A home surveillance camera caught a thief in the act of burglarizing an unlocked car, but the thief managed to escape.

A home surveillance camera caught a thief in the act of burglarizing an unlocked car, but the thief managed to escape.

Because the incident reports supplied by Dallas police remain largely useless, we must rely on the cops in Highland Park and University Park to provide us with all the juicy details. Last week, a busy little burglar targeted several vehicles along a street that traverses the border between the Park Cities.

At about 1:35 a.m. on Nov. 11, a thief jumped a rear fence in the 3500 block of Potomac Avenue and stole $60 in cash from a 2011 GMC Yukon Denali that had been left unlocked. We know what time this happened because it was captured by the victim’s security cameras. The thief then walked around to the front of the house and tried to open another vehicle there, but — shockingly — it was locked, so the thief moved on in search of easier targets. His search would prove to be fruitful:

  • Between 6 p.m. on Nov. 10 and 6 a.m. on Nov. 11, a thief entered a gray 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee that had been left unlocked in the 3400 block of Potomac Avenue and stole a $100 purse that held $40 in cash.
  • Between 5 p.m. on Nov. 10 and 3 a.m. on Nov. 11, a thief entered two SUVs that had been left unlocked in front of a house in the 3700 block of Potomac Avenue. A $150 pair of Persol sunglasses and a $150 set of headphones were stolen from a black 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe. The thief took registration and insurance papers from a black 2010 GMC Yukon, as well as a fire extinguisher and a credit card holder containing an American Express card and a Mastercard; the cards were used at a Tom Thumb and a 7-Eleven at about 3 a.m. on Nov. 11. The thief apparently had no use for the victim’s Avis Chairman’s Club card nor his two Marquis Jet cards, as those were all found in a neighbor’s yard.
  • Between 10 p.m. on Nov. 10 and 9:45 a.m. on Nov. 11, a thief entered a gray 2013 Lexus LX 570 that had been left unlocked in the 3400 block of Potomac Avenue and stole a $750 Louis Vuitton wallet.

Click through for a roundup of other residential crimes in the Park Cities:

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