Nice cover story in today’s Dallas Morning News (with a nice hat tip to your’s truly here) telling us why, when it comes to having money or fame in North Texas, Westlake is the new place to be.
Eric Aasen says what I’ve been telling you for three years: this community in northeast Tarrant County with rolling hills and a Hill-Country flavor has become a veritable magnet for the rich and famous: Jonas brothers, the family rock band, both parents and the only married Jonas brother; professional athletes including Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, who closed on his home in Vaquero about a month ago, and business leaders, such as the CEO of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Matthew Rose, Chuck Greenberg, and more.
And then, or rather now:
Glenn Beck, the former Fox News Channel star, is joining the town’s exclusive ranks — in a home originally listed at $5.4 million and offered for lease at $20,000 a month, according to Candy Evans, a Dallas real estate blogger.
I also told you how Forbes recently named Westlake the most affluent neighborhood in the country, with a median household income of $250,000. The average home value is $1.2 million.
So why are all the rich and famous shunning Park Cities and Preston Hollow and moving to Westlake? In a word, lifestyle, peace and quiet, and security.
Security — it’s close to D/FW and the FBO, and that security is a huge plus. Glenn Beck will no longer need Xanax to sleep, although I totally recommend a Duxiana.
It gives you peace of mind, pro golfer Brandt Jobe told the Dallas Morning News.
And former Rangers executive Chuck Greenberg, who bought this home in Vaquero (and who’s wife wrote me a nasty email after I published it, I do apologize) still lives there and says publicity for the area comes with the territory.
Builder Randy White says Westlake has the “USDA stamp of approval for celebrities.
“If a celebrity sees a celebrity live there, it’s going to raise their eyebrows,” he said. “They’re going to think: ‘If it meets their scrutiny, it’s something I need to look into.’”
Residents give celebrities their space, said Trish Biddle, an artist who lives in Westlake and whose Westlake connections have netted her some powerful friends: Biddle’s paintings have been used by actress Eva Longoria (who used to live in San Antonio) and has snagged her invitations to create art for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and the Kentucky Derby.
Residents also like the schools, both public and private. The area was settled in the 1840’s and was just a small village until the 1990’s when Discovery Land Company and other developers created the sprawling, polished multi-million dollar home developments.
But Aasen points out recession has hit even Westlake, with sales tax revenue stagnant which forced an increase in the city property tax. Still, At 16 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, it’s one of the lowest around.
Like all areas, some homes have been reduced. Right now, here is an amazing bargain in Vaquero, more than 5000 square feet for — are you ready — $1,695,000. 2223 King Fisher Drive. A total steal and what I love is that this home has a lighter feel than most of the heavily Mediterranean homes that proliferate.