Walkable Neighborhood a Top Appeal for the Residences at Stoneleigh | CandysDirt.com

Walkable communities are getting more attention from homebuyers who crave the lifestyle. In addition to convenience, these places offer unexpected benefits to our health, environment, finances, and communities.  

Some 56 percent of millennials and 46 percent of boomers prefer walkable communities with a range of housing amidst local businesses and public services. 

We’re certainly seeing this trend around Dallas, particularly Uptown and surrounding neighborhoods. One of our favorites there is the Residences at the Stoneleigh , which gets a Walk Score of 86, meaning it is highly walkable. 

That was part of what attracted Paul and Mackie Ellenbogen and their beloved dog Ruby, who looked at a lot of condos in Uptown and the Turtle Creek area before deciding on the Residences at the Stoneleigh. 

“We thought that condominium life might be right for us [because] our children were grown and had moved to other cities, and we were ready to downsize,” said Paul. “We liked it for the location, the proximity to the Arts District, Katy Trail, the American Airlines Center, and to restaurants. We were first attracted to the Residences at the Stoneleigh because of its location, all the things that we could do.” 

The Residences at the Stoneleigh combine a rare real estate opportunity with superior service, luxury amenities, and that incredible location. They’ve got it all! 

(more…)

Uptown townhomeToday’s Thursday Three Hundred sits in the heart of Uptown, within eyesight of Cole Park and walking distance to West Village just three blocks away.

The Uptown townhome at 4110 McKinney Ave. No. 4 feels fresh and polished. It is listed by David Maez at Vivo Realty for $369,900, with voluntary HOA fees of only $200 per quarter. That seems like an excellent deal for such a killer location and a property that’s only ten years old. Uptown townhomeThis townhome is 2,175 square feet on four stories, including a large game room on the fourth story. The floorplan is open and includes two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, one powder room, and a two-car garage.

You’ll find lots of sweet amenities in this place, from granite counters and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen to handscraped hardwood floods in the living room and kitchen. The palette and decor is pretty neutral, so it will be easy for new owners to add their own touches.

Let’s check out this newly listed property and see what it’s got to offer buyers.

(more…)

Gabriel Barbier-Mueller

The Barbier-Mueller family, from L to R: Alexis Barbier-Mueller, Niña Barbier-Mueller Tollett, Gabriel Barbier-Mueller, Ann Barbier-Mueller, and Oliver Barbier-Mueller at the the Samurai Collection traveling exhibition in Quebec City. All photos: Gabriel Barbier-Mueller

Many diners at Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar and passers by admire the Virgin de Guadalupe monument standing outside, a tile-and-brick structure that murmurs the history of the area.

This Harwood Avenue location was Dallas’ first school for Hispanic children, the 1927 St. Ann’s school house. It was located in the heart of Little Mexico, in what is now the Harwood District of Uptown, the signature development of Gabriel Barbier-Mueller, Founder and CEO of Harwood International.

After buying the historic schoolhouse, Barbier-Mueller’s company brought in an art preservationist to refurbish the tile mural of Our Lady of Guadalupe. They kept the original brick school building and transformed the interior into a sophisticated-yet-comfortable eatery in 2010. The second level houses The Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: The Samurai Collection, an assemblage of samurai armor and related objects that is one of the largest and most complete in the world. Outside, the patio is one of the biggest and most lovely in the city.

This is just a tiny part of the Harwood empire, which spans the globe and has offices and developments in select parts of Dallas, Beverly Hills, Sunnyvale’s Gold Coast, Geneva, London’s West End, Paris, and Zurich’s Golden Triangle. But it speaks to Barbier-Mueller’s vision and European sensibilities when it comes to his work.

It’s not “out with the old, in with the new,” but rather a reimagining of space, with a focus on robust capital investment, energy conservation, leading-edge technology, green spaces, and designs that are built to stand the test of time.

(more…)

The exterior of the Kirby Building on main. This converted Gothic building has fantastic apartments with great views.

The Kirby Building on Main is a converted Gothic historic property full of apartments with great views. Photo: Kirby Residences on Main

Ashley D. Stanley has positioned herself to be the go-to expert locator for downtown Dallas apartment rentals. She’s a real estate broker and owner of Ashley’s Apartments, an apartment locator service specializing in downtown and nearby areas.

Stanley lives, works, and plays in downtown, and considers herself one of its biggest fans.

“I live at 1900 Elm historical lofts next to Main Street Garden and have an office space out of the Pacific Place building next door, where my commute is through the skywalk, but with the birth of my son this past year I moved everything to my home office,” she said. “I moved my office from Park Cities in July 2013 right after I found out I was pregnant. I knew the downtown market was on the rise.”

Stanley was right: apartments in downtown can hardly get built fast enough to satisfy demand.

“The market is hot, hot, super hot,” she said. “New buildings are popping up and units are being pre-leased, meaning you might go to a showroom, see a spread of photos for their unique finish out, cabinetry, kitchen appliances, flooring, etc. and you are offered a great move in rate with maybe a few free weeks if you sign within 24 to 48 hours.”

But with high demand comes higher rents, and many people feel challenged by the task of finding affordable lease in downtown. So we sat down with Stanley and got her recommendations for the top five least expensive studio apartment rentals in downtown Dallas. Jump to read about these five fantastic places and her tips for snagging a lease!

(more…)

Park Cities sidewalksI sigh not because I do not enjoy walking, but because all this “walkable” talk is so annoying in our climate right now. Oh, I know we have had a really mild summer — last week we would have sat outside in the evening had it not been for the mosquitoes and West Nile.. Really, who walks when it’s 100 degrees outside? Do these walk-enthusiasts not understand that hair frizzes, clothing gets drenched, blisters are created in sweaty flip flops and overall walking is not the most pleasant of experiences come July, August and most of September in Dallas? Then there are the mosquitos! Walking is the best way to get around in New York City, but during the sweltering August I spent there two years ago, it was tortuous. And I avoided it as much as I could, then hit the air-conditioned gym.

So Dallas ranked as the 30th most walkable city in the United States, by Walk Score, a really neat site that started a few years back, measures a neighborhood’s walkability rating, among other things. Walking is great — people who live in walkable places weigh 6 to 10 pounds less, according to Walk Score. A score of 47, which we got, is not so hot. But it’s better than a score of  0 to 24, where almost everything is butt-expanding car dependent. A score of 50 to 69 would have been better, meaning that some errands can be accomplished on foot. 70 to 89 is super walkable, and 90 to 100 just rocks as a walker’s paradise. I could not find any large cities with scores higher than 90. New York City was first, with a walk score of 85, followed by San Francisco, 85, Boston, 79 and Chicago, 74. I will hasten to add that Chicago is the total opposite of Dallas come December, January and February: freeze your butt if you walk during those months unless you are wearing major cover. And I do mean major.

Most of the high-scoring walkable cities were up north, with the exception of Miami, score 73.

Next, Zip Realty zipped in to narrow the focus even more, and offered up the three most walkable neighborhoods in Dallas. They are University Park, Highland Park, and Addison.

What does University Park and Highland Park have that the rest of Dallas lacks? Sidewalks. Moment I moved to Dallas, I asked, where are the sidewalks? North Dallas does not have many. South Dallas has way more, like this photo from the Kings Highway Conservation District Conservation program shows:Kings Highway project

Of course the Park Cities, with some of the priciest real estate in town, would rate higher because they have dang sidewalks! In my ‘hood, you walk in the street and move over in terror to someone’s driveway or right of way when a Suburban comes tearing out like a bat out of you-know-what.

As for Addison, doesn’t surprise me at all. Nice little residential area springing up around Addison Circle with great planning, condos, restaurants and stores and everyone’s walking. Don’t believe me, ask Carol Blair who is selling real estate up there like crazy.