Always on the look-out for that rarity — a new build we can love —  I was thrilled to discover that former Fort Worth Magazine Dream Home at 3824 River Hills View Drive was listed this Tuesday. The handsome Mediterranean sits on a large third-of-an-acre lot in the first phase of the thoughtfully realized Riverhills community in Edwards Ranch. We’ve been here before. It’s difficult to overlook  a community of well-constructed new houses that achieve opulence without ostentation, mere minutes from upscale Waterside retail and the shops at Clearfork.

Remember symmetry? The impressive elevation is composed of forceful stepped-and-balanced blocks under tiled Italianate eaves. It harkens back to an earlier era and should gracefully bear the test of time.


Do you yearn for new construction with old school quality? Something grand, not grandiose, surrounded by similar properties? A spacious-yet-sensible plan and not a McMansion clone? River Hills, part of the interesting and evolving Edwards Ranch story, may be your answer. Founded in 1848, Edwards Ranch is older than Fort Worth itself. Now it is the locus for the most exciting new developments  in the city. It includes River Hills, the Waterside retail development, and  the Shops at Clearfork, anchored by the new Neiman Marcus. The weight and force of all of this development, together with the energetic rejuvenation of the Near South Side, is generating a gravitational pull which challenges the heretofore uncontested hegemony of the West Side.

The truth is that I have been longing to write about River Hills for some time, and prowl the area from time to time. This week I stumbled onto 3737 Aviemore a stone revetted, manorial abode, perched on a high bluff built in 2009. The street is romantically named after a resort in the highlands of Scottland and as north Texas goes, the area is hilly.


Shady OaksDuring the holiday season, it may have escaped notice that a choice townhouse in one of Fort Worth’s most enduringly popular developments has come on the market.

Shady Oaks Townhouses, tucked behind walls, shaded by large live oaks, and backing up to the golf course of the same name, were constructed in 1970. They were designed by architect Albert S. Komatsu, whose varied  portfolio of work includes the emblematic entrance to the Japanese Gardens and the notorious Stonegate Mansion built for Cullen Davis. The architecture firm founded in 1959 continues to this day.Japanese GardensIt is an old axiom that good design has lasting appeal, still, it is difficult to believe that this fresh-looking, modern project is almost 50 years old. At 4,759 square feet, the three-bedroom, four-and-one-half-bath townhouse at 600 Roaring Springs Road, is also the largest unit in the complex.


virginia and seth

Do you know why white stucco was so important to architects for new homes after World War II?  What negative effect did the Federal Housing Administration have on the design of homes?  What was one of the inspirations for the ranch home?  How did owners of a Victorian home show they had a certain amount of wealth?

All these topics and many more were discussed when renowned Dallas author Virginia Savage McAlester visited with the real estate agents of Williams Trew Real Estate in Fort Worth.  McAlester is the author of A Field Guide to American Houses, the preeminent book for anyone and everyone who wants to know about styles of homes.



Photos: Shoot2Sell

Welcome to the Tarrant County edition of Tuesday Two Hundred!  Today we are going to focus on Cowtown. For those who don’t know, “Cowtown” is Fort Worth, and that’s where you’ll find Unit #201 and Unit #301 inside the Museum Place Condominiums at 3300 at West 7th Street, priced at $282,900 and $279,900, respectively.

Yes that’s right, two spacious, 1,700-square-foot condominiums in the heart of Fort Worth’s West Side, where residents can walk to a variety of shops, world-class museums, restaurants, entertainment establishments, exercise venues, businesses, and so much more — for under $300,000!


3020 Simondale, Colonial Hills

Colonial Hills, another alluring, older enclave near the Colonial Country Club and TCU is benefiting, like other reviving Near South Side neighborhoods, from development on nearby Hulen. That development will eventually include the Clearfork project, anchored by Neiman-Marcus, set to open in 2017. Unfortunately large lots and access to desirable Tanglewood schools, also make these vintage charmers tempting tear-down targets. One notices with displeasure a Greek revival number down the street with Ionic columns on steroids that look like salvage from the old Cesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.

Placed on a desirable half acre corner lot, set among mature twisting live oaks, 3020 Simondale deserves to be loved and cherished. Built in 1938, the three-bedroom, two-bath Tudor is so endearingly old fashioned, one has the feeling of arriving at the imagined home of an MGM classic movie.

3020 Simondale, Colonial Hills

A large pointed arched door with stained glass opens into a vestibule with a barrel vault. An enfilade of peaked arches can be glimpsed to the right, running to the back of the house. The period hardwood floors are in mint condition. (more…)

The Tower 500 Throckmorton

The Tower at 500 Throckmorton Street is a building with a dramatic past, stubbornly surviving to adapt itself to the future. Once known as the Bank One Building, yes, that Bank One Building,  was at ground zero of the horrific March 28, 2000 tornado, which left half a billion dollars worth of damage to Fort Worth’s downtown in its wake. Work to reconstruct the building began in 2001, but extensive asbestos abatement and other unforeseen costs halted the effort. For several years, it stood, an urban oddity, half clad in plywood and metal, its very existence uncertain.

In 2003, realizing the potential payoff of a prize location in the heart of a lively downtown, TLC Realty announced plans for an urban, mixed-use revamp of the storm-orphaned edifice. Work was completed in 2005. The six-sided structure is now enveloped by a square proscenium of stone, which anchors it to the city block it occupies. The 1974 conception of Atlanta architect John Portman has stood the test of time and looks 21st century, fresh as paint.

The Tower 500 Throckmorton

The project has been so successful that units in the building hit the market rather infrequently. So when one of the four, two-story, penthouse units is offered for sale (it’s been on the market for less than one week) the real estate community takes notice.


CSF Headshot

It all started as a bet about 6 years ago, says C. Seth Fowler, a Fort Worth real estate agent with Williams Trew. Little did he know that a friendly wager would turn into a calling card.

Now Fowler, a go-getter of a Realtor, has something in common with Bill Nye the Science Guy and Doctor Who‘s 11th Doctor, Matt Smith: A penchant for bow ties!

“So now I pretty much only wear bow ties and I’ve even had people come up to me telling me they didn’t recognize me if I wasn’t wearing a bow tie,” Fowler said. “So yeah, I guess I am ‘The Bow Tie Realtor,’ but I want to be known for my skills more than my attire.”

That’s OK, Seth. We hear that bowties are cool!

Bowties are cool Doctor Who

We asked Fowler to open up a bit about those skills as this week’s Great Western Home Loans Featured Realtor. While you can learn more about Fowler on twitter (@bowtierealtor), jump to find out why he chose a career in real estate and the place he calls his second home!