Before there ever was a pink mansion on Douglas Avenue, Mary Kay Ash and her husband, Mel Ash, conscripted modernist architect Frank L. Meier to design a home for them. The site — a private, picturesque lake in Preston Hollow — was the perfect place to craft reality from a dream.

That dream was for a welcoming, beautiful structure that was perfect for hosting all sorts of gatherings — a well-rounded home. Literally.

In fact, that’s what makes 7246 Lupton Circle — our High Caliber Home of the Week presented by Lisa Peters at Caliber Home Loans — so very unique. Its design takes every advantage of the lake and lot, with a circular design that flows perfectly from one room to the next. Add in the delicious light from the glass-domed ceiling in the center of the home, and you have magic in the making.

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This home at 7116 Desco Drive is not for the faint of heart. If remodeling raises your blood pressure, this house is not for you. But there is a very strong classicist in me and this house just grabbed those Ivy League/Antebellum stirrings and clung on like a dang horny vampire! She needs work, oh does she need work. But this is a house I would totally buy, tear apart and redo. As someone told me about it, the bones are not just great, they are AWESOME.

First of all the entrance is elegant and stately. I visualize guests — even the postman — coming to this door quite impressed. Plus I have always, always wanted a home with white columns. My very first boyfriend had a beautiful, two story white brick colonial with beautiful columns in Barrington Hills, Ill. White columns are my Gatsby-esque green light, my “Rosebud”. The location is awesome, Windsor Park off Park Lane and Boedecker. The lot is almost half an acre — jeeze, the more I write the more I think I might go buy this home. ($115 friggin dollars a square foot!) Built in 1970 — that’s no shocker. This house doesn’t just scream 1970, it projectile vomits it. All that shiny wood veneer paneling and white Corian kitchens/baths, I think the kitchen even has butcher block counter tops. Perhaps you could donate to a museum?

But you get such a fabulous lay-out, and yard space. Lots to chuck: the enclosed patio garden room, ceilings, all the white panels EVERYWHERE. Ditch those trellis wood overhangs outside, please. You have 4649 square feet, a huge dining room (steal some space for kitchen) four bedrooms three and a half baths. Go look at this house and put your thinking cap on! Best of all, though it was built in 1970, it has high ceilings. 

This home could be a real showplace. I’m thinking that will take $400K. What do you think? 

REI and Trader Joes, Too?

Why? Because these are the lucky ‘hoods that get the first Trader Joes in Dallas. I am so psyched. My dogs are so psyched. Teresa Gubbins and others report that Trader Joe’s has announced two new locations for stores, one in Dallas and one in Plano.

The Dallas store will open on Lower Greenville Avenue where the Arcadia Theater once stood. The Plano store will open in an old Kroger location at Preston and Park, in the same shopping center as outdoorsy store REI.

Speaking of REI, I have been meaning to tell you that one is also coming to the primo shopping center at Walnut Hill Lane and Central Expressway. I learned this at a holiday party and word was Trader Joes’ might still open a store there, too. But the guys in Preston Hollow are pretty psyched about having an REI so very close by!

As you may recall, those 42 acres are considered the best commercial dirt in town. They were owned by Wells Fargo bank from a foreclosure on Provident Realty Group in 2009. The neighbors have been quite concerned about and watching over that property. The property was purchased in October, 2010 by a partnership set up by Kroenke Holdings of Columbia, Mo. Kroenke Holdings, a private owner and developer of properties including shopping centers and apartments, is owned by billionaire sports team owner E. Stanley Kroenke who is married to Ann Walton. Maybe that means a WalMart is sure to pop up.

Looks like Stan and Ann are taking over the whole darn hood: Kroenke also just bought 80 acre MidTown Park, at Meadow and Central about a half mile north of the Walnut Hill/Central spot. It was  in a receivorship.

Last year, the neighbors expressed their concerns over any changes to the mixed-use zoning:

“As most of you know, the 42-acre property at the northwest corner of Walnut Hill and Central Expressway that was owned by Provident Realty Advisors was foreclosed on by Wells Fargo late last year. Because the Wells Fargo loan pre-dated the private deed restrictions (“PDR”) that The Meadows, Glen Lakes and Windsor Park had collectively negotiated with Provident, the PDR has been negated. However, the zoning that we negotiated remains in place (see www.themeadowsna.org for a copy of the approved zoning).  Because of continued support from our City Council representative and the expectation that any future owner will likely seek changes to the existing zoning, we believe we will have reasonable influence in what ultimately transpires on the site.  As a reminder, current zoning includes, among other things, a requirement that the western-most 385 feet (approximately 17 acres) be solely residential, with no more than 140 residences that must be townhomes (rather than condos, apartments, etc). Wells Fargo has recently opened up bidding for the site.

The Joint Task Force (made up of representatives from The Meadows, Glen Lakes and Windsor Park) will continue to work with potential developers on behalf of our respective neighborhoods. The JTF is currently taking the approach that, rather than express upfront what our neighborhoods want on the site, we will wait and see what the future owner/developer has in mind.”