Dallas Developer Monte Anderson Named First Urban Pioneer by Planning Council

Monte Anderson

On Tuesday night, the Greater Dallas Planning Council honored North Texas developer Monte Anderson with its inaugural Urban Pioneer Award at the Urban Design Awards.

Anderson is the president of Options Real Estate, a multi-service real estate company that concentrates its work in southern Dallas and Ellis counties, specializing in creating sustainable neighborhoods that invite “gentlefication,” as opposed to gentrification.

Here’s a great working definition of “gentlefication”:

Moving into a neighborhood in an effort to reduce crime, create harmony, and build community. As opposed to “gentrification,” which changes neighborhoods by forcing out low-income residents with high-income folks seeking the next hip thing. Gentlefication helps long-term residents take back their neighborhoods, stabilize property values, and build safe spaces for their children and grandchildren.

“The award means a lot because it means people are staring to recognize that incremental development, or ‘microsurgery’, not big silver bullet deals, works in our southern Dallas neighborhoods,” he said. “My approach is to come in and get other small developers and entrepreneurs to come in very early and be a part of the change. These are the people who make it cool, like artists and restaurateurs, and they [usually] end up not owning anything and getting pushed out in the end.” (more…)

434 W. 12 Front

Today’s Thursday Three Hundred is unlike any home we’ve featured before. It’s in a great location: the historic Dallas Land & Loan neighborhood that is south of Jefferson Ave. and West of Bishop Ave., and it is an incredible investment. This home is so close to the Bishop Arts District, and it is in an area that is poised for some serious growth.

And you can make it completely yours because this baby comes with absolutely nothing but drywall.


2531 W 10th Front

I know that all of the staging advice we publish says, rather unequivocally, to make the home look as if only humans live there. It gives buyers an opportunity to picture themselves in the space, and not all buyers have furry friends. In fact, some people are not pet lovers at all.

But I do want to give big ups to the homeowner at 2531 W 10th Street in Kessler Plaza, because this person is letting their Cat Lady flag fly. And I still love the home!


Workers complete Phase One of the Oak Cliff streetcar on Thursday, May 15. (Photos: Rick Lopez)

Workers complete Phase One of the Oak Cliff streetcar at Colorado Boulevard on Thursday, May 15. (Photos: Rick Lopez)

By Rick Lopez

CandysDirt.com Contributor

If a stranger talks to an Oak Cliff homeowner about the neighborhood for a few minutes, eventually he or she will boast about one of two things: the arrival of the newest critically acclaimed restaurant in the Bishop Arts District (which changes every few months) or a streetcar that will soon connect the neighborhood with downtown Dallas.

However, the latest development on the $51 million streetcar project set to debut early next year seemed to surprise some residents: It will only operate weekdays until 7 p.m., and make only four stops before it terminates at the corner of Colorado and Zang, just east of Methodist Medical Center.

Though the stops will service a swath of new apartment communities just south of the Jefferson Viaduct, the streetcar’s final destination isn’t exactly the nexus of North Oak Cliff.


300 S Montreal Front

In a lot of the more gentrified neighborhoods throughout North Oak Cliff, finding a deal is getting harder and harder. Many of the homes in decent shape throughout Winnetka Heights, Kings Highway, Kessler Plaza, and Ravinia Heights have been bought up and fixed up, and sometimes even flipped by folks with the know-how to do so. And of course, because of the sought-after neighborhoods in which these gorgeous homes rest, well, there’s a price to go along with that address.

300 S Montreal Living

Not so in the up-and-coming Sunset Hill neighborhood. This is a fantastic and often overlooked neighborhood that has tons of active homeowners within its borders. It’s bounded by Hampton Road on the west, Jefferson Boulevard on the north, Waverly Drive on the east, and Clarendon Drive on the south. It’s the neighborhood surrounding Sunset High School, which is on its way to being declared a historic landmark just like Adamson High School, another North Oak Cliff DISD campus.

300 S Montreal Kitchen

This fantastic neighborhood is just next door to Winnetka Heights, but the prices of the homes in Sunset Hill are much more reasonable. Check out this prime example at 300 S. Montreal, listed by Dallas City Center Realtor Christina Bristow for a recently reduced $239,000. That’s a steal for a home with tons of great historical details such as this one. This home has tons of room and fantastic location, putting you within biking distance of both the Hampton Road Tom Thumb and the Bishop Arts District to the east. You’re also just south of Jefferson Boulevard, which is a straight shot into downtown should you need a close commute into the city center.

300 S Montreal Breakfast 300 S Montreal Dining 300 S Montreal Den

“It is one of the first renovations to this level in Sunset Hill, which is a neighborhood that flanks Winnetka Heights,” Bristow said. “This Arts and Crafts home has a huge wrap-around porch and eye-catching drive up. Situated on a huge corner lot, this home features a new fence and landscaping. Interior renovations include hand scarped hardwoods, crown moulding, renovated kitchen with granite and stainless, renovated bathrooms, and a huge master suite.”

We agree with Christina that this home has some really fantastic updates, including fresh paint that is a wonderful neutral gray/green, a popular shade right now. Several areas of this home have been opened up, especially the living and dining rooms, which now have tons of light moving through them. With three bedrooms and three full baths over 1,850 square feet, this home has plenty of open space without sacrificing a cozy atmosphere. There are two living areas, two dining areas, an updated kitchen and a wonderful backyard with a privacy fence. There is only one downside to this property, and that’s covered parking. It’s easy to add though, and considering the price, you’ll have plenty of budget to do so.

300 S Montreal Master 300 S Montreal Master Bath

I do love the tons of windows in this home, which benefits from that extra light most noticeably in the living room, breakfast area, and kitchen. Still, strategic lighting provided by recessed fixtures, as well as windows, help keep the rest of the home airy. The French doors that lead to the back patio also add more light and a great way to appreciate the backyard, a blank slate perfect for a gardener.

There’s tons to love about this home, and I’m sure everyone can find something they adore about it, not the least of which is its location. What do you think?

300 S Montreal Back Porch 300 S Montreal Backyard

Woodlawn Front

Today’s dispatch is written from the comfort of a home with electricity and from under one of these. Our power was finally restored at 6 p.m. Monday evening after more than 85 hours of becoming displaced from winter storm Cleon. Our home is thawing, and there are murderous-looking icicles hanging from our eaves. In all, we’re lucky we didn’t end up with a more serious electrical problem, as folks in our neighborhood dealt with service panels ripped from their home’s exterior as the weight of downed limbs sent lines to the ground. A special shout-out goes to the crews with Alabama Power, who worked hard to restore electricity to our neighborhood. Those linemen are going on my Christmas card list, that’s for sure.

Woodlawn Living Woodlawn Loft

Now that Icemaggedon (or Icepocalypse 2013, if you prefer) is waning, my thoughts return to cozy homes now that my own home is cozy. This completely remodeled Craftsman bungalow in North Oak Cliff really caught my eye, and you’ll understand why. Sometimes folks do hodge-podge remodels of these homes and they just turn out ugly. This one at 915 Woodlawn is beautiful and modern, with a cool loft over the living room.

Listed for $299,000 by Chris Arnold’s Premier Realty Group, this home has some really stunning features. It’s inside Kidd Springs, too, and just a couple of blocks from the recently renovated Kidd Springs Recreation Center, the Bishop Arts District, The Kessler X+ area, Tyler/Davis, and Lake Cliff Park. It’s a lovely neighborhood with fantastic homes in a variety of architectural styles just minutes from downtown. With more than 1,500 square feet, three bedrooms and two full baths, this home is fantastic for a family who wants to live in North Oak Cliff but doesn’t want to put in the sweat equity it takes to rip one of these homes down to the studs and start over.

Woodlawn Dining Woodlawn Kitchen

This home fulfills almost everything on my wishlist — stainless steel appliances and new cabinets, hardwood floors and tile in the kitchen, two full baths, two dining areas, and vaulted ceilings in the living room — but one very crucial thing is missing: a fireplace.

Now, that wouldn’t be a big deal to me, but after not having power in a 1950s-era home without a fireplace, this is one feature that I can’t compromise on. Good thing there are some really cool, really reasonably price stand-alone fireplaces you can put in. Maybe you want to do a wood-burning stove, or just a gas fireplace. A lot of these can be purchased and installed for less than $5,000 and are totally worth every penny. Put one in the living room and keep the flue exposed for a wonderful transitional look.

Woodlawn Bedroom Woodlawn Master Bath Woodlawn Sunroom

I do love the windows in this home, and the front porch, which is a fabulous feature that, with the right furniture, will help you get to know your neighbors. You’ll appreciate the decent-sized corner lot, too.

What do you think of this home?


Windomere Front

I think the $200K price range is the sweet spot for North Oak Cliff right now. You can find so many great homes with fabulous updates in this price range, and as the neighborhood gains popularity and grows its infrastructure, prices are only going to get higher.

Case in point: This adorable house at 626 N. Windomere is listed for $244,500 by Dave Perry-Miller InTown agent Michael Bates. This home is totally worth that, and thanks to how accessible North Oak Cliff is becoming (Thank you, D-Link, North Oak Cliff Streetcar Project, DART, Bishop Avenue bike lanes, etc.), more and more people are going to want to live there.

Windomere Living

I think this house, which is in the Kings Highway area, is great for someone who is looking for a place that is in a walkable, urban neighborhood poised for growth. Besides oodles of curb appeal and a fantastic front porch, this home has plenty of room inside with 1,340 square feet. It has two bedrooms, one and a half baths, and an updated kitchen. The hardwood floors have been refinished with one of my favorite stains — a dark walnut shade with tons of sheen, and the living room has a wonderful red brick fireplace flanked by built-in bookcases.

Windomere Dining Windomere Kitchen

Although it was built in 1922, the master suite is a far cry from antiquated. I love all of the light filtering in through the windows, which makes those gorgeous hardwood floors really glow. The paint is subtle, but not plain. And the master bath has granite counters and two sinks — something you wouldn’t dare see inside a home like this 90 years ago.

Windomere Master Windomere Master Bath There’s also a sizable backyard that is a blank slate. Put in a garden, a chicken coop, pretty much anything you want. And considering the price, you’ll have a budget to do so.

Windomere Backyard

What do you think?

Thursday Three Hundred: Turner Avenue Cutie Has Great Wood (Floors!)

811 Turner Front

We haven’t ventured south of the Trinity in a while. Let’s fix that with our Thursday Three Hundred today, a cute cottage on Turner Avenue with tons of updates and plenty of room to spread out.

811 Turner Living

Yes, Oak Cliff is becoming quite a competitive market these days, and it’s hard to find a home under $300K that is move-in ready. This Kidd Springs home has brand new windows, updated interiors, and is very accommodating with more than 3,000 square feet inside. Yes, 811 Turner Avenue is a lovely old house with a very modern interior.

811 Turner Dining

Another great feature is the four-bedroom, three-bath spread in this house — almost completely unheard of for a home built in 1920. It feels bright and modern inside, with beautiful oak floors that are au naturel. We see a lot of dark stained floors, but this, my friends, is just breathtaking.

811 Turner kit

Bathrooms are updated, too, and the master has a frameless shower door and some ceramic tile in a very beigey beige. No risk taken there. Still, I won’t hold that against this home, which has some great lighting and a really cool kitchen.

811 Turner Gameroom 811 Turner Deck 811 Turner Backyard

Add to that the great neighborhood and proximity to downtown Dallas and you have a clear-cut winner for a great family home in Oak Cliff. And while this home has an almost 10,000 square foot lot, the price of this home — a recently reduced $399,000 — still seems a little optimistic.

What do you think?