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Old Town Lewisville. Photo courtesy of the city of Lewisville

When you think of hip, fun destinations to live, work, and play in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the city of Lewisville is not usually at the top of the list.

But city leaders in this northern suburb of almost 100,000 residents are changing that as redevelopment moves into full swing in the Old Town area. New houses, townhomes, restaurants, and retail shops are all in the works as developers and entrepreneurs take note of the changing atmosphere.

“Everybody has been hyper-focused on Collin County, but these changes in Lewisville will give people another option,” said David Maez, Broker and Co-Owner at VIVO Realty, which represents the developer Belleville Village, the builders of Uptown Village Lewisville townhomes near East Main Street and East Mill Street in Old Town. “It’s close to Lewisville Lake, close to the airport, close to I-35, which makes it easy to get to Dallas. These changes will make that area more appealing for buyers, especially younger professionals.”  (more…)

Solutions 4 Living is planning to build six modern custom homes on Oates Road in East Dallas.

Sometimes, overly modern homes can look a bit like spaceships that land in the middle of otherwise suburban areas. It’s best, I think, if you want to build a modern home to do so amidst other modern homes.

These kind of clusters are becoming more and more popular. Take Urban Reserve for example. This Mathews-Nichols Group development hugs White Rock Creek and offers homes in a broad price range — from the high $300Ks to upwards of $1 million — in a very natural setting.

Solutions 4 Living, a Houston-based builder of sustainable homes, is doing something very similar, if not on a much, much smaller scale.

The development, which will include six modern, sustainable homes, will occupy what was formerly two lots on Oates Road. Lots will range from 14,000 to 20,000 square feet, while the homes will be in the 2,000- to 3,000-square-foot range. The homes are being marketed in the $400,000 to $500,000 range, and the developer is looking to break ground on lot No. 6,  a spec home, this fall.

“The original expectation was to give buyers three home plans to choose from,” said Dara Childs of Solutions 4 Living, “however, as a custom home builder and designer, if a client were to request a new design, we would certainly strive to accomodate them and we are close to putting Lot No. 1 under contract in this manner.”

Subdividing lots, especially when they are that sizable, is nothing new. Personally, I think six lots is kind of a tight fit. I’d feel more comfortable with my neighbors if it were, perhaps, four lots. That’s enough distance without giving up too much in the way of profit.

Burke Lowe, who has partnered with Childs on the project, says the lots vary in depth from 200 to 295 feet. All of them, he added, will back up to a creek.

“We feel that the area is ready for development,” Childs said. “In the words of Robert Frost, the lots are ‘lovely, dark and deep.’ We think the lots will sell themselves.”

I do, however, like the idea of creating a niche of green custom homes in an area that is heavily treed and is right next to a creek. The only thing than concerns me a little is this post on the Solutions 4 Living blog extolling the virtues of composting toilets.



Osama Was Hiding Out In An Upscale Suburban Neighborhood

Here are the Pentagon’s details of the Abbotabad (or is it Abbottabad?) compound where Osama was holed up. His digs were not too shabby — the home is valued at about a million. Note to self: when neighbors start burning their garbage and cover windows with walls, get suspicious.

According to The Smoking Gun, Bin Laden ignored his own rule book on hiding out — you don’t curl up in an affluent million dollar mansion, but go to apartments or sprawling suburban areas where the neighbors are less likely to be friendly, or nosy:

“It is preferable to live in apartments or houses ‚Äúin newly developed areas where people do not know one another. Usually, in older quarters people know one another and strangers are easily identified, especially since these quarters have many informers.‚Äù

But such new construction did have a drawback, according to the manual: “In a newer apartment, avoid talking loud because prefabricated ceilings and walls…do not have the same thickness as those in old ones.”