Photo courtesy Charleston's TheDigitel via Creative Commons

Photo courtesy Charleston’s TheDigitel via Creative Commons

DFW rents were 6.2 higher last year, averaging $919 per month, but demand still soared, with North Texas leading the nation in apartment rentals, and vacancies at a 13-year low, according to new real estate research from Zillow and MPF Research.

The increased rent translated to an extra $600 million paid to landlords last year, Zillow reported. For North Texans, that meant a median increase of $35 a month, higher than the nationwide rate of $26.

Rising rents are nothing new, said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries.

“Over the past 14 years, rents have grown at twice the pace of income due to weak income growth, burgeoning rental demand, and insufficient growth in the supply of rental housing,” he said. “This has created real opportunities for rental housing owners and investors, but has also been a bitter pill to swallow for tenants, particularly those on an entry-level salary and those would-be buyers struggling to save for a down payment on a home of their own.”

For 2015, expect more of the same.

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You’ll recall that the Town of Highland Park has tried again and again to stop developers from constructing a mid-rise apartment building lining the Katy Trail just south of the pricey burg.

Highland Park Mayor Joel Williams said, “This is a very special, one-of-a-kind neighborhood. Thousands of people enjoy the Katy Trail and Abbott Park every year, and it’s our obligation to protect this community treasure. A seven-story, multi-family high rise building does not fit this neighborhood and violates Dallas’ own master plan.”

And still, Judge Craig Smith denied the request. Jump for more:

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Residences at Stoneleigh

I’m sick I had to miss this: guests and local celebrities celebrated the unveiling of the newest luxury high rise to hit the Dallas skyline, and also one of the most anticipated: The Residences at The Stoneleigh in Uptown off Maple. more than 400 — yikes! –toured the elegant lobby, 26-seat theatre, homeowner’s lounge, the state of the art health club, banquet space with a full commercial kitchen and the stunning pool with an amazing view of the city skyline.

But not to worry: I sent spies!

Developer Mehrdad Moayedi, who I call Saint Stoneleigh as he rescued this project in the throes of the recession, welcomed Trammell S. Crow, Roxanne and Gene Phillips, Don and Linda Carter, Doris Jacobs and daughters, Mackie & Paul Ellenbogen, Loyd Taylor (so sorry I missed you baby!), Susan and Gene Stoner, Larry Hamilton, Linda & Scott Greer, Angie Barrett, Mickey Munir, Carmaleta Whiteley, John Bobbitt, Teffy Jacobs, John Phifer Marrs and Senator Royce West.

I was, unfortunately, doing due diligence in the Grand Cayman Islands with a company called Dart Realty that you will be hearing more of.

CamanaBay toe shot (more…)

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Provident’s plan for a multi-family development that is adjacent to the Katy Trail has stirred up the ire of Highland Park leaders, who are now suing the City of Dallas.

As Yogi Berra aptly said, “It ain’t over til it’s over.” That’s certainly the mindset that Highland Park has taken, as the wealthy enclave has filed for an injunction against the planned redevelopment of the Saltillo Apartments in the 4700 block of Cole Ave., which was approved by the Dallas City Council in a 12-3 vote back in August. You can see the full press release from the Town of Highland Park after the jump.

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Perhaps best known as the most sought-after location for Dallas' high-society weddings, Arlington Hall at Lee Park will celebrate its 75th anniversary this weekend.

Perhaps best known as the most sought-after location for Dallas’ high-society weddings, Arlington Hall at Lee Park will celebrate its 75th anniversary this weekend.

Tomorrow, Dallas will celebrate a landmark that has stood the test of time. The jewel of Lee Park, Arlington Hall is one of the most recognizable structures in the Turtle Creek area, and this gorgeous structure will celebrate its 75th anniversary this weekend. To kick things off, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, along with councilmember Philip Kingston and several Dallas officials, will gather on the steps of the storied structure tomorrow at 11 a.m. to celebrate Arlington Hall’s anniversary. A luncheon will follow that will feature a lecture by Director Emeritus of the National Park Service, Gary Scott, who will speak on Arlington House at Arlington National Cemetery, the inspiration for Arlington Hall.

The building, which was designed by notable Dallas architect Mark Lemmon, is a two-thirds scale replica of the Arlington House, which was the home of Robert E. Lee in Arlington, Va. Restored in 2002, this structure was originally dedicated in 1939.

Of course, if you’re not attending the luncheon and celebration tomorrow, you can still go to the open house on Sunday, Oct. 26, where  docents and historians will be on hand to tell the little-known facts of Arlington Hall and its very beginnings in the city of Dallas. The event is from 1:30 – 4:30 and its open to the public.

 

 

 

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Want to know one of the hottest neighborhoods in town where Baby Boomers are buying every inch of land they can grab? I call it Contemporary Architecture Row, a sliver of land between Highland Park, the Katy Trail and Turtle Creek, about one block long in Northern Heights. Here you will find 60 by 150 lots zoned for up to four units — dense living, but not too. Close to EVERYTHING, and somewhat walkable. June and Oliver Mattingly first got the design ball rolling. Now Frank Welch lives there — I’m visiting with him this Friday, having missed our meeting last week apres wild Dallas storms that left us without electricity. There are so many stunning contemporary homes here, designs by Graham Greene, Lionel Morrison, and  Max Levy.

“Take a stroll in that neighborhood, and you’ll have a primer on the best architects and best neighborhood designs in town,” says David Griffin. (more…)

Uptown Then and Now

For the longest time, the story of how Uptown came to be successful centered around greedy developers wanting to build towers and condos for only those who could afford it. But Patrick Kennedy of “Car Free in Big D” paints a much more nuanced picture of how Dallas’ most walkable neighborhood came about.

Jump for an excerpt.

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The big real estate news in town is that Dave Perry Miller, the high end luxury boutique firm with those regal blue and gold signs all over town, has a new manager of the Preston Center office. Her name is Gaynelle Henger, and she’s replacing Bud Bush at Dave Perry-Miller’s outpost in Preston Hollow, as he is moving to Ebby’s corporate office to analyze finances for DPM.

Bush has worked with Dave Perry-Miller for almost eight years, when Dave Perry-Miller sold the luxury boutique firm he built from the ground up to Ebby Halliday. Gaynelle comes to the table as a top producing agent at Ebby Halliday. But of course there was much more to the story than meets the eye, as Dave delighted in telling his office. (more…)