|Turtle Creek Evolves
Area offers living options from condos to luxury homes and a desirable
|By Lisa Tanner, Staff Writer, Dallas Business Journal
13-19 April 2007
|Once, the Turtle Creek area of Dallas was embodied by
large, stately homes tucked among trees. Then came the towering
high-rises offering spectacular treetop and downtown views that
sprang up and still define the exclusively residential corridor.
|Now there are also small developments of new
multi-story homes offering luxurious, close-in living.
|“Turtle Creek is synonymous with luxury
high-rise living,” said Nancy Martínez, an agent with Virginia
Cook, Realtors, who sees a revival of interest in that niche.
|She has handled two recent listings in Turtle Creek's
landmark high-rise, the “3525,” which celebrates its 50th
anniversary this year and is seeking a listing on the National
Register of Historic Places. A one-bedroom unit in the $180,000
range is at the lower end of the spectrum, contracted with an
extensively updated, double unit with 3,861 square feet, listing at
more than $1 million.
|The influx of new high-rise properties in the
Victory Park area and construction and conversion of
residential buildings in downtown Dallas is sparking interest
in pre-owned units in Turtle Creek, which offer lower prices,
|The challenge with high-rise properties
is that both the property and the individual unit owner
must continually update to compete with new
construction, she said. And while these units will not
command top downtown prices, the greenbelt Katy Trail
location is very appealing for buyers “in the
|Although there are some lower price options to be
found, including a 544-square-foot condo in an aging complex on
Buena Vista Street for $66,000, many sport hefty price tags, with
multi-million-dollar selling prices common.
|The Turtle Creek area is roughly bordered by Fitzhugh
Avenue on the north, Reverchon Park on the south, Cole Avenue on the
east and Oak Lawn on the west.
|New construction on pockets of land created by razing
a previous dwelling is a hallmark of the Turtle Creek area.
|Prescott Realty Group Inc., for example, is putting
the finishing touches on its Regent's Park, a luxury- home
development that features stand-alone, four-story homes modeled
after those found in the Regent's Park area of London.
|It's a dream that began with Dallas businessman Roger
”Dick” Dixon, who began plans for the project after his
wife, Dixie, died, in part to keep his mind occupied after her
death, according to those who have worked on the project from the
beginning. Dick Dixon died in January 2005 without ever having
occupied the first house built, where he had planned to live.
|After his death, the project languished before the
Prescott Realty Group purchased it in December 2005 and finished the
enclave of luxury homes, which includes a first phase of seven
homes. Each is freestanding and built on zero lot lines, but with
designs that assure privacy for windows, balconies and patios. A
homeowners association cares for a striking entry and courtyard and
|The site, on Gillespie Street near the Mansion on
Turtle Creek, is planned to hold 14 homes in total, in the 4,750- to
5,800-square-foot range. Prices start at about $2 million.
|The project was designed by Will Snyder of Boerder
Snyder Architects, who had worked with Dixon on the original plans,
even traveling to London to search for ideas for the design.
|There weren't any four-story, single-family homes of
this type in Dallas at the time,” Snyder said of the pioneering
|Interior design was handled by Collins + Sweezey
Design and the general contractor was Geoffrey Grant Custom Homes.
Amy Detwiler, Carole McBride and Michelle Wood of Adleta Fine
Properties of Dallas have the listings on the homes.
The development is a modern take on the English Regency style,
complete with iron rails and trim, said Louis Routhermel III, director
of Prescott Realty. Modern touches enter the picture with
energy-efficient windows, elevators and top of the line kitchen
equipment. The homes also boast such pricey extras as wine cellars,
multiple fireplaces and wet bars on every floor.
In that immediate corner of the Turtle Creek area, thee were 31 active
residential sales listings from October 2006 to April 3, 2007 and 20
homes sold during that period. Prices ranged from $135,000 to $1.7
million, according to the MetroTex Association of Realtors in Dallas.
|But the broader area sports a range of
prices and products.
|“There are lots of high-rises with
man more going up and lots of inventory.” said Joan
Eleazer, an agent with Briggs Freeman Real Estate
Brokerage in Dallas. Buyers are drawn to the Turtle
Creek's close-in location, linking the exclusive Park
Cities area to downtown Dallas.
|Many no longer need a large house and yard and are looking
for the ease of living that a townhouse or high-rise home
provide, including the ability to “lock and leave”
the home while they travel, she said.
|But it's not all empty nesters or those seeking a
second home in Dallas who are drawn to the area, she said, citing an
influx of people from other cities, including New York and San
Francisco, who have already embraced the in-town living concept and
are looking to replicate that experience in Dallas. In addition,
young professionals are drawn to the mix of nearby entertainment
options. That includes easy access to shopping, dining and the arts
as well as the nearby Katy Trail for exercise.
|The area offers a mix of product and price ranges,
with many condos available in the $400,000 range in the area around
Fitzhugh Avenue to homes in the $3 million to $4 million range, such
as those in the Place Des Vosges 16-residence project under
|“The sky is the limit, price wise,” Eleazer
said. Prices are stable, and there is quite a bit of product with
every amenity available. Still, homes in some of the older high-rise
buildings may take longer to sell, in the 60- to 90-day range, even
if they are well-priced.
|# # #