Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Palomar in Dallas

There are few residence is in Dallas that are capable of competing with the Palomar in terms of luxury, elegance, and fine living. Residents at this of award-winning complex enjoy one of the finest locations in the city, just moments away from downtown Dallas, Uptown Dallas and the legendary arts district.

The residences at the Palomar offer nine floors of super chic living. With one-bedroom suites to 3 bedroom condos, the Palomar is ideal for young professionals, couples and families looking for a comfortable lifestyle in the heart of the city.

For proof of the expansive design ethos of the Palomar development, look no further than the one bedroom, two bathroom apartments. Encompassing some 1858 ft.², the spacious, airy residences are among the best in class in the city.

Each of the apartments boasts superb amenities, such as stainless steel kitchen aid appliances, high quality maple cabinetry, gas range master bath with twin sinks, and Japanese-style hot tubs with a limestone surround. In addition to this, all residents at the Palomar will benefit from the developments signature lofty ceilings that incorporate recessed down lighting that combines to create a cozy and intimate ambience. Hardwood flooring is the standard throughout the development, fitted in all units along with stain resistant textured carpets laid in the bedrooms. Each apartment receives tons of bright, crisp light through its large picture windows. In the communal areas meanwhile, oversized terraces offer a superb view of downtown Dallas and come equipped with a swimming pool and relaxation areas.

Amenities at the Palomar are second to none stop. Residents can enjoy access to a community room, and extensive library and a boardroom. In addition, the adjoining hotel offers residents use of their room service, spa and concierge services, while there is also a state-of-the-art fitness centre, featuring hot tub and lap pool. One final benefit is that the underground car parking comes fully inclusive with the costs of renting.

North Dallas Sees Best Spring Sales Performance in Five Years

Real estate markets may have taken a battering in recent years, but North Dallas is now in the midst of an incredible comeback, according to the latest available sales data for the region which show its best performance for five years.

Metrostudy Inc., which collates housing market data from around the US, revealed that North Dallas housing starts rose by some 22% over the second quarter of this year, compared to 12 months ago. Meanwhile, sales of new homes were also well up – rising by 15% from one year before.

David Brown, of the Metrostudy Dallas office, said that we were now witnessing the biggest percentage increases since the recession kicked off in 2007.

During the recession, home starts in North Dallas fell by more than 70%, as lenders tightened up lending standards, forcing many consumers out of the market. However, it looks as if the worst is finally over. North Dallas has now seen steady growth for almost 12 months, with markets for both new and pre-owned homes showing steady growth since the middle of last year.

However, there is still a long way to go before the region gets back to where it was before the recession. Current construction volumes, whilst improving, remain a huge 70% down on 2007 levels, just before the housing crisis really took hold on the city. Indeed, experts are warning that it could be several years yet before North Dallas reaches ‘normal levels’. Although new home starts have increased, the number of new properties on the market right now remains incredibly low. Buyers looking for a new home in the area will find very limited options available, with just 2,700 finished, vacant homes being listed for sale at the end of June.

“The market is only just beginning to recover,” cautioned Brown. “It’s likely to take a number of years before we can say that we’ve made it.”

Plans for 318-Apartment Luxury Community “Overlook Ranch” Unveiled in North Dallas

A real estate developer in North Dallas has announced plans for the exciting development of a new, 318-unit apartment complex in the Fort Worth Alliance area of the city. The new development is just the latest in a long line of planned structures in the sprawling development to be announced.

Hillwood Real Estate, which is based in Dallas, recently snapped up 18.5 acres of land at the development, located near the Old Denton Road and the north-eastern corner of Texas 170. The new apartment complex, which is expected to be completed sometime during 2014, is to be named Overlook Ranch, and will feature 15 exclusive, garden-style apartment buildings, with each one offering a range of one, two and three bedroom condo units for sale. Hillwood Real Estate revealed that the apartments will encompass an average 850 sq. ft. of living space.

Overlook Ranch is sure to be a highly desirable place to live once it has been built, with listed amenities including a movie theatre featuring surround sound, a clubhouse with a resort style spa and pool, a car wash, and a fitness center for residents.

Mike Berry, President of Hillwood, said that he expected lots of interest in the development as Dallas was seeing a growing demand for high-quality residential homes this year:

“Overlook Ranch will help to fill a growing desire for more multi-family home options within the city. The project compliments Hillwood’s efforts to provide this through our other, ongoing projects in and around Dallas,” said Berry in a statement.

Construction of the apartments has been scheduled to start in the fall of this year, stated Hillwood Real Estate. In addition, the developer said it hopes to offer pre-leasing by early 2013.

This latest project is just one in a long line of new developments announced by a busy Hillwood Real Estate this year. Just a few months back, the developer announced plans to construct up to 3,000 new apartments in the city’s new Alliance Development, a 17,000 acre plot that will become one of the largest developments in Dallas. In addition to this, Hillwood is currently working on around 500 apartments scattered across various projects in the city.

Investment Firm Snaps Up North Dallas Office Campus

The Brookfield Real Estate Opportunity Fund II, a private investment fund ran by Canada-based Brookfield Asset Management, has announced the purchase of a new office campus in Irving, Dallas.

The 620,000 square foot, Class A campus, which will now be renamed as Regent Commons, is a group of three recently constructed LEED-certified buildings, located on a 52 acre estate in the city.  Brookfield Real Estate Opportunity Fund II purchased the building from the bank, Citigroup, which is now going to lease back one third of the office space there on a long-term basis. The remaining two-thirds of office space will be leased to other companies. The campus enjoys a prime location in North Dallas, with substantial frontage alongside the Interstate-635 at Beltline, just a few minute’s drive from Dallas Fort Worth Airport.

Commercial real estate markets in North Dallas have been performing remarkably strongly of late, matching the resurgence seen in the city’s residential real estate markets, which have seen sales increase significantly throughout 2012. This deal represents just the latest in a string of high profile deals over the last two months, which have seen significant acquisitions in Fort Worth and Plano.

David Arthur, President and Managing Partner of Brookfield Real Estate Opportunity Fund II, said that the acquisition of the property offered significant potential for the fund, and was highly representative of its investment style.

Brookfield Real Estate Opportunity Fund II typically invests in distressed and underperforming real estate throughout North America, including industrial, commercial and mixed-use properties.

“Our fund always looks to invest in exceptional quality properties from owner/users, ideally with a long-term lease back option for a portion of the available office space. In addition, Citigroup fits our aim of only investing in buildings utilized by firms that operate in markets with which we have considerable expertise,” explained Arthur.

One Arts Plaza Dallas

As its name suggests the One Arts Plaza complex is based in the famous Arts District in central Dallas. Built at a cost in excess of $125 million, this luxury residence is just one of three buildings located on over 10 acres of prime real estate in the highly desirable eastern part of the district. One Arts Plaza represents the first phase of what is sure to be an amazing development – when it’s complete, it will feature outdoor parks, gushing fountains, shops and cafeterias.

The residences at One Arts Plaza are truly spectacular. Each apartment boasts of 11 foot high ceilings, 10 foot high glass window walls, and luxury eight-foot high tempered glass shower doors. In addition, the, each apartment features a full width terrace that offers residents all the room they will ever need to relax in the evening. Each unit comes equipped with Miele Appliances such as an oven, gas cooker top, refrigerator, freezer, dishwasher and wine cooler as standard. Other features of the residences include private parking (underground), and outdoor communal lounge, and a rooftop fitness centre and swimming pool. In addition, 24-hour services include security, ballet and concierge.

Another huge benefit for residents at One Arts Plaza are the expensive dining options – there are no less than five world-class cuisines to choose from, including good old Southern food, Tex Mex, Japanese, Chinese and world-class Italian food.

As the eighth largest city in America, Dallas boasts a wealth of conveniences and cultural attractions for those who live here. Highlights include the Dallas Aquarium, the Dallas Museum of Nature And Science, the Dallas Zoo, the State Fair of Texas, the Museum of Art, and of course the legendary Dallas Cowboys football team. Another bonus of living in Dallas is that the city boasts of more shopping centers per capita than any other city in the US, ensuring that whatever your wants and needs might be, they’ll never be too far away.

Luxury Living at the Trophy Club Neighborhood, Dallas

For those with money to burn, there are few better locales in the North Dallas market than the Trophy Club neighbourhood, where prices hover around the half-million dollar mark, and upscale homes abound on every street corner. With an exclusive country club featuring a magnificent 18-hole golf course open to residents, complete with acres upon acres of scenic parks, Trophy Club fuly deserves its reputation as one of the most desirable places to live in the city.

Located to the north-west of Dallas, in what is actually a suburb of Fort Worth, Trophy Club enjoys a spectacular setting on the very edge of the greater metropolitan area. Secluded, yet within easy commuting distance of the city and just 15-minutes drive from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, the community serves as an excellent base for professionals who want to commute to the city. Encompassing four square miles of exceptional residential living space, the community is home to 3,500 homes and approximately 9,000 residents in total.

Amenity-wise, Trophy Club excels, offering far more to its residents than the average Dallas neighbourhood can provide, with a fantastic community pool complex, which includes a smaller pool for kids, an Olympic sized pool for the adults, as well as exciting features such as an exciting new splash pad and diving boards.

Be warned that if you do have your sights set on a Trophy Club home, you’ll need to act fast. Unlike the rest of the city, which is experiencing a stop-start recovery from the housing crash, real estate in Trophy Club is always in demand, and what’s more it’s not going to be cheap. Even though much of the rest of the city saw prices crumble during the recession, Trophy Club waltzed through it all – even today, its homes are among some of the most expensive in the country.

If you’re a golf lover and you want to own a truly fantastic home in one of the finest neighborhoods of Texas, Trophy Club is the one place that offers the premier living experience to suit your needs.

Park Cities, North Dallas’ Most Desirable Neighborhoods

For anyone considering buying a home in the North Dallas area, it’s important to do a little research on the different neighbourhoods. Today, were going to take a look at the two areas that have long been considered the most desirable part of the city in which to live – the Park Cities of Highland Park and University Park.

Highland Park

Located just one mile to the north of Downtown, Highland Park is often described as a “town within a city”, thanks to its superb range of services and amenities. Considered to be not just one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Dallas, but also the country, Highland Park is filled with lush, tree-lined avenues and a variety of beautiful luxury homes featuring classical Tudor and French architecture, as well as many other styles.

The neighborhood was developed following the original town plan created by Wilbur David Cook, a renowned landscape architect who also takes credit for Beverly Hills in Los Angeles. As well as its superb homes, the neighborhood is home to some of the most desirable schools in the city, as well as excellent dining and shopping facilities. For recreation, Highland Park is blessed with wonderful parks, a public swimming pool, tennis courts and a library.

University Park

Directly north of Highland Park, University Park residents enjoy all of the same hallmarks as their neighbor – superb schools, an excellent range of shopping destinations, beautiful parks and recreational facilities. Just like Highland Park, University Park is actually considered to be a separate town, with a very close knit atmosphere among residents of the neighborhood.

Indeed, many of University Park’s residents have lived here their whole lives, growing up before choosing to raise their own families close to their childhood homes where they can benefit from the educational opportunities offered by the Highland Park Independent School District (HPISD) – widely recognized as one of the best public school systems in the US today.

Dallas Attractions: Heritage Village at Old City Park

For anyone looking for more insights into Dallas’s Old West heritage, there’s nothing quite like stepping back in time to the Heritage Village at Old City Park, a stunning 13-acre park with over three dozen historic buildings in the downtown area of the city.

An incredible visual treat, the Heritage Village at Old City Park complex dramatically recreates a late 19th century village that provides a superb reflection of Dallas’s recent past. Complete with classical Victorian-era homes, a redbrick Main Street, an authentic log cabin which dates back to 1847, plus all the Old West standards like a general store, one-room church, law offices, train depot, school house and bank (famously robbed by outlaws Bonny and Clyde back in the 1930s), there are few scenes quite like it left over in the USA today.

Popular with both tourists and residents alike, the Heritage Village offers an excellent day out for anyone interested in Dallas’s colorful past.

Creating Heritage Village was no easy feat – each of the buildings were painstakingly transported to the site, then reconstructed, from their original locations around the city, an undertaking that took years to achieve. Today, the Heritage Village is truly remarkable, constructed on attractive grounds with a terrific skyline dominated by Dallas’s modern skyscrapers, creating an impressive contrast that few scenes will ever be able to match.

One of the undoubted highlights is the “Living Farmstead”, a fantastically vivid reconstruction of a North Texas farm circa 1860. Visitors can tour the Heritage Village alone, or else join a guided tour for a more for a more fully rewarding experience.

Be sure to visit during the first two weeks of December, when the village comes alive as it celebrates Candlelight at Old City Park, a long-forgotten (except here!) Victorian holiday celebration that the whole family will surely enjoy.

Dallas Sees Big Rise in Number of New Home Building Permits

Homebuilders in Dallas are getting back into the groove, as city authorities announce a significant increase in planned construction projects for the remainder of 2012. The news is just the latest indicator that Dallas housing is back on the comeback trail after years in the doldrums.

According to newly available data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, the Dallas area saw a huge, 24% increase in the number of single-family home building permits granted during the month of April. Meanwhile, the Fort Worth area is also expecting more construction projects to go ahead, following a 5% increase in the number of single family home building permits issued.

Building permits are generally accepted as being one of the leading indicators by analysts attempting to gauge the real estate industry, and so the news that these are on the rise in Dallas can be taken as a strong sign that the market is seeing a recovery.

Dr. Markt Dotzour, an economist with the Real Estate Center, said that Dallas was following the same trend currently being seen all over the state of Texas.

“Building permits in Texas were up 17.9% during the first four months of 2012, so this doesn’t come as a surprise. Throughout Texas, we’re seeing new jobs being made, new homes being constructed,” added Dotzour.

The news that Dallas real estate markets are picking up will come as a welcome relief for builders throughout Dallas. The painful recession has seen homebuilding in the city fall by a staggering 70% from 2005 levels, leading to over 40 mid-to-large size building firms in Dallas going out of business or having to seriously downsize.

However, it finally seems as if housing markets have bottomed out, meaning that a recovery – if not already underway – is imminent. The first quarter saw a 5% rise in new home sales in the Dallas – Fort Worth area compared to last year, while the number of new home starts also rose, by 7% compared to 2011.

Real Estate Sales in North Dallas Heat Up This Summer

North Dallas real estate is experiencing a busy summer, with sales for May (the most recently available data) showing a big uptick in activity compared to the same time last year. According to figures from the North Texas Real Estate Information Services, May saw sales rise across the board in North Dallas, and experts say that this trend is likely to continue throughout the summer.

By far the best performing area was Northwest Dallas (west of Midway), which saw a total of 184 sales during May, up a staggering 43% from the same month in 2011. Average sales prices were also up, by 4%, rising to $228,760, with the average home spending 87 days on the market.

Far North Dallas also saw a strong performance in May, recording a total of 302 sales during the month, up 36% from 2011, with average sales prices rising 2% to $314,963. The average amount of time spent on the market per property in the area was 80 days, down by 15% from the year before.

Elsewhere, Park Cities and Northeast Dallas (east of Central) also saw big jumps in the number of housing sales for May, with 266 sales (up 23%) and 185 sales (up 25%) respectively. Park Cities, which has long been established as one of the most desirable parts of North Dallas in which to own a home, saw sales prices fall slightly, dropping by 4% to $1,053,436, with homes spending an average of 82 days on the market. However, Northeast Dallas was more in line with trends elsewhere in the city, with sales prices rising by 8% on the year before to $264,070.

Finally, North Dallas (the area south of LBJ, between Central & Midway), also saw a slight uptick in sales, although improvements were noticeably less than in other parts of the city. Sales totaled some 193 during May, a rise of 10% on 2011, although sales prices were down by 13%, falling to $662,921. North Dallas homes also took significantly longer to sell than those in other parts of the city too, spending an average of 106 days on the market before sale.