Posts Tagged ‘Real Estate’

Zen Living in the Real World- the perfect entrance

Posted by    |    January 6th, 2013 at 9:31 am

The designers make it look so easy-  perfectly arranged furniture groups, color palettes that seem to breathe deeply on their own, the right amount of accessories to compliment and enhance living spaces dedicated to work, play, food, and relaxation-  browsing the internet or paging through an interior design magazine for inspiration on zen- like living can make one feel decidedly un-zen like when it comes to real life.  How can we take those pristine photos of serene living spaces and apply them to the spaces we really live in?  Forget balancing that glass of red wine on a stack of heirloom photography books next to an arm chair dressed in a crisp white slip cover- and think instead of applying some basic principles to the spaces we occupy every day, and the tasks we must accomplish within these spaces.  Zen Living in the Real World is a series that will inspire you to create living spaces that direct the flow of energy in your home- step by step, room by room- to one of serenity, abundance and well-being.

Let’s begin with the entry.  Over the holidays I was visiting with a friend over a cup of coffee at the breakfast bar in her kitchen.  I glanced up and noticed there were wind chimes hanging from a hook in the ceiling just inside the door to the garage.  Wind chimes?  Inside?  Okaaaay…  When I asked her why she had wind chimes in her kitchen she told me they help defuse the sometimes negative energy her police officer husband brings home from the job.  When he opens the door from the garage the chimes sway just enough to send out a small tinker that she (as well as a few select ancient Chinese Zen masters) believes helps to redirect the energy, or chi, from negative to positive.  Curious, I began to explore other entry areas of the home, taking notes along the way.

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Addison Plaza: Class A office building located in the heart of Addison’s entertainment and restaurant district

Posted by    |    October 29th, 2012 at 4:16 pm


Addison Plaza, located just moments away from Addison Circle, is a Class A, 80,000 square foot garden office building with numerable amenities. Surrounded by flourishing neighborhoods, workers can avoid heavily trafficked roads on their way to work and enjoy accessible parking in the morning and after hours by using a key car access system.

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Trinity Square Plaza: 3-story, 60,000 square foot office building located in Carrolton Texas

Posted by    |    October 29th, 2012 at 3:57 pm


Trinity Square Plaza is a 3-story, 60,000 square foot office building located in Carrolton Texas that offers the perfect combination of a suburban location with quick and easy access to all areas of the metroplex.

Trinity Square Plaza may not be a high-rise, trophy property, but the advantages of a smaller building are significant. Smaller buildings like this are the kind that most companies select for their office space. They are easily accessible for workers and visitors, convenient for services, and you don’t have to waste a lot of time worrying about parking or waiting for the elevator.

Trinity Square Plaza (more…)

The Votes are In. I’ll drink to that!

Posted by    |    November 3rd, 2010 at 9:44 am

Last night I had the opportunity to attend the Election Night Watch Party hosted by the Keep the Dollars in Dallas Campaign (KDID).  If you aren’t familiar with KDID, they are the group that was formed to support the petition and election effort to change the current alcoholic beverage sales laws in the City of Dallas.  And, if you haven’t heard, the voters elected to pass both of the wet/dry propositions on the ballot.

KDID committee members celebrate at an election watch party at Pappadeaux on Oak Lawn

What does drinking have to do with real estate (wow, that’s open to lots of interpretation)?  But the main theme here is that changing the antiquated wet/dry laws in the City of Dallas will help create a level playing field for all developers, brokers, restaurants and retailers in Dallas.  And the local commercial real estate community, having a lot at stake here, got involved with the cause early.

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An Education in Retail

Posted by    |    October 12th, 2010 at 11:48 am

When you hear the word “recession,” do you go “la la la la” and put your fingers in your ears in an attempt to block out the sound?  Yeah, me too.  But some things just can’t be ignored, especially by industries that have been hardest hit.

Take the retail industry, for example.  The last three years have been brutal – to sales, to store openings, to general industry morale.  But never an industry to get down for long, retail is forging ahead bravely and thoughtfully.

I recently had the opportunity to get inside the brains of some of the top retailers in the country and learn how they are facing today’s economy and serving today’s consumers at the annual Retailing Summit hosted by the Center for Retailing Studies at Texas A&M University.  This year’s theme was “The Evolving Consumer: emerging issues and future outlooks.”

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LEED: Lovin’ Every Exquisite Detail

Posted by    |    September 24th, 2010 at 11:39 am

Last night I had the opportunity to attend the showing of the brand spankin’ new office and residential spaces at 17Seventeen McKinney Ave., otherwise known as Park 17.  IREM invited local property managers and other real estate types to attend the tour, sponsored by Knight Restoration and Precision Landscape Management.

Gables residential tower reflected in windows of 17Seventeen McKinney

17Seventeen McKinney is the first Dallas high-rise building to be pre-certified LEED Gold in core and shell.  A pretty big deal in such a major city.  The neighboring building, the Gables residential tower, is pursuing its LEED New Construction certification.

Tired of hearing about LEED?  Better get used to it.  But take heart, it’s actually pretty cool.  All incoming tenants to 17Seventeen will automatically meet more stringent water requirements of LEED v3 Commercial Interiors.  And something else I learned is that the office building itself does not operate with a central chiller.  Nope, each floor has its own self-contained HVAC unit (otherwise known as a SCUD).  And 35% of power to the building is purchased from renewable resources.

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Lower Rents = More Yarn

Posted by    |    September 17th, 2010 at 4:36 pm

One of the best things about being in the retail real estate business is watching the ever-changing face of the retail landscape.  The past few years have been difficult at best as retailers pull back on expansion plans and shopping centers experience growing vacancy.  Nobody likes to see empty windows in shopping centers.

Growing vacancies typically mean lower lease rates as landlords strive to fill their spaces.

There is an upside to this trend, however.  Now that rates are more affordable, more mom-and-pops can take advantage of retail space they might not have been able to afford in the past.  More independent retailers means more cosumer choice and more unique merchandise.

One of my favorite examples of a new independent retailer opening in Dallas is Holley’s Yarn Shoppe.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a prolific knitter.  Like I tell my friends, “If I’m sittin’, I’m knittin’.”  Sadly, I am addicted to all things yarn.

Dallas knitters and crocheters don’t have very many yarn shops from which to choose.  Typical road trips include The Woolie Ewe in Plano or The Shabby Sheep in downtown Dallas.  But, hallelujah, now we have a yarn shop located right in the middle at which to feed our addiction.

Holley’s is a bright, friendly haven for yarn lovers located at the northeast corner of Inwood Road and Forest Lane.  The shop faces the Tollway – you can’t miss the bright yellow sign.

During my inaugural trip to the store, the ladies on the staff were enthusiastic and encouraged us to just c’mon in and pet the yarn. (more…)

Transportation feeds development

Posted by    |    August 16th, 2010 at 12:41 pm

After the Dallas retail boom brought on by the railroad, yet another mode of transportation pushed retail to the suburbs.   Streetcars, which began to spring up in Dallas in the late 1800s, boosted the decentralization of downtown and mobilized consumers around the city.

Before automobiles became commonplace at the homestead, streetcars were the main mode of transportation in urban areas.  In fact, according to Robert A.Rieder in the Handbook of Texas Online, “The electric streetcar represented the most significant development in city transportation.”

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Riding the Retail Railroad

Posted by    |    August 13th, 2010 at 8:23 am

The Jewish immigrants who landed at the Port of Galveston ended up in Dallas at some point.  Are you wondering why they chose to leave the lovely coastal town of Galveston for landlocked Dallas?  It was the railroad.

In the 1870s, Dallas was still a relatively small city with little connection to the outside world.  The city’s growth had stalled with no easy way in for those wishing to relocate. 

However, in 1872, Dallas got just what it needed to finally experience explosive growth.  On July 7 of that year, the last tracks of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad opened for business.  And on July 16, “the first excursion train stopped at a spot located approximately where Pacific Avenue crosses under Central Expressway today.  A crowd made up almost entirely of men celebrated with a barbecue feast of roasted buffalo.”  (Mike McAllister, Hidden History of Dallas).

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The Long Road to Retail

Posted by    |    August 11th, 2010 at 8:33 pm

The Jewish immigrants who wrote some of the most important retail stories in Dallas history (Neiman Marcus, Sanger Harris, Volks Brothers) took root in North Texas via varied routes of entry.  Until the early 1900s, nearly all Jewish immigrants began their U.S. journey by sailing into Northeastern ports.  Beginning in 1907, however, Galveston became their main port of entry.  But why the switch from the traditional ports of entry to a port thousands of miles to the south?  The Galveston Movement, of course!

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