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#101 Bradleto

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 09:49 AM

I guess while I am posting, I should mention that I caught the Board of Adjustment meeting from a few days ago on television last night. With all of the in-fill building and/or razings going on in the central city older neighborhoods, some of which I have posted on to start this thread, the one related to a raze/rebuild project over on Avondale was particularly fun to watch as the builder petitioned the Board for some side-yard off-set relief to plop down a really huge house on a not-large-enough lot.

What made it such good entertainment? How would you like to state your case for overbuilding on a lot, then have former Mayor Ken Barr be the first to speak in opposition, closely followed by Attorney Mike Johnston whose lanky frame and delivery are more than a little reminiscent of Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird . I should add that both men had a stake in the outcome... Barr lives a few houses away from the proposed construction, and Johnston is right around the corner too. Neither got in to any name calling, just sort of layed out the facts, the results of a neighborhood meeting with the builder, and so forth.

The builder returned to the lectern after these two spoke, in his allotted 3 minute rebuttal time period, and conceded that they didn't really need the adjustment to build the home and conceded that it was a long shot.

The Board voted 9-0 against the petition.

Anyway, when I saw Ken Barr and Mike Johnston delivering their opposition, I sort of chuckled to myself thinking this must be petitioner's worst nightmare.

As it turns out, the best possible outcome seemed to be the result... the builder will re-scale the home to fit the lot, no name calling, no threatened law suits as best I can tell, probably no hard feelings.

For anyone opposing similar construction projects in their neighborhood, for good and sound reasons, this particular case would be a good tape to watch to know how to best organize opposition, present it, and so forth, for best results. If you have a former mayor and the right attorney on your side, that wouldn't hurt either!!! Cheers! Brad

Brad

#102 mmiller2002

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 11:45 AM

QUOTE(Bradleto @ Sep 25 2006, 10:00 AM) View Post

I generally like the looks of painted brick and, for me, it beats the hell out of driving by any one of any number of new residential neighborhoods where 70 to 90% of the homes have bricks some shade of pink or or some off-shoot of red, either lighter or some really dark red color. Lord, that gets so old.

Years ago, painted brick was quite popular. We had homes in Fort Worth with yellow painted brick. White was popular too and both provide great backdrops for landscaping and all the green color there.

From a technical point of view, painting brick is actually a no-no... the housing science guys want the walls to breath and paint seals them off, but I still like them a lot personally.

Cheers! Brad



I agree that painted brick is attractive, but like you said, it is a technical (and maintenance) no-no. Why start out your new house with a maintenance hassle? Lots of the painted brick in the neighborhood might have been the ugly yellow brick.

#103 mmiller2002

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 11:53 AM

QUOTE(hannerhan @ Sep 24 2006, 02:50 PM) View Post

Well, at least the one on Clover does a nice job of hiding the garage, and I think the design is pretty classic as well. It looks to me like the last one on Virginia (a beautiful house in my opinion) is being fitted with a circle drive.

While I think the combo stone/brick on the 6th St. houses is a poor design choice, overall I think all of these examples are pretty good-looking houses, and I don't really see why people have a problem with them. None of them set off my biggest pet peave, which is the front-facing garage on the front of the house. Sure they're larger than the houses they replace, but I guess my attitude is that people should be allowed to do pretty much whatever they want with their property.



Although a lot of the designs don't suit the old, charming neighborhood look, my real beef is the HUGE scale of the newer stuff. They just don't fit. In 30 years it will be a totally different looking neighborhood with very few small quaint starter homes and no yards to play in. It will look like rows of huge townhomes.

I don't think that front facing garages are always bad, but it all depends on the scale. In the old neighborhoods, the only other choice is to pave the grass alley.

#104 SLO

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 01:37 PM

QUOTE(mmiller2002 @ Sep 25 2006, 12:53 PM) View Post

Although a lot of the designs don't suit the old, charming neighborhood look, my real beef is the HUGE scale of the newer stuff. They just don't fit. In 30 years it will be a totally different looking neighborhood with very few small quaint starter homes and no yards to play in. It will look like rows of huge townhomes.

I don't think that front facing garages are always bad, but it all depends on the scale. In the old neighborhoods, the only other choice is to pave the grass alley.



The 'market' demands that the neighborhoods be updated. I think the new houses (in general) are architecturally unique enough that the neighborhoods in general are being enhanced.

Agree on the garage thing. People make a big deal about it, and yes it is a big design issue, but doesnt mean disaster to a project.

#105 mmiller2002

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 07:06 AM

Another one bites the dust! NE corner of Virginia at Camp Bowie. I don't remember it being run-down at all, and it had a nice yard space. What a shame, it'll probably become two townhomes and and surrounding walls.

At that intersection, there's small neighborhood entryway walls on either side of Virginia, are the owners of the property required to retain those? It's be a shame if the new owner tore their side down.

I'm also noticed that other day that there's been a property at the NE corner of Western and Camp Bowie that's been "eclectic" and run-down for as long as I can remember. It usedot have a bonfire pyramid stack of wood in the front yard and junk cars. Currently it has pasture gates in front of the house. Wonder why that hasn't been bought-up for townhomes?

#106 Urbndwlr

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 10:45 AM

SLO, what business are you in?

thx

UD

QUOTE(SLO @ Sep 27 2006, 02:37 PM) View Post

QUOTE(mmiller2002 @ Sep 25 2006, 12:53 PM) View Post

Although a lot of the designs don't suit the old, charming neighborhood look, my real beef is the HUGE scale of the newer stuff. They just don't fit. In 30 years it will be a totally different looking neighborhood with very few small quaint starter homes and no yards to play in. It will look like rows of huge townhomes.

I don't think that front facing garages are always bad, but it all depends on the scale. In the old neighborhoods, the only other choice is to pave the grass alley.



The 'market' demands that the neighborhoods be updated. I think the new houses (in general) are architecturally unique enough that the neighborhoods in general are being enhanced.

Agree on the garage thing. People make a big deal about it, and yes it is a big design issue, but doesnt mean disaster to a project.



#107 Urbndwlr

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 10:53 AM

I took a look at that house while it was on the market. It required some repair (including foundation work), but wasn't in terrible shape. The asking price didn't reflect the repairs that had to be performed. It was sold by the out of town (East Coast) heirs of the deceased previous resident - who expressed no opinion as to whether the house was saved or torn down. I was unsuccessful in getting it to a price at which I could afford to buy it, repair it responsibly, and sell it. I am nervous that the structure that will replace it will be another inappropriate spec home.

What can we do about this to somehow motivate the "market" to repair and salvage old homes and/or get home builders to design and build better homes with more sensitive designs to their surroundings?
How do we get the "market" of buyers to reject this garbage that some builders are constructing? We have too many very poorly designed homes getting built in our older neighborhoods now - and it makes me very nervous.

I look forward to some dialogue on this subject (i.e. how we can help stimulate better designs and better construction in our neighborhoods).

Perhaps someone knows of some success stories from other cities - or examples of really good infill housing design in other cities. Please post if you know of any and pass the word.

thanks,

UD

QUOTE(mmiller2002 @ Sep 29 2006, 08:06 AM) View Post

Another one bites the dust! NE corner of Virginia at Camp Bowie. I don't remember it being run-down at all, and it had a nice yard space. What a shame, it'll probably become two townhomes and and surrounding walls.

At that intersection, there's small neighborhood entryway walls on either side of Virginia, are the owners of the property required to retain those? It's be a shame if the new owner tore their side down.

I'm also noticed that other day that there's been a property at the NE corner of Western and Camp Bowie that's been "eclectic" and run-down for as long as I can remember. It usedot have a bonfire pyramid stack of wood in the front yard and junk cars. Currently it has pasture gates in front of the house. Wonder why that hasn't been bought-up for townhomes?



#108 mmiller2002

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 11:44 AM

I also noticed that new one almost complete by the old Cachonga's/Goose West/Tuscany parking lot. Looks like another country stone/rustic trim house on a city neighborhood. Out of place.

#109 FWillustrator

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 11:53 AM

QUOTE(Urbndwlr @ Oct 5 2006, 11:53 AM) View Post
What can we do about this to somehow motivate the "market" to repair and salvage old homes and/or get home builders to design and build better homes with more sensitive designs to their surroundings?


There are a lot of variables that steer people away from well-designed environments. One I think is a sense of frustration among 'lay' people, so to speak. SLO suggested that there is a certain elitism among architects, which I won't entirely deny.

I think a lot of this is allowed to happen because culturally we're not taught to embrace forward-moving design and aesthetic principles. Instead we're taught to hold onto the past so tight we start to crush it and mold it into something it's not....and then when it becomes no longer cost-effective to hold onto the past, we fake it. (Ok, now please don't get me wrong - I have nothing against old buildings).

Unfortunately I think we also (generally) embrace a culture which values expedience and the superficial over a truly wholesome built environment. The superfical can be produced quickly and cheaply to mask over and distract us from the flaws of reality. The superficial caudles us at least long enough, until we get an itch to move onto the next unsatisfactory superficial environment.

Perhaps if the arts weren't an afterthought in our education we would appreciate what many think of as being reserved only for the elite. Even the 'elite' have a hard time truly appreciating what their given...they often simply do what's 'elite.'

QUOTE
We have too many very poorly designed homes getting built in our older neighborhoods now - and it makes me very nervous.


Everyone has something that they want to hold onto tightly, as if it will be theirs forever (that includes ideas of what a new home should be as well as concrete manifestations of the past). As soon as someone suggests they embrace something new or different 'fear and loathing' set in. The best action is not to be a part of the fear and loathing...advocate the positive and promote education.

#110 hannerhan

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 02:07 PM

2 more houses ate it this week on West 6th St, in the 3900 block...which now makes 3 open lots on that block which are about to be under construction.

I can speak for the design of one of the new houses, which I'm hoping will complement the neighborhood nicely with its Spanish Revival style and smallish (for a new house) 2,600+- sq feet. Not sure about the others, but I'm hoping they go for a more classic look as opposed to the faux-rustic stone/brick that 2 of the new, aforementioned (and pictured) houses on the street are sporting.



#111 mmiller2002

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 11:52 AM

QUOTE(hannerhan @ Oct 6 2006, 03:07 PM) View Post

2 more houses ate it this week on West 6th St, in the 3900 block...which now makes 3 open lots on that block which are about to be under construction.

I can speak for the design of one of the new houses, which I'm hoping will complement the neighborhood nicely with its Spanish Revival style and smallish (for a new house) 2,600+- sq feet. Not sure about the others, but I'm hoping they go for a more classic look as opposed to the faux-rustic stone/brick that 2 of the new, aforementioned (and pictured) houses on the street are sporting.



Weren't you cooking up a project in the 'hood? How's that going?

#112 cberen1

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 12:59 PM

Another one ate it late last week. Corner of Avondale and Wabash in University West (actually the Forest Highlands addition, but that name probably doesn't ring many bells)

It had been on the market for a little while and was in need of fairly serious renovation, but I'm surprised it was a tear-down. It was a pretty neat little house.

#113 Urbndwlr

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 05:13 PM

QUOTE(FWillustrator @ Oct 5 2006, 12:53 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Urbndwlr @ Oct 5 2006, 11:53 AM) View Post
What can we do about this to somehow motivate the "market" to repair and salvage old homes and/or get home builders to design and build better homes with more sensitive designs to their surroundings?


There are a lot of variables that steer people away from well-designed environments. One I think is a sense of frustration among 'lay' people, so to speak. SLO suggested that there is a certain elitism among architects, which I won't entirely deny.

I think a lot of this is allowed to happen because culturally we're not taught to embrace forward-moving design and aesthetic principles. Instead we're taught to hold onto the past so tight we start to crush it and mold it into something it's not....and then when it becomes no longer cost-effective to hold onto the past, we fake it. (Ok, now please don't get me wrong - I have nothing against old buildings).

Unfortunately I think we also (generally) embrace a culture which values expedience and the superficial over a truly wholesome built environment. The superfical can be produced quickly and cheaply to mask over and distract us from the flaws of reality. The superficial caudles us at least long enough, until we get an itch to move onto the next unsatisfactory superficial environment.

Perhaps if the arts weren't an afterthought in our education we would appreciate what many think of as being reserved only for the elite. Even the 'elite' have a hard time truly appreciating what their given...they often simply do what's 'elite.'

QUOTE
We have too many very poorly designed homes getting built in our older neighborhoods now - and it makes me very nervous.


Everyone has something that they want to hold onto tightly, as if it will be theirs forever (that includes ideas of what a new home should be as well as concrete manifestations of the past). As soon as someone suggests they embrace something new or different 'fear and loathing' set in. The best action is not to be a part of the fear and loathing...advocate the positive and promote education.


Very interesting points. I suppose the challenge for our community is to articulate exactly what design elements always violate the neighborhood vernacular. That is, the rules (however those would be imposed) should protect the existing character (identify those elements that contribute to it and protect them) - perhaps it is a consistency of the combination of a handful of variables. I believe that often some of the truly egregious design mistakes could be avoided with some restrictions that restrict only a handful of design elements. For example, the permitted building massing should be based, in part, upon the massing of the homes surrounding it. Building shapes that are totally out of context and inconsistent should be discouraged (this would only go for 50-60' lots in select older neighborhoods), and setbacks should be similar if not identical along streets. I would even regulate the number of gables (limit the number based on the facade length and what other homes generally do). That is one of the places where some of the new builder homes go wrong - they apparently buy builder sets of plans that have roof lines and facade materials that are inconsistent with anything around.

I am very interested in hearing any suggestions about how some older neighborhoods such as Arlington Heights and Berkeley can legislate architectural guidelines that discourage the real design offenders but donít get overly prescriptive as to require the replication of old homes as is done in Fairmount.

What has been implemented elsewhere?

I look forward to reading people's suggestions.

#114 John T Roberts

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 08:51 PM

Cberen1, I think that particular house at Avondale and Wabash was mentioned in passing elsewhere on the forum. Ghughes, myself, and a few others on the board were aware of its demolition before it actually happened.

Urb, my first suggestion would be a historic district, but the restrictions would probably be too strict. A historic district was created for Fairmount. For those interested in keeping things less restrictive in their neighborhoods, I would suggest exploring a Conservation District. I don't really know if it would achieve all of the goals of keeping the newer structures within scale and material compatibility, but it is certainly an idea worth exploring.

#115 hannerhan

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 01:37 PM

I was just looking through Williams Trew to see the houses available on the West Side, and noticed one that was familiar...it's the house with the painted brick that was mentioned earlier in the thread, on the market for $875k. Interestingly enough, two of the other houses pictured in this thread are both on the market as well. The one on Clover is ~$850k and the one on 6th is $995k. Builders and initial owners are definitely testing the high end of the market here, considering that these houses are on small lots, non-golf course, etc. Anyway, here is the link to the painted brick house:
http://www.williamst...5&listingtype=1

I had to dig back through to find this thread, but thought it was interesting.

#116 mmiller2002

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 07:16 AM

QUOTE(hannerhan @ Mar 13 2007, 02:37 PM) View Post

I was just looking through Williams Trew to see the houses available on the West Side, and noticed one that was familiar...it's the house with the painted brick that was mentioned earlier in the thread, on the market for $875k. Interestingly enough, two of the other houses pictured in this thread are both on the market as well. The one on Clover is ~$850k and the one on 6th is $995k. Builders and initial owners are definitely testing the high end of the market here, considering that these houses are on small lots, non-golf course, etc. Anyway, here is the link to the painted brick house:
http://www.williamst...5&listingtype=1

I had to dig back through to find this thread, but thought it was interesting.



This happens all the time. Just goes to show how the builders aren't taking the neighborhood into consideration. They are just building something that looks "new" to make a quick buck. I know, the capitalist way, but its still ruining the character of the neighborhood. I wish they'd just stick to the new insta-neighborhoods like the one across from Shady Oaks or the one going up on White Settlement Rd. near the trinity creek. There's others too.

At least in the 80's and early 90's the builders tastefully (usually) renovated older homes on speculation then sold them. Although, there's one renovation on the 1200 block of Virginia (next door to the new one with the front facing single garage) that has ended poorly with an awful porch and balcony. Why does every builder think that rough, rustic wood looks good in an urban neighborhood these days? The iron work is boring and industrial looking.

Have you seen the monster duplex going up at Bunting and Virginia?

Sad, sad situation in the area, like a spreading infection. And, my taxes are outrageous! I can't wait for a housing market crash!


#117 hannerhan

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 12:22 PM

QUOTE(mmiller2002 @ Mar 15 2007, 08:16 AM) View Post


This happens all the time. Just goes to show how the builders aren't taking the neighborhood into consideration. They are just building something that looks "new" to make a quick buck. I know, the capitalist way, but its still ruining the character of the neighborhood. I wish they'd just stick to the new insta-neighborhoods like the one across from Shady Oaks or the one going up on White Settlement Rd. near the trinity creek. There's others too.

At least in the 80's and early 90's the builders tastefully (usually) renovated older homes on speculation then sold them. Although, there's one renovation on the 1200 block of Virginia (next door to the new one with the front facing single garage) that has ended poorly with an awful porch and balcony. Why does every builder think that rough, rustic wood looks good in an urban neighborhood these days? The iron work is boring and industrial looking.

Have you seen the monster duplex going up at Bunting and Virginia?

Sad, sad situation in the area, like a spreading infection. And, my taxes are outrageous! I can't wait for a housing market crash!


My remark was more one of surprise at the prices being asked for these homes. It seems like just a couple of years ago that a house on a large lot facing River Crest CC could be had for under $200 per foot, and now they're getting $250 for one of these interior lot houses?

I think the quality of these 3 houses specifically is very high. It can definitely be argued that they don't look like old homes, but I think 2 of the 3 fit in the neighborhoods fairly well (the 6th St. house, with its stone facade and country look, belongs in Aledo). If every new house in the neighborhood was like these though, I would take it and be happy. Things could be much worse...it could still be like the 70's and 80's where there were a bunch of duplexes with cheap siding going up on 50 foot lots.

I definitely agree with you that Bunting and Virginia isn't the place where I would prefer duplexes.

As for your taxes, that's more a function of the ridiculous rates we pay in Fort Worth than anything else. Unfortunately I don't see a housing crash coming any time soon in Tarrant County. For one thing, prices haven't escalated very rapidly in the past few years, as they did on the coasts. Also, land prices drive the value of real estate, and FW land prices are still way below Dallas and Houston prices for their nicer neighborhoods. There is a 50x135 foot lot for sale on W 6th where the owner is asking $180k. That size lot would be $400k anywhere in the Highland Park. Someone I know recently sold their 4,000 sq foot home in Highland Park for $1.4 million. It was a nice newer home, on a 50x150 lot, built about 10 years ago...nothing spectacular. So that's still $100 MORE per foot than the high end of these houses we're talking about. Add the oil/gas money floating around FW right now, the new development on the 7th Street corridor, and the generally healthy job and office market downtown, and I think the housing market on the near West Side is going to be strong for some time.


#118 76107

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 08:29 AM

What's really interesting about the house on Bunting and Virginia is that it isn't a duplex, but rather a spec house for which its builder hopes to reap north of a million bucks. Which is kind of going to be a canary in the mine that is the west side. Admittedly, he's got several other handsomely priced properties on the market, but a million three to live on the corner of Virginia and Bunting? I think that a lot of this redevelopment, insofar as River Crest/Hi Mount is concerned, has hit its logical ceiling. I don't see how someone could pay a million three to live on the corner of Virginia and Bunting and hope to recoup their investment when it came time to sell.

However, the fact still remains that a lot of this is spurred by the fact that investors woke up a few years ago and realized that dirt in Fort Worth, with the same demographics as dirt in Dallas, was trading at a fifty to sixty percent discount. Until we have parity of pricing, I would expect the redevelopment to rage. I think we may have a pause for a bit, while the market catches its breath, but then again, maybe not. Fort Worth is always a few years behind the rest of the world, and we didn't get the stratospheric run up in home values that the rest of the country did. Maybe its our time.

And you know, admittedly, a lot of the stuff they're tearing down is dreck to begin with. Why should we preserve houses that were built as rental property with a thirty year life span, fifty years ago? Let the market dictate. Just my centavos (2).

#119 cberen1

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 08:31 AM

QUOTE(Bradleto @ Sep 25 2006, 10:49 AM) View Post

I guess while I am posting, I should mention that I caught the Board of Adjustment meeting from a few days ago on television last night. With all of the in-fill building and/or razings going on in the central city older neighborhoods, some of which I have posted on to start this thread, the one related to a raze/rebuild project over on Avondale was particularly fun to watch as the builder petitioned the Board for some side-yard off-set relief to plop down a really huge house on a not-large-enough lot.

What made it such good entertainment? How would you like to state your case for overbuilding on a lot, then have former Mayor Ken Barr be the first to speak in opposition, closely followed by Attorney Mike Johnston whose lanky frame and delivery are more than a little reminiscent of Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird . I should add that both men had a stake in the outcome... Barr lives a few houses away from the proposed construction, and Johnston is right around the corner too. Neither got in to any name calling, just sort of layed out the facts, the results of a neighborhood meeting with the builder, and so forth.

The builder returned to the lectern after these two spoke, in his allotted 3 minute rebuttal time period, and conceded that they didn't really need the adjustment to build the home and conceded that it was a long shot.

The Board voted 9-0 against the petition.

Anyway, when I saw Ken Barr and Mike Johnston delivering their opposition, I sort of chuckled to myself thinking this must be petitioner's worst nightmare.

As it turns out, the best possible outcome seemed to be the result... the builder will re-scale the home to fit the lot, no name calling, no threatened law suits as best I can tell, probably no hard feelings.

For anyone opposing similar construction projects in their neighborhood, for good and sound reasons, this particular case would be a good tape to watch to know how to best organize opposition, present it, and so forth, for best results. If you have a former mayor and the right attorney on your side, that wouldn't hurt either!!! Cheers! Brad

Brad


I walked through the Avondale house in question last night. It's about 5,700 sq ft, three floors and an elevator. What surprised me about the house is that there is a breathtaking view of downtown from the second floor balcony. I understand that they are going to ask $400+ / ft.


#120 Keller Pirate

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 09:27 AM

So, at $400 a square foot that would be around $2,280,000. $400 a square foot is pretty rare air. That seems more like California prices than Texas prices. Out here in the burbs most of the new high end homes are in the $175 range with only a few above $200 a square foot.

At least think of all the property tax money the city, county and ISD will get. The new owner should wind up paying somewhere around $76,000 a year in taxes.

#121 cberen1

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 09:51 AM

QUOTE(Keller Pirate @ Mar 21 2007, 10:27 AM) View Post

$400 a square foot is pretty rare air.


I couldn't agree more. I'll be very surprised if they get that. I would describe my source as fairly reliable, but far from infallable.

#122 mmiller2002

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 11:29 AM

QUOTE(76107 @ Mar 21 2007, 09:29 AM) View Post

What's really interesting about the house on Bunting and Virginia is that it isn't a duplex, but rather a spec house for which its builder hopes to reap north of a million bucks.



Hmmm. You sure its not a duplex? Looks like it has two front entrances and two 4 car garages. They tore down a little duplex on that lot.

If it is a duplex, it isn't symmetrical. One side looks to be smaller than the other.

#123 76107

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 05:58 PM

QUOTE(mmiller2002 @ Mar 21 2007, 12:29 PM) View Post

QUOTE(76107 @ Mar 21 2007, 09:29 AM) View Post

What's really interesting about the house on Bunting and Virginia is that it isn't a duplex, but rather a spec house for which its builder hopes to reap north of a million bucks.



Hmmm. You sure its not a duplex? Looks like it has two front entrances and two 4 car garages. They tore down a little duplex on that lot.

If it is a duplex, it isn't symmetrical. One side looks to be smaller than the other.



#124 76107

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 06:02 PM

QUOTE(76107 @ Mar 21 2007, 06:58 PM) View Post

QUOTE(mmiller2002 @ Mar 21 2007, 12:29 PM) View Post

QUOTE(76107 @ Mar 21 2007, 09:29 AM) View Post

What's really interesting about the house on Bunting and Virginia is that it isn't a duplex, but rather a spec house for which its builder hopes to reap north of a million bucks.



Hmmm. You sure its not a duplex? Looks like it has two front entrances and two 4 car garages. They tore down a little duplex on that lot.

If it is a duplex, it isn't symmetrical. One side looks to be smaller than the other.


According to the man building it, when we last talked, which was on Thursday of last week, it was not a duplex. The master suite, or wing, or whatever you want to call it, is going to be somewhere in excess of fifteen hundred square feet. Its kind of like the house he lives in now, only on steroids. Hence his plan to get a million plus for it. I've property across the street, so I really have mixed emotions. On one hand, its nice to see the value enhanced. On the other, I wonder where people who don't have a million bucks are going to live.

#125 hannerhan

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 06:27 AM

QUOTE(76107 @ Mar 21 2007, 07:02 PM) View Post

On one hand, its nice to see the value enhanced. On the other, I wonder where people who don't have a million bucks are going to live.


From what I have seen, the sellers are happy with what they're being paid. They can sell out and move South closer to I-30, and get more house for the same money. And if they don't want to sell, then that's fine too and they can stay put. As far as someone without a million to spend, who wants to move in to the neighborhood, there are still a lot of older houses to be had for reasonable prices in the $200's.

#126 mmiller2002

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 02:28 PM

QUOTE(76107 @ Mar 21 2007, 07:02 PM) View Post

QUOTE(76107 @ Mar 21 2007, 06:58 PM) View Post

QUOTE(mmiller2002 @ Mar 21 2007, 12:29 PM) View Post

QUOTE(76107 @ Mar 21 2007, 09:29 AM) View Post

What's really interesting about the house on Bunting and Virginia is that it isn't a duplex, but rather a spec house for which its builder hopes to reap north of a million bucks.



Hmmm. You sure its not a duplex? Looks like it has two front entrances and two 4 car garages. They tore down a little duplex on that lot.

If it is a duplex, it isn't symmetrical. One side looks to be smaller than the other.


According to the man building it, when we last talked, which was on Thursday of last week, it was not a duplex. The master suite, or wing, or whatever you want to call it, is going to be somewhere in excess of fifteen hundred square feet. Its kind of like the house he lives in now, only on steroids. Hence his plan to get a million plus for it. I've property across the street, so I really have mixed emotions. On one hand, its nice to see the value enhanced. On the other, I wonder where people who don't have a million bucks are going to live.



I just walked through it with my wife. It's interesting. In the MBR suite, there's a large rectangular pit open to the ground, about 4 ft down. It has plumbing at each end, so we suspect its going to be a sunken shower with faucets at each end. There's two separate upstairs, one up front with 3 BR, and one in back with one BR/guest room/office/whatever. The laundry does not have enough room on the same wall for both a standard washer and dryer. Maybe they'll have to be stacked. Odd for such a big house.

Also, the littler front entrance (closest to Virginia) is puzzling as to its purpose. It opens to a room with a walk-in closet then connects to the main entryway. Maybe its just an architectural feature to make it look like a duplex/town house from the front instead of an incredibly huge house on a small lot.

The location is bad for such a high dollar house. Busy Virginia and a speed hump to rattle every pickup and lawn-care company trailer that comes by.

#127 Bradleto

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 11:37 AM

A second home on Colonial Pkwy was razed, yesterday I believe, as a large pile of debris has yet to be hauled away. This property is two or three homes east of another razing I or another poster mentioned on this thread some time ago. With that house, a major world-class foundation is being constructed as I type... if you are interested in that sort of thing, drive by and take a look at the massive size of this thing. Quite impressive and tall almost like the eventual home will sit on top of a basement-like structure for a better view over the top of the hedge lining the golf course perimeter on the other side of the street. The foundation first required a major removal of earth digging out hundreds of yards I would guess, then large piers were dug and poured, then some more foundation structure leading to massive and tall concrete walls.

I haven't figured out how it all turns out, but an impressive foundation for sure.

So, in my sort of immediate area, three razings on Westcliff Road West to date; two on Colonial Pkwy, and a number of them over nearer the club house in recent years.

More to come, I suppose.

Cheers! Brad

#128 JBB

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 02:45 PM

I drove by that house on Colonial last week. It is impressive, probably even a bit odd. Very strange looking in that neighborhood.

#129 mosteijn

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 07:34 PM

That foundation is a beast! It's being made out of concrete, right?

#130 Bradleto

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 08:27 AM

Yes, the foundation is concrete... yards and yards of concrete. But, it is not a slab-on-grade design having been first heavily piered with the piers standing up and out of the ground a couple of feet, then a grade beam of sorts (though not on grade) sitting horizontally on top of the concrete piers, and walls poured and being formed on top of those beam structures. These are solid concrete walls, not ICFs.

I am not an engineer and it is unclear to me what the final flat surface portion of the foundation will actually be. As it is now with the piers protruding out of the ground, it looks as if there could be a crawl space under the house, so it may be wood floor joists. Not sure.

For me, I can't say whether it looks like it fits or doesn't fit the Colonial area; that will depend on how it shapes up once they add more structure on top of the foundation.

I was in Dallas last weekend near Royal Ln and Preston Road and homes south and east of that intersection, inside the loop, are being razed left and right. My guess is, in time, almost all of the old homes inside the loop will be replaced by these smallish mansions. The inside loop lot values apparently greatly exceed the values placed on the old but nice homes in the area.

I heard these old homes were being sold for as much as $800,000 to be razed. That seems high to me... I would have guessed about half that much, but I guess it is possible.

Brad

#131 PLS

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 10:41 AM

QUOTE(Bradleto @ Mar 29 2007, 09:27 AM) View Post

I was in Dallas last weekend near Royal Ln and Preston Road and homes south and east of that intersection, inside the loop, are being razed left and right. My guess is, in time, almost all of the old homes inside the loop will be replaced by these smallish mansions. The inside loop lot values apparently greatly exceed the values placed on the old but nice homes in the area.

I heard these old homes were being sold for as much as $800,000 to be razed. That seems high to me... I would have guessed about half that much, but I guess it is possible.


i have a coworker that lives near lovers and 75 (west of 75), and he has had several $1.2m+ offers for his 10 year old home, which the potential buyers planned to raze. as long as we have people flying into dfw from the west coast, they are going to laugh at the home prices. a nice updated home in hp/up costs the same as a starter home in socal.

#132 mmiller2002

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 11:42 AM

QUOTE(Bradleto @ Mar 29 2007, 09:27 AM) View Post


I heard these old homes were being sold for as much as $800,000 to be razed. That seems high to me... I would have guessed about half that much, but I guess it is possible.



Its beyond me what these people do to have that kind of money to throw at a house. (same goes for throwing $40K+ at a car). I just don't get it.

#133 steve-o

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 02:19 PM

QUOTE(vjackson @ Aug 28 2006, 06:37 PM) View Post

I know I might be in the minority in this, but it's not really the design of the house on Bunting I have a problem with, it's the scale. I personally love a neighborhood with a wide variety of housing styles, especially when the the homes span many different periods. One of my favorite streets in FW is Meadowbrook Blvd. between Beach and Oakland. It's such a shame E. FW is so overlooked!!!! This street has homes representing almost 100 years of middle-class residential architecture. All built next to one another, in a seemingly random manner. Last time I drove down the street there were several new ones built in that wonderful cookie-cutter subdivison style, yet they seem to blend right in. But with such a wide mix of homes, I can't think of any that are so out of scale it looks out of place. This has made the blvd into an incredibly beautiful and interesting street. So I usually have no problem with someone building a design that is different than the rest of the neighborhood. To me it's not what you build, but how you build it.


I mostly agree with this point. I used to live on Bunting 15 years ago, but when I drove down the street recently and saw this house, my jaw just dropped. I actually kind of like the design of the house, but the scale is completely out of whack with the neighborhood. At least for now.

What I worry about is the snowball effect. I work in North Dallas and when you drive up Preston Road between Walnut Hill and Forest Lane, take a turn anywhere and you can see where this can lead. These marvelous old Mid-Century Ranch Houses have been razed for "Old World Charm" 6000 sf McMansions. In 20 years, there won't be anything left of these great Mid-Century neighborhoods, and that's a shame. There hasn't been nearly as much of that in FW and I think we are the better for it. (BTW, a teardown usually goes for $400-$500K).

Here's what happened to the nice little bungalow I used to live in. Someone bought it, razed, and (viola) Old World Charm



#134 hannerhan

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 05:54 AM

And that's not even one of the worst ones. Other than the front garage, at least they kept some of the bungalow look with the roofline, front porch, etc.

I totally agree that "Old World" is going to be very '2000's' in a few years. In Aledo I expect it, but not in the middle of FW. The greatest compliment in my mind for a new home built on the West Side, is for someone to say that the home looks like it could have been built in the 20's or 30's (when the neighborhood was built out). Village, HGC, and Period Homes are doing a very good job of this. I wish some of the other builders were as well.

I'm a huge fan of the new Spanish-style Village home on the corner of Bryce and Merrick. It would be great if every new home in West FW was built with the same thoughtfulness of design, attention to detail and respect for period architecture.

#135 mmiller2002

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 11:53 AM

QUOTE(steve-o @ Mar 29 2007, 03:19 PM) View Post

Here's what happened to the nice little bungalow I used to live in. Someone bought it, razed, and (viola) Old World Charm



Yuck. They're one of the builders that put the country-home-on-a-city-lot around the area. I'm surprised they didn't use more of the ugly rough wood just be more trendy. The house they built on Mattison didn't use wood steathing on the exterior. They use a thick cardboard sheating right on the studs. Wasn't impressive for a $500K house.

#136 cjyoung

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 12:02 PM

QUOTE(steve-o @ Mar 29 2007, 03:19 PM) View Post

QUOTE(vjackson @ Aug 28 2006, 06:37 PM) View Post

I know I might be in the minority in this, but it's not really the design of the house on Bunting I have a problem with, it's the scale. I personally love a neighborhood with a wide variety of housing styles, especially when the the homes span many different periods. One of my favorite streets in FW is Meadowbrook Blvd. between Beach and Oakland. It's such a shame E. FW is so overlooked!!!! This street has homes representing almost 100 years of middle-class residential architecture. All built next to one another, in a seemingly random manner. Last time I drove down the street there were several new ones built in that wonderful cookie-cutter subdivison style, yet they seem to blend right in. But with such a wide mix of homes, I can't think of any that are so out of scale it looks out of place. This has made the blvd into an incredibly beautiful and interesting street. So I usually have no problem with someone building a design that is different than the rest of the neighborhood. To me it's not what you build, but how you build it.


I mostly agree with this point. I used to live on Bunting 15 years ago, but when I drove down the street recently and saw this house, my jaw just dropped. I actually kind of like the design of the house, but the scale is completely out of whack with the neighborhood. At least for now.

What I worry about is the snowball effect. I work in North Dallas and when you drive up Preston Road between Walnut Hill and Forest Lane, take a turn anywhere and you can see where this can lead. These marvelous old Mid-Century Ranch Houses have been razed for "Old World Charm" 6000 sf McMansions. In 20 years, there won't be anything left of these great Mid-Century neighborhoods, and that's a shame. There hasn't been nearly as much of that in FW and I think we are the better for it. (BTW, a teardown usually goes for $400-$500K).

Here's what happened to the nice little bungalow I used to live in. Someone bought it, razed, and (viola) Old World Charm


Preston Hollow is outta control in this regard. It seems that the left over 2500 sq ft houses are being torn down for 5000 sq ft houses and the "old" 5000 sq ft houses are being torn down for new 10,000 sq ft houses or being completely gutted and remodeled. It makes me wonder where all these people get all this money. wacko.gif


#137 Keller Pirate

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 04:55 PM

I was over in Dallas for a dinner last Thursday and a couple at our table said they had been living in Plano since 1993. According to them Plano has started into phase 2 and the 20+ year old homes are being torn down and replaced with newer more modern structures. I guess that would be called Extreme Remodeling.

We are starting a remodel next week on our 15 year old home to bring it up to date. The contractor is mainly a builder and he was telling us about a lady in the Park Cities called him recently to look at a home she had just purchased for $900,000 and she wanted to remodel. He told her it was a scraper and would cost more to remodel than to teardown and rebuild. She insisted she wanted a remodel even if it was millions. He said he agreed to do it but on the drive back to Tarrant County he thought about it some more and called her and told her to get someone else for the job.

#138 SLO

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 03:45 PM

QUOTE(Keller Pirate @ Apr 2 2007, 05:55 PM) View Post

I was over in Dallas for a dinner last Thursday and a couple at our table said they had been living in Plano since 1993. According to them Plano has started into phase 2 and the 20+ year old homes are being torn down and replaced with newer more modern structures. I guess that would be called Extreme Remodeling.

We are starting a remodel next week on our 15 year old home to bring it up to date. The contractor is mainly a builder and he was telling us about a lady in the Park Cities called him recently to look at a home she had just purchased for $900,000 and she wanted to remodel. He told her it was a scraper and would cost more to remodel than to teardown and rebuild. She insisted she wanted a remodel even if it was millions. He said he agreed to do it but on the drive back to Tarrant County he thought about it some more and called her and told her to get someone else for the job.



...he was just afraid of the old house

#139 hickoryflamefrog

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 10:20 PM

QUOTE
I honestly don't know what an effective way is to stop the current epidemic of tastless, out-of-place faux country homes with horribly gaudy designs from infiltrating our neighborhoods. While those homes might not sell as well or quickly as a better designed one, all it takes is a few buyers to emerge to buy them who don't agree with most of the people in the neighborhood who are generally disguested by the trend.

How do you approach a builder who has really bad taste, and effectively convince them to change their practices? Anyone have a suggestion on that one? I'd love to know how to do it tactfully.


I was going to say with a cattle prod and a rope, but then you added tactfully. Oh, well. It really is about just the money for some and for others it is that they just don't know they don't know how. There will always be some situations that just defy common sense and even with all the effort to controll development some things will get done with which we will just have to live. Put together a little group, raise some money, buy, preserve, renovate, and develop all you can or want. Waiting for government intervention and/or expecting taxpayers to pick up the tab is just not going to get it done.

#140 mmiller2002

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 08:18 PM

QUOTE(mmiller2002 @ Mar 25 2007, 03:28 PM) View Post


I just walked through it with my wife. It's interesting. In the MBR suite, there's a large rectangular pit open to the ground, about 4 ft down. It has plumbing at each end, so we suspect its going to be a sunken shower with faucets at each end.



We walked through it again. the sunken thing is a custom whirlpool and shower. Solid poured concrete probably 4 feet deep and a foot thick ready to tile. Its impressive.

We still can't figure out the two front doors. I think that it's just to make it look more "city" from the front and not just like a massive single home.

The have lots of french type doors one set looks like it will just be used as windows since they are a couple feet above the floor level.

IPB Image

IPB Image

IPB Image


#141 hannerhan

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 11:23 AM

A couple more newer houses on the market, this time on 5th Street. Quite generic, don't fit in with the neighborhood, etc.


This one wouldn't be quite so bad if it wasn't for the mile of composition roofing facing the street:
IPB Image


Another, with the dreaded front garage:
IPB Image






#142 Fort Worthology

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 11:35 AM

QUOTE(hannerhan @ Apr 13 2007, 12:23 PM) View Post

This one wouldn't be quite so bad if it wasn't for the mile of composition roofing facing the street:
IPB Image


That's an awful roof design. Ick!

QUOTE

Another, with the dreaded front garage:
IPB Image


I can't stand front garage doors, no matter how much they gussy them up. No different from the junk in the average run-of-the-mill suburb. I especially hate it when front garage doors are combined with front doors sucked back into little dark caves, as here.

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#143 mmiller2002

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 11:45 AM

Death watch for side-by-side semi-run down houses at the NW corner of Madeline and Camp Bowie. They were for sale a little while ago after having been oddly boarded for a while. Same owner for both on TAD.

Don't blink.

#144 hannerhan

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 11:45 AM

QUOTE(mmiller2002 @ Sep 24 2006, 09:08 AM) View Post


And the "nice" one squeezed next door.

IPB Image




This house was on the market for $995k, then the Sold sign went up 2 weeks ago, and now the sign is gone altogether. I'm extremely surprised that they hit this price point on such a small lot (of course the sales price may not be anywhere near that number for all I know).

As long as builders are able to do this, we'll see a lot more spec homes like this. The same builder is now ramping up another home just to the East of this one across the street.

#145 mmiller2002

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 12:01 PM

What do you think is up with that monster on Monticello between Virginia and Westview? It's been stagnant for months. Legal/business issues, divorce?

Same with the "museum" on the double lot in the 4000 block Bunting.

#146 76107

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 05:02 PM

QUOTE(mmiller2002 @ Apr 13 2007, 01:01 PM) View Post

What do you think is up with that monster on Monticello between Virginia and Westview? It's been stagnant for months. Legal/business issues, divorce?

Same with the "museum" on the double lot in the 4000 block Bunting.


From what I understand, the owners of the home, or rather the owners of the as yet unfinished dwelling, have been mired in litigation over the structure. We call it the "Aledo Post Office". There's all kinds of issues with the setback, and the actual platting of the property, and so on and so forth. Also, from what I hear, the family that intended for it to be their dream house is kind of wondering if they want to live around people who really, really, don't want their house in the neighborhood.

As for the Saudi Mini Mall on Bunting, I can't figure that out for the life of me. Toured it a month and a half or so with the lady building it. Didn't have the gall to ask her why it was taking the better part of two years to finish. She seemed very picky, so that may have something to do with it. Three hundred change orders and stuff can make a contractor really wonder about working with you...That's pure speculation, of course.

#147 mmiller2002

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 11:58 AM

QUOTE(76107 @ Apr 17 2007, 06:02 PM) View Post

Also, from what I hear, the family that intended for it to be their dream house is kind of wondering if they want to live around people who really, really, don't want their house in the neighborhood.


That's funny, I remember a year or 3 ago that they had a banner on the chain link fencing that somehow was thanking the neighbors for putting up with their construction. It is incredibly out of character and scale for the neighborhood. It should be tucked back in some wooded area overlooking a bluff.

#148 hannerhan

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 07:40 AM

QUOTE(mmiller2002 @ Apr 9 2007, 09:18 PM) View Post

QUOTE(mmiller2002 @ Mar 25 2007, 03:28 PM) View Post


I just walked through it with my wife. It's interesting. In the MBR suite, there's a large rectangular pit open to the ground, about 4 ft down. It has plumbing at each end, so we suspect its going to be a sunken shower with faucets at each end.



We walked through it again. the sunken thing is a custom whirlpool and shower. Solid poured concrete probably 4 feet deep and a foot thick ready to tile. Its impressive.

We still can't figure out the two front doors. I think that it's just to make it look more "city" from the front and not just like a massive single home.



http://www.williamst...3&listingtype=1

#149 Keller Pirate

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 10:00 AM

Isn't that misleading when they show the taxes as $3754.00? I know they are low because TAD considers the property as partially complete. At least, you would think an honest realtor would show the estimated taxes on an incomplete property. I'm guessing if they moved the decimal point over 1 digit to the right they would be pretty close to the actual amount the owner occupied house is going to pay.

Of course, a person that can afford that house should be smart enough that they won't get caught by that little trick that builders have used on so many first time buyers up in North Ft Worth.

#150 mmiller2002

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 11:45 AM

That drawing is unbelievable! Does that look like a ~50' x 120' that mcmansion is sitting on?




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