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Villa DeLeon

Uptown Residential Samuels Avenue Condominiums New Construction

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#101 SurplusPopulation

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 11:47 AM

You can't compare abhoring defacing someone else's property with abhoring legitimate development, even if the latter carries more personal importance. One's a crime; the other's not.

#102 safly

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 12:19 AM

Fine then.

I'll just take my FW FORUM and go home! glare.gif
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#103 John S.

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 07:38 AM

QUOTE (safly @ Apr 29 2008, 11:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just as some would abhor in losing their town's history, one developer at a time.

Like that "GOONIES" protagonist kinda feeling. huh.gif

Rock Island RR ROOTS?


Regarding Railroads...
Railroads have long been a part of the Samuels Avenue neighborhood ever since a track was laid smack through the middle of the old racetrack-driving range (next to the old Pavilion Park) in 1886. This early track (Santa Fe?) forever altered the character of the neighborhood and remains quite busy (especially in the wee hours of the morning, it seems) to this day. This is something the residents of Villa De Leon will just have to get used to-the no horn blowing "quiet zone" created by additional street safety upgrades, is apparently being ignored, even at 3 AM.

Addtional tracks were laid through the far eastern side of the neighborhood afterwards, including the Rock-Island line. This eastern neighborhood concentration of tracks, intersected by Peach Street, is an almost forgotten pocket residential area. It was also one of the first sections of the neighborhood to have a significant Latino population. When a local youth gang evolved in the area, they chose Varrio (Barrio) Rock Island as their name because the Rock Island tracks ran nearby. At times, this remote section of the neighborhood has been almost completely cut off from the rest when rail cars were left parked on the tracks. I didn't even know this area existed until the local citizen's crime patrol (Citizens On Patrol) made the section part of it's route. For many years, the predominately Latino majority throughout the Samuels Avenue neighborhood have simply reffered to it as "Rock Island".
John S.

#104 safly

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 09:54 AM

May have also been accepted by that name because many NON-LATINOS refer to the area as SPANISH Island or Spanish Rock (like Plymouth?). Spanish is sometimes the passive racial term (no offense to me) used by many non-latinos in categorizing the Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans etc. (people from a variety of Latin American country origin). Very common place for Italians, African-Americans, and Irish from the northern states to "label" someone as Spanish who may show Latino features or speak spanish. If you read up a little bit on the bitter history of numerous Latin American countries/peoples and the strained relations to the Spanish people/gov't in particular, then you will understand why many honest disagreements have come about with the labeling of Spanish Island. So from the outside this place was named one way (perhaps because to some, Spanish is/was the unofficial language spoken there?), and from the inside the labeling was most likely not acceptable so they went with what is identifiable in their parts, the Rock Island rail line.

Semantics aside and gang or no gang, the name had significant meaning to the area and to it's inhabitants.

I am very interested in your factual timelines JohnS. This area could open up more information than what we currently know of. I do know a Mexican-American family that has been living and working in the N.Side since the 1920's, perhaps they could have more information to share with us.
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#105 cjyoung

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 02:47 PM

QUOTE (safly @ Apr 30 2008, 10:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Very common place for Italians, African-Americans, and Irish from the northern states to "label" someone as Spanish who may show Latino features or speak spanish.


They of course would be very ignorant because they're many racial groups covered in the generic "Hispanic" ethnic group, including white, Chinese (Philippines), black (coastal areas of central and south America and the Caribbean), and of course the various mixed groups formed from mixing white Spanish with indigenous people and/or descendants of black Africans.

#106 John S.

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 09:29 AM

QUOTE (safly @ Apr 30 2008, 10:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am very interested in your factual timelines JohnS. This area could open up more information than what we currently know of. I do know a Mexican-American family that has been living and working in the N.Side since the 1920's, perhaps they could have more information to share with us.



Marion Burda, who has lived in the Samuels Avenue-Rock Island neighborhood since the 1940's, told me when he and his mother moved into the neighborhood there were but two Spanish-speaking families living here. He went on to say there were a fair number of African American families living as tenants in the many workers cottages that once dotted the neighborhood. None of these AA families remain but at least since the 1960's the neighborhood has been predominantly Hispanic. I speculate that the proximity to the Stockyards together with jobs in the meat packing plants both played a major role in this demographic change. With recent gentrification, once again the demographics and socio-economic dynamics in the neighborhood are changing.

John S.


#107 John S.

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 09:53 AM

Hi All,

To get back on-topic about Villa De Leon. I was somewhat intrigued to hear from a fairly reliable neighborhood source that the VDL project has been wildly successful. According to this source, who supposedly received his information from a contact within the project construction firm, Villa De Leon has been completely pre-sold. Supposedly, because of requests for individual customization, the least expensive units will now cost over $1 million and one individual has purchased an entire floor for $4 million. Given the ambitious scope of this project, these figures would not surprise me. I do not wish to spread "rumors", so if there's someone else who could corroborate this information, I would be very grateful. If this is indeed factual, then hat's off to developer Tom Struhs for recognizing an unmet luxury housing need and fulfilling it so successfully.

Assuming for the moment that it is true, then the continued development along Samuels Avenue is assured. Let us hope that in any event progress is orderly and takes into account the most important historical-architectural examples remaining in the neighborhood. A well-designed and well-planned development path could actually enhance the visual value of those remaining homes deemed worth keeping, demonstrating the historical continuity of the past with the present.
John S.

#108 safly

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 10:49 AM

I agree on your last part there.

If that information came from Mr. Burda, then I believe it for the most part. He seems to be a fair and honest fella.
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#109 JKC

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 12:08 PM

The tagging has been a problem lately everywhere. I would personally be very surprised if the taggers had any such well-thought-out impetus.

#110 safly

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 12:25 PM

Seems more "strategic" in the case of the VD.
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#111 AndyN

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 04:48 PM

QUOTE (JKC @ May 1 2008, 12:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The tagging has been a problem lately everywhere. I would personally be very surprised if the taggers had any such well-thought-out impetus.


This is twice I have seen clear anti "Uptown" tagging. I'm sure it will dimish when their property taxes go up too high and they have to relocate to the burbs.
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#112 safly

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 09:06 PM

Will rising property taxes help yours or anyones case? I'm sure their property tax is the only cost other than insurance for their lot. I seriously doubt that more than 30-40% of those homes are not already paid off or clear titled. So the tax appraisal on their house HAS TO BE grossly minute compared to the Westies and so forth. I hope that they are very educated in selling VERY HIGH in those parts of town. I do know of one account where my FW friend's grandmother was only offered $15k by Chesapeake Energy FOR HER DOUBLE LOT HOME (not the leasing bonus) near the corner of the street in the N.Side area. But CHK's CEO (Aubrey McClendon) seemed to really enjoy himself when speaking about his company's stock "possible doubling" outlook ina year on CNBC's FAST MONEY today. FOR SHAME!

Do you think a "tagger" lurks about on this site? I mean it seemed to close to home when a house in that area caught on fire. The folks who lived there were big on the C.O.P. duties. but I think CBS 11 said that it was faulty electrical wiring. Which may have been brought about by a faulty doorbell button. I know,I get those annoying emails from relatives that just have me wonderin.
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#113 John S.

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 03:29 PM

QUOTE (safly @ May 1 2008, 10:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Will rising property taxes help yours or anyones case? I'm sure their property tax is the only cost other than insurance for their lot. I seriously doubt that more than 30-40% of those homes are not already paid off or clear titled. So the tax appraisal on their house HAS TO BE grossly minute compared to the Westies and so forth. I hope that they are very educated in selling VERY HIGH in those parts of town. I do know of one account where my FW friend's grandmother was only offered $15k by Chesapeake Energy FOR HER DOUBLE LOT HOME (not the leasing bonus) near the corner of the street in the N.Side area. But CHK's CEO (Aubrey McClendon) seemed to really enjoy himself when speaking about his company's stock "possible doubling" outlook in a year on CNBC's FAST MONEY today. FOR SHAME!
Do you think a "tagger" lurks about on this site? I mean it seemed to close to home when a house in that area caught on fire. The folks who lived there were big on the C.O.P. duties. but I think CBS 11 said that it was faulty electrical wiring. Which may have been brought about by a faulty doorbell button. I know,I get those annoying emails from relatives that just have me wonderin.


Hi,

Rising properties taxes only helps the entity that receives the revenue. Rarely do increased taxes translate into major infrastructural upgrades. The sidewalks in my part of Samuels Avenue are bordering on ancient. They are sunk in, cracked, and have vegetation that tries stubbornly every Spring to turn them into a buried archeoloical artifact. While it would be nice to see them replaced, I perfectly understand why the City would want to wait until development issues are settled before putting new sidewalks or curbs in.

As for developers paying a "fair" amount for properties they want, it's no different than if you or I wanted to buy a property. If we could "steal" it (figuratively) and buy for an amazingly low price, we would do so without hesitation and likely thank our lucky stars for our good fortune. Developers are business people and they focus on the bottom line for every business decision. Why should they not try to acquire property at the lowest possible price?

I've seen some properties on Samuels Avenue change hands more than once in the past few year with each "flip" (if you want to use that term) raising the price and usually the profit to the seller. Sometimes a developer gets lucky. I know of one larger parcel that extends down to the Trinity River sell for a fraction of what it might be potentially worth because the seller(s) were from out of State and wanted to settle a Family estate. Then there have been a few holdouts (and there's still one or two in that category) who held on to their land until a premium price was offered. Ultimately, the true value of any land in the Samuels Avenue neighborhood depends on what gets built there. Assuming Villa De Leon sets the tone for future development, most of it will be in the luxury category, otherwise, why would people willing to pay over a million dollars to live at Villa De Leon be comfortable having much cheaper development nearby? I predict the area around Villa De Leon may become Fort Worth's version of Turtle Creek in Dallas. Of course, for that to happen, the developers will have to mutually agree on the type and quality of what gets built there. When Fort Worth was raw land 200 years ago, I'm sure there were not many markers put in place which designated where expensive development would later take place and which areas might someday become slums. These are all arbitrary conditions which are complex and based more on perception than anything else. Otherwise, was the low income downtown view from Ripley Arnold apartments worth far less than the view today from Radio Shack's campus? The same could be said of Samuels Avenue today as compared with 5-6 years ago-it's all a matter of perception. Last, taggers do not need a website to advertize their exploits, the "tag" itself is their advertisement. BTW, I noticed the "Rock Island" was still on the VDL site sign.

John S.

#114 safly

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 09:42 AM

QUOTE
As for developers paying a "fair" amount for properties they want, it's no different than if you or I wanted to buy a property. If we could "steal" it (figuratively) and buy for an amazingly low price, we would do so without hesitation and likely thank our lucky stars for our good fortune. Developers are business people and they focus on the bottom line for every business decision. Why should they not try to acquire property at the lowest possible price?


It's borderline predatory. Luckily enough, the old lady's son-in-law was there to squash it. I'm hoping with the rising demand for land in the N.Side of FW that there is NAssoc. support staff in place to help guide home owners in receiving a "FAIR" deal on their property(s). A broker/marketing agent if you will, that looks into QUALIFIED BUYERS and DEMANDS BI-LINGUAL representation throughout the ENTIRE PROCESS. Every single home owned in the N.Side should be STARTIN TALKS at a minimum $200K and $50K on mineral rights BONUS from CHK (ticker symbol). Chesapeake has already cleared a rig site right between the Rockwood GC and nearby softball/baseball complex. Just a matter of time before they start knockin on doors 24-7. N.Side has so much UPTHRUST topography that it is ideal for gas exploration play. I see about about 10 more rigs in the N.Side area within the next 5 years. And remember, the WESTIES don't want those THANGS in their backyards. ohmy.gif

If you live in that area, I say NOW is the time to get the word out. Create more value with KNOWLEDGE.
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#115 cberen1

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 12:23 PM

QUOTE (safly @ May 7 2008, 10:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Every single home owned in the N.Side should be STARTIN TALKS at a minimum $200K and $50K on mineral rights BONUS from CHK (ticker symbol).


Wow. Those numbers would be impressive. If you think you could get that, you should start buying them up at $150K and $25K. Undoubtedly you would have trouble spending all the cash you would make. rotflmao.gif

#116 safly

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 05:57 PM

Straight CASHHH Homey!


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#117 John S.

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 07:08 AM

LAST NIGHT'S FIREWORKS SHOW AT LA GRAVE...

Hi All,
Where else could you stand in your own back yard after 11 PM last night and watch colorful rockets and fireworks bombs exploding in mid-air!? The walls of our house literally shook with the explosions. Guess the Cats won their game or maybe it was just time for a fireworks show. We had a front and center view of the awesome show they put on last night. Folks at the new Villa De Leon will have a perfect view of the City fireworks show every 4th of July as well. I'm not sure how all of this enters into neighborhood "curb appeal" but it sure was fun to watch.
John S.

#118 Now in Denton

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 10:10 AM

QUOTE (John S. @ May 9 2008, 08:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
LAST NIGHT'S FIREWORKS SHOW AT LA GRAVE...

Hi All,
Where else could you stand in your own back yard after 11 PM last night and watch colorful rockets and fireworks bombs exploding in mid-air!? The walls of our house literally shook with the explosions. Guess the Cats won their game or maybe it was just time for a fireworks show. We had a front and center view of the awesome show they put on last night. Folks at the new Villa De Leon will have a perfect view of the City fireworks show every 4th of July as well. I'm not sure how all of this enters into neighborhood "curb appeal" but it sure was fun to watch.
John S.


My dad is elderly and my aunt is slipping away and lives in that area. On a week night no less? Come on. 9 PM tops. angry.gif

#119 John S.

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 07:36 AM

Fireworks again erupted last night at La Grave but this time around 9 PM. I would think Thursday's very late show was due to extra innings or some other unusual delay. One again, we had a ringside "seat" for the show. If someone were to build a high-rise on our property (which is currently for sale) they could literally watch the games from the upper floors. I think Villa De Leon residents will enjoy watching the frequent fireworks shows as well.
John S.

#120 Brian Luenser

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 09:38 AM

Took a walk to Villa DeLeon this Memorial Day morning. I am getting very excited about this project!

Very nice little sales center.


Even from low ground level a SPECTACULAR view. May be best in North Texas from fifth floor of this building.


Construction progressing.


More construction


Sure wonder what these ruins were from on the South side of project?

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#121 redhead

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 03:01 PM

Glad you should ask...The ruins are an old amphitheatre built during the WPA days. There is discussion of restoration by VDL and company. It would make a nice feature on the way down to the river, I think.

#122 AndyN

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 12:05 AM

The formboards for the first floor are coming along nicely. I would estimate that concrete will be poured soon.
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#123 AndyN

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 10:47 PM

First floor poured June 21, 2008. Add a couple days curing time and we shall see the new 2nd floor forms rising this week, I imagine.
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#124 AndyN

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 01:58 AM

2nd floor forms sprouting up.
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#125 AndyN

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 09:45 AM

Slight correction. Apparently the building is steel framed above the basement. It looks like they've got the major structural steel in place for the first and second floors now. I just assumed that the whole thing was going to be reinforced concrete.
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#126 mosteijn

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 08:59 AM

Update:





#127 Brian Luenser

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Posted 18 July 2008 - 09:11 PM

Nice photo's mosteijn! Makes my shot look pretty stink'n homely. Here is my shot of Villa DeLeon from my Cats game this evening. (400mm) Not going to wind up on their brochure for sure but gives notice to progress from the river side. Looking Southeast. Ignore the ugly wires etc... as they are not in the face of this great development. Coming along nicely.


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#128 Urbndwlr

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 05:15 PM

QUOTE (redhead @ Jan 17 2007, 12:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ames Fender is the architect. Yes, it's brick and cast stone, but the slate may not be green. There's discussion of some mottled gold/rust/brown slate that's recently become available. I've seen it other places, but not in FW yet. It's not only striking, it's highly unusual.


Out of curiosity, do you know how the developer selected Mr. Fender and who else they might have considered?
And how much of the design was driven by the developer(s) vs. the architect?
Were there certain buildings elsewhere that provided inspiration for this project?

thanks.

#129 redhead

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 07:58 PM

Developer considered some locals, but thought some were "overplayed." Had a vision for the old European mansions of the industrial era that dotted many a river, only to be cut up into smaller residences at a later date---not unlike the McCormick mansion in Chicago that was turned into nine condos many years ago. Was a collaborative effort between developers and Fender, who were acquaintances when the project began...some of the history of Fender's family (grandfather's architecture) definitely played in the selection.
I hope that answers your questions...

#130 John T Roberts

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 08:17 PM

In case you don't know, Ames Fender is Wyatt C. Hedrick's grandson.

#131 Brian Luenser

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 08:37 AM

Again, until Mosteijn gets over here to take some great pics, here are two pics to represent the progress being made. The second pic is just a crop of the first. This place is really going to be something. I do wonder, with all those electric wires on their West side, if the developer isn't sending these pictures to the "GOOD PROSPECTS FOR COPPER THIEF'S" gazette. And yes, I would be thrilled to be living there looking through those cables.




Surprised they needed two stairwells in a building this size.

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#132 John T Roberts

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 11:19 AM

Monee, the size of each floor is what really determines the need for the second stair. The height of the building will affect the size of each stairwell more than the number of stairs in a building. I'm really simplifying this, but building codes are not easy to explain.

#133 AndyN

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 10:39 PM

Sixth floor framing looks complete. Not sure if there is a utility level, but the overrun for the elevator shaft looks to be in place. I'm thinking we might see an evergreen tree at the top of this one soon.
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#134 AndyN

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Posted 22 August 2008 - 02:43 PM

They are flocking the building now. Fireproofing for the structural steel members.
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#135 longhornz32

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 11:39 AM

I had some spare time this weekend so I went and saw some of the projects I have been reading so much about on this site. I have never seen the Villa De Leon in person so I thought it only fair to go see what's going on. I don't like the design of this building but that is just subjective.

I wonder what this person thinks of it going up? I don't know why I hadn't noticed the little houses pretty much within arm's reach of the new construction.





This was my first time down Samuel and what a street! I can't believe the gems on this street. Hopefully there will be a way the next projects and be considerate of these great homes instead cutting and pasting a midrise building from Orange County down on the great banks of the Trinity.

#136 Thurman52

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 01:12 PM

I noticed this project coming down Camp Bowie into the CD area. It rises on the bluff from the distance making it look like very nice project

#137 Okie-JR

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 06:29 PM

What is that house doing there? I don't want it next to my $800K+ condo. Can we get some eminent domain to remove it for me?

#138 fw1953

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 07:35 AM

Why is the city allowing a six story high rise to be built right up next to houses that have been there for well over a half a century?

#139 longhornz32

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 08:08 AM

QUOTE (fw1953 @ Aug 26 2008, 08:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why is the city allowing a six story high rise to be built right up next to houses that have been there for well over a half a century?


It's an honor for the homeowner to be included in the new swanky neighborhood. Plus they get all that free solar shading! That has got to help with their energy bill. I bet Villa De Leon will even open up their gates one day a year and let the neighborhood come to a pool party. Funny how these housed don't show up in the sales renderings.


#140 Fort Worthology

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 08:13 AM

QUOTE (fw1953 @ Aug 26 2008, 08:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why is the city allowing a six story high rise to be built right up next to houses that have been there for well over a half a century?


Because the zoning allows it and the building is of proper urban design, why shouldn't they? It's not as though the neighborhood cared enough about its own history to organize a historic district during the several opportunities they had.

(And yes, I would have supported such a designation. After a while though, when it becomes obvious the patient isn't interested in the treatment, there's not a whole lot that can be done.)

#141 Fort Worthology

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 08:22 AM

QUOTE (longhornz32 @ Aug 26 2008, 09:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's an honor for the homeowner to be included in the new swanky neighborhood. Plus they get all that free solar shading! That has got to help with their energy bill. I bet Villa De Leon will even open up their gates one day a year and let the neighborhood come to a pool party. Funny how these housed don't show up in the sales renderings.


Rich people are allowed to live in the central city, too, ya know. The central city being the exclusive realm of the poor is an American anomaly of the post WWII years, not the historic norm.

#142 longhornz32

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 08:45 AM

QUOTE (Atomic Glee @ Aug 26 2008, 09:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Rich people are allowed to live in the central city, too, ya know. The central city being the exclusive realm of the poor is an American anomaly of the post WWII years, not the historic norm.



Ah we should have density before sprawl right? Unless sprawl means it's much cheaper to build 10' next to a small mid century home in a struggling neighborhood. Why not build 2-3000' upriver where the density of such a mid rise would reflect it's surroundings? It would cost way too much to do so. VDL's placement and design is just a rude statement to it's surroundings and neighborhood. Look, I know money is always going to push the poorer people around. After my trip to Samuels Ave. I was just really impressed with the gems of homes that are there. I can't do anything about VDL but I hope more attention and consideration is given to this great neighborhood as this area is developed and included into the downtown revitalization even if the neighborhood doesn't have the initiative to save itself.

#143 Fort Worthology

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 09:35 AM

QUOTE (longhornz32 @ Aug 26 2008, 09:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ah we should have density before sprawl right? Unless sprawl means it's much cheaper to build 10' next to a small mid century home in a struggling neighborhood. Why not build 2-3000' upriver where the density of such a mid rise would reflect it's surroundings? It would cost way too much to do so. VDL's placement and design is just a rude statement to it's surroundings and neighborhood.


1) Samuels Avenue is hardly "sprawl." Density does not mean "downtown only."

2) VDL will be hardly any bigger than everything else being built around there. In fact, as a building it's smaller than the Lincoln apartments down the street. Does one six-story midrise really stick out amongst the several blocks worth of three and four story midrise apartments and townhomes that will surround it? You did notice the vacant lots across the street being graded, right? That's going to be a four-story apartment building. That's going to be the norm for this neighborhood. Around VDL, that sort of height and scale will be normal from here on out.

3) VDL is perfectly appropriately scaled to all the other developments ongoing around it. Like I said, I would have supported a historic district designation for the neighborhood, one that forced new development into a similar scale. The neighborhood didn't want it, though (the option was presented at least a few times). So when Mr. Struhs comes in and starts building four-story buildings on every other block around there, no, I don't find VDL's six-story form to be out-of-character. The building is of fine urban design (which is separate from style - urbanity transcends style and style can always be debated and is beyond the point) and will not seem out of place with the other new stuff going on literally all around it.

4) A neighborhood seeing millions of dollars of new construction is hardly "struggling." The new developments are going up because a lot of the residents took Struhs's money and left. Yes, it's a complete and drastic shift in the neighborhood, but it's happening because the people who lived there decided they'd rather take money from Struhs than preserve the neighborhood.

I don't know if the homes next door are holdouts or if they'll be torn down by Struhs eventually as well, or by another developer, but because the neighborhood passed on historic district status I can hardly blame Struhs for his new developments. If preservation isn't going to happen, at the very least I want to see the new developments be of quality urban design - and thus far, Struh's developments have been.

I am a strong preservationist (as anybody who knows me can attest). Even those of us who are big on preservation realize it's impossible for us to save everything. I would have loved to see the Samuels area redevelop with a somewhat smaller scale with developments amongst the original homes, but when presented with that sort of option the neighborhood passed. There are still several homes in the area I would fight to save, but I think most everybody in preservation knows that the neighborhood as a whole is no longer going to be a place of small detached homes.

#144 Brian Luenser

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 09:37 AM

Villa DeLeon is the best thing to happen to that neighborhood in 117 years.

It is what they would have done 117 years ago if the locals had the money and the community had a higher respect for the river and the view from that bluff.

All the land out that way is now more valuable. Watch the values in that neighborhood all rise as this develops further. Supply and demand. It is marvelous. (The demand is higher for those river views than the supply of lots with river views.) Lets draw a circle on a map around the Villa DeLeon project a half mile in out and compare the property taxes contributed to the City a year ago and two years from now. We are in for a treat!








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#145 AndyN

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 02:09 PM

QUOTE (longhornz32 @ Aug 26 2008, 08:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ah we should have density before sprawl right? Unless sprawl means it's much cheaper to build 10' next to a small mid century home in a struggling neighborhood. Why not build 2-3000' upriver where the density of such a mid rise would reflect it's surroundings? It would cost way too much to do so. VDL's placement and design is just a rude statement to it's surroundings and neighborhood. Look, I know money is always going to push the poorer people around. After my trip to Samuels Ave. I was just really impressed with the gems of homes that are there. I can't do anything about VDL but I hope more attention and consideration is given to this great neighborhood as this area is developed and included into the downtown revitalization even if the neighborhood doesn't have the initiative to save itself.


Here's my understanding of the situation:

That poor little old man in that house is the master of his destiny. He was the neighborhood dominant landowner (not gonna say slumlord cause I don't know if that was true) and enabled VDL to be built next to him by selling out his properties to the developer. Don't cry for him because I think he is quite wealthy now. I heard he got hacked off at the developer because he "accidently" or "unknowingly" sold his minerals too and is mad because he lost that income. He has a ranch near Jacksboro and he's leaving the houses there to stick his thumb in the developer's eye. These are things I have heard talking to the house owner and going to neighborhood meetings for whatever that is worth.

Edit:

OK, I talked to one of my neighbors this evening who mentioned that the developer does have an option to purchase those houses upon the current owners' death. Apparently one belongs to the owner and the other belonged to his mother and I am not sure how many siblings he has. The owner did in fact mention to me that he was not happy how the minerals turned out, but I suppose that was his lack of due diligence. He also expressed concern over the crane being parked over his house at night, but the builder said that the cranes freewheel as the wind blows to reduce the resistance to wind gusts. I suppose the developer took into account the existing frame homes when he decided where to put the VDL and I have little sympathy for the people in the house since they knew development was coming when they sold their property to the developer. He seemed somewhat old too, so I can't imagine it will be a lengthy time before the houses are purchased and demolished.

Edited by AndyN, 27 August 2008 - 12:10 AM.

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#146 texastrill

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 10:15 AM

QUOTE (longhornz32 @ Aug 25 2008, 12:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>





Throw a few palm trees in the yard and I would think that is Austin.
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#147 redhead

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 01:28 PM

Andy, you are right on target, and yes, slumlord would be the proper title for this person. He was also such a nagging politcal gadfly that the the TRV had removed the road at the river below! Only after the purchase of almost all of his property (including the river frontage below the two homes) was the road added to the TRV's master plan.

And zoning wise, the whole area is PD basically with all uses in H, with the understandable exceptions of tattoo parlors, titty bars and the like. Yes, the two houses seem out of place for now, but wait until Lincoln is out of the ground on the other side of him...

As for the gems that are in the neighborhood, there is hope that many of them can be saved. Unfortunately, what happens next (regardless of what Struhs does or doesn't do) is that other developers will pick up on his coattails and push north. The one house on the national register is absolutely gorgeous but probably needs more work than Thistle Hill. I think it would make a great wedding venue, with gardens cascading down the bluff behind it...but long term, who knows? Struhs actually paid for a charette with the owners and the resulting landplan depicts the existing homes mixed into a neighborhood with new development as well...sort of like Swiss Avenue in Dallas.

As for minerals, Struhs, too was quite naive early in the game, as he conveyed his own minerals to InCap with the sale of the Pallisades dirt. It was not until he made the same mistake as the other seller, that he deeded out all of the minerals to another legal entity.

#148 AndyN

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 02:42 PM

Geez, Red. I laughed and blushed at the same time at your listing of zoning exceptions. blush.gif

And you're right about other developers circling the northern neighborhood. I wonder what we can do as a neighborhood (or more likely me as an individual landowner since my neighbors seem not to care) to maintain the high standards of the redevelopment. I would hate to see someone come in and start slamming in cheap, overly dense junk just to turn a quick buck.
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#149 Brian Luenser

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 07:19 PM

A Sept. 1 shot of this building. That whole neighborhood is sure changing pretty fast. There is a lot of graded dirt ready for some kind of action.


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#150 Okie-JR

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 10:18 PM

Tom Struhs will be giving a presentation on the Trinity Bluffs Development project Thursday 9/18 at 6:30 in the TRV Offices on 7th.





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