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Dallas Architecture and Real Estate Insights

by Douglas Newby, Real Estate Broker

Dallas Architecture Blog discusses Modern Architecture and Mid Century Modern Homes, Dallas Neighborhoods, Dallas Real Estate and the Aesthetics of the City.

Three Spectacular Sites in Dallas — All For Sale!

White Rock Lake
180-degree view of White Rock Lake from homesite

Architecture is important, but a home’s site is even more important.  Homes come and go, architecture can be modified, but a good site is forever.  When one is looking for a great site there are several specific locations that stand out above all others.  Turtle Creek, Hackberry Creek or Katy Trail lots in Highland Park, White Rock Lake Estate Cove lots on the hill that overlooks the lake, estate acreage with creeks in Preston Hollow, and Turtle Creek Park all come to mind.

Three Magnificent Sites

Architect rendering of Highland Park lot
Turtle Creek Park lot overlooking Turtle Creek
View from estate home at White Rock Lake
View from estate home at White Rock Lake









Generic lots, as the description implies, are common. They’re not hard to find; just look for another teardown lot, which can be found any time.  My passion is for the extraordinary:  a site that will enhance the home and the happiness of the homeowner.  My favorites are sites with many beneficial characteristics that cannot be found anywhere else or that are very rare.

Among the sites currently available for purchase, these three sites in the neighborhoods of Highland Park, Turtle Creek Park and White Rock Lake are my favorite sites.  For that matter, these are among my favorite sites in Dallas even if they were not for sale!

A Great Site Relates to Dallas and Nature

What is better than a setting that relates to the vibrancy of Dallas and at the same time is a secluded site that opens up to nature?  The land at these three locations all enjoy the energy of Dallas as well as the secluded luxury of parks and nature.  Of these properties, one includes four acres looking high over White Rock Lake.  Another, which has the highest elevation in its neighborhood, Turtle Creek Park, is at 3840 Turtle Creek Drive with .58 acres overlooking Turtle Creek and backing up to the Katy Trail.  The third lot, 3509 Lexington Avenue in Highland Park, is on .43 acres and is surrounded by other large Highland Park estate lots, Highland Park parks and the best amenities of Highland Park; yet it is still only a block away from the Katy Trail that connects with walking trails to the coolest parts of Dallas.

Four acres with the home on top of the hill that overlooks White Rock Lake in three directions
Four acres with the home on top of the hill that overlooks White Rock Lake in three directions

Four Acres on the Estate Cove of White Rock Lake

To begin with there are only about eight homes on the Estate Cove of White Rock Lake.  Of these lots, this property has the widest proportion of White Rock Lake frontage with a front lot dimension of 356 feet.  (The lot is 362 feet deep.) The property is also on the highest elevation at the lake and on a point which allows glorious views of White Rock Lake in three directions.

A proposed winding driveway will create a Biltmore Estate effect  as one moves past one of the largest red oaks in Texas to the home on top of the hill.  The topography and depth of the lot celebrates terraced lawns  and privacy that allows a swimming pool even in front of the home.  With birds singing, wildlife roaming, flowers swaying in the gently cooling breezes off the lake, you feel removed from the pressures of the city and yet you are only four miles from downtown Dallas, 20 minutes from the Preston Hollow private school corridor and seven minutes to SMU and Highland Park.  Bike trails connect you to the most interesting and beautiful parts of Dallas.  If you are not sailing or kayaking on the lake you can watch the boats sailing from the Corinthian Sailing Club and White Rock Boat Club across the lake.

If you are not sailing or kayaking on the lake you can watch the boats sailing from the Corinthian Sailing Club and White Rock Boat Club across the lake.

White Rock Lake is Best Known and Best Kept Secret

Many consider this the best lot on White Rock Lake and as landscape architect David Rolston says, in his opinion, the best in Dallas.


Impressive Value

Where else in Dallas are you going to find a four-acre lot under $5 million?  Actually, where are you even going to find a four-acre lot, much less one that has attributes even close to this one? There are very few lots in Dallas as large as four acres and most of those are found on very busy streets (Preston Road, Inwood Road, Forest Lane, Walnut Hill Lane) and not in a bucolic location across from a several thousand acre lake and park.

Site With Vibrancy and Seclusion

Turtle Creek Park lot
Turtle Creek Park lot
Turtle Creek Park neighborhood
Turtle Creek Park neighborhood
Turtle Creek at Turtle Creek Park
Turtle Creek at Turtle Creek Park

The land and location of 3840 Turtle Creek Park is benefitted by seemingly impossible but positive contradictions.  Combining the vibrancy of Dallas with the secluded privacy of a hidden forested neighborhood, this site on a private drive in Turtle Creek Park is one of the most exciting opportunities for building a new home.  There are very few private drives in Dallas.  This one can be reached by crossing Turtle Creek on a small stone bridge and into a secluded and forested neighborhood framed by Rock Creek, Turtle Creek and the Katy Trail.  Curving streets and lovely topography further remove you from the city, yet with a short walk down the Katy Trail you are at many restaurants and places in the fashionable and dynamic core of Dallas:  West Village, Knox-Henderson, Mockingbird Station, the Arts District and Oak Lawn.

Overlooking Turtle Creek on .58 Acres

Turtle Creek Drive has many beautiful sites, but this .58 acres of land at 3840 Turtle Creek Drive in Turtle Creek Park is maybe the best.  Every home site in Turtle Creek Park – my favorite neighborhood – is remarkable, but this one especially.  It is high on a hill and removed from Turtle Creek Boulevard, but maintains views of the creek.  The widest part of the lot faces the creek and the private gardens of a $10 million architect-designed estate home.  Not visible from the street are winding stone steps that take you to the front door of this home.  The elevation of the lot has you looking far over the rooftop of the neighboring house when you are standing poolside at 3840 Turtle Creek Drive.

Topography will enhance a new architect-designed home
Topography will enhance a new architect-designed home

The rear garden and pool have a backdrop of the trees and greenbelt alongside the Katy Trail.  Turtle Creek Drive also bows towards the creek at this site, providing even more privacy and views of the creek instead of neighboring houses.

Highland Park Site Benefits From best of Highland Park and Dallas

Rendering by architect of Highland Park lot on Lexington Avenue
Rendering by architect of Highland Park lot on Lexington Avenue

For years much of the value of Highland Park was derived from being in a “bubble” insulated from Dallas.  Now the bubble has burst and Old Highland Park increasingly benefits from its proximity to Dallas.  Dallas’s most fashionable neighborhoods, Northern Hills and Turtle Creek Park, border Highland Park.  Dallas’s most fashionable chef-owned restaurants and shops are within walking distance.  The Katy Trail provides a path to the vibrancy of downtown, Mockingbird Station, SMU and all the exciting places in between.

Lexington Lot is Surrounded by Dallas Parks, Pool, Library, Town Hall

The joy of living in Highland Park is accentuated by an environment of a beautiful resort.  Lush parks, picturesque settings for tennis courts, a swimming pool, library, creeks and tree tunneled streets.


Approximately 100 x 200 Foot Lot

Survey of 3509 Lexington Avenue
Survey of 3509 Lexington Avenue

The ample width and depth of this Highland Park site provides room for a home of virtually any size and a spacious garden. Even larger, staggered lots behind this site provide a view corridor of trees and blue skies rather than just massive structures.


Lot Will Be Revealed Once Current Home Torn Down

While it is a shame when an original Highland Park home or a mid-century modern home in Highland Park is torn down, it is seldom a disappointment when a 1982 home on a large lot is edited from the architectural landscape.  Homes built in the early 1980s are lovely homes but are now thirty years old, and they do not contribute to the architectural significance of Highland Park as would a new architect designed home that better reflects the 21st century and architectural traditions of Highland Park. With the existing home removed, a wide empty Highland Park lot emerges that will be perfect for a new Highland Park Home.

Strong Investment

Highland Park Tennis Court

The schools, police, parks and neighbors of Highland Park continue to make Highland Park an attractive investment.  The location of this lot in Highland Park makes 3509 Lexington an even more attractive investment.  As the Dallas amenities continue to grow in appeal, this land will continue to go up in value.  While much of Highland Park looks as beautiful as it ever will, the original edge of Highland Park once had modest homes that are now being replaced with very expensive structures due for completion in the near future.  Lexington Avenue is a beautiful, wide, quiet street already filled with impressive homes.  With the expensive architect-designed homes being completed or the Abbott edge, and the increasing popularity of Northern Hills homes to the south of Highland Park, this Lexington site becomes even more valuable, combining proximity to the best of Dallas while being on one of the loveliest streets in Highland Park.

Each of These Three Sites Likely to Outperform the Market in the Future

Another factor makes all three sites especially attractive as investments: the selection of lesser lots in their respective neighborhoods of White Rock Lake, Turtle Creek Park and Highland Park is very limited.


The Estate Cove of White Rock Lake has only eight homes. The elevated site of the private Turtle Creek Drive has only nine homes, and in Highland Park there are only a few dozen larger (.43 acre) lots that do not already have new homes built on them.  If you are thinking of building a new home, here are three exciting places that would provide a setting for a home that is fabulous and significant.


Contact Douglas Newby at 214-522-1000

Architecturally Significant Homes

4211 W. Lawther Drive

3509 Lexington Avenue

3840 Turtle Creek Drive