Several of my friends have ditched Park Cities/Preston Hollow for The Peninsula — why? Check out this listing by Janice Parson at 9217 Peninsula Drive — on the market for $675,000 — and not even built yet! (The price includes the house completed at 2700 square feet.) A mid century modern flair, the builder is waiting for a buyer to snag this 82 by 160 lot. Janice also has another home coming up in the area for $299,000. So no duh — this area is scenic, pastoral, and like living in a second home year ’round!
It’s also got some history. Ebby Halliday is not the only person having a centurion birthday this year — the White Rock Lake dam was completed a century ago and more than 20 lake user groups are planning celebratory events that begin March 19 and lead up to June 26 — the date the dam was completed. Perfectly befitting, the honorary centennial chairwoman of the Dam Celebration is our own Dallas real estate icon Ebby Halliday, who of course turns 100 March 9. Like, Wednesday!
Over her 100 year lifeline, White Rock Lake has gone through many changes, from being a city water source, to a popular sporting destination, to a perennial party scene for teenagers and even weddings. The park department and advocacy groups — like Jeannie Terelli — have all pitched in to clean up the lake and park, which has only helped maintain and raise the values of the properties.
Because who wouldn’t want to live within walking distance of this gorgeous body of water? Living in The Peninsula is like a year-round vacation spot. People who buy here brag all the time that it’s like having a vacation house at the lake —but it’s only 10 minutes from downtown Dallas.
HISTORY: The Peninsula was established in 1927 as second and vacation homes built originally as charming lake cottages for folks who lived in “faraway” Dallas.
Population: 280 homes
Zip Code: 75218
Home styles: Cottages, ranches, a few newer Mediterranean’s, and a growing influx of newly built mid century-modern homes. Look for houses by Cliff Welch, Gary Cunningham, Jerry Stark and Case Study Homes’ Doug Hildinger. It’s hopping: Chase Corker, an architect who does a lot of homes in Forest Hills and East Dallas, owns a number of properties in the neighborhood and is building a new home for a client.
Average home price: $275,000 to $350,000 for a small cottage; $700,000-plus nets you a larger interior home with a lake view. Be prepared to pay more for a home with a front or backyard views of the lake or park. Cash buyers, not too much wiggle room here.
Average home size: 800 square feet to 4,500 square feet. Most houses are in the 1,400- to 2,000-square-foot range.
Lot value: Prices vary; a 50-by-130 can sell for $200,000 to $250,000 depending on lake proximity. See why builders love it?
Average lot size: 60-by-135, though some are 60-by-200. There are also some half-acre lots that owners have stitched together.
What They Won’t Tell You: People love what restaurateur Jeannie Terilli and musician Erykah Badu have known for years—life in The Peninsula is like living in a perpetual vacation zone. You get cottages, architecturally significant, or eclectic nestled on the banks of White Rock Lake. There’s sailing, running, sports, even horseback riding!
The Dirt – Who Lives There: Agents say there is a quiet influx of Park Cities and Lakewood empty-nesters happening, but the area still has plenty of families. The strong neighborhood association tamps down crime, and many residents work out of their homes, watching each other’s properties. Kind of elegant crunch: an organic gas station with an organic taco restaurant called The Green Spot opened on the corner of Buckner and Northcliff — they recycle grease!. There is also a huge Farmers Market for organic veggies at least once a month. Wholesome Foods Bakery, which started in Lake Highlands, a yummy gluten-free baker, just opened up in the same center: amazing breads and desserts. Thriving. Jena Johnson and Pauline O’Hare’s Good 2Go Taco just opened at Peavy and Garland Road.
Scuttlebut: Like a selective pre-school, getting into the neighborhood can be tough. Agents maintain lists of interested buyers, but people generally stay put. This is one place where you might benefit by knocking on doors and asking, “are you interested in selling your home?” Just don’t be surprised when folks say, um, not really.
Would I Live There? In a heartbeat. In fact, several of my friends ditched the Park Cities for The Peninsula.