Mandarin Oriental Atlanta on Right

One episode of Designing Women has Julia Sugarbaker boast, “I don’t like to brag, but I’ve turned a few heads in my time.” To which Mary Jo retorts, “Well, you didn’t do it with those.”  Of course they weren’t talking about the Atlanta penthouse situated atop the Mandarin Oriental hotel and condominium project, because heads would certainly turn without argument.

The unfinished shell is two full floors encompassing 9,627 square feet with four bedrooms and four full, plus three half bathrooms.  It’s listed with Karen Rodriguez of GROUP KORA, part of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.  The price is a secret … well, not a secret, but it depends what a buyer wants.  There’s a shell price. Finished out similar spec to the other units price. And a “ya want us to do what?” price.


The Dallas-Fort Worth area is home to loads of great sports teams. You’ve got the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, the Dallas Mavericks in downtown Dallas, and there are tons of fantastic minor league baseball teams throughout the region. Of course, Cowboys Stadium hosts other fantastic events, like the NCAA Final Four basketball tourney, as well as the Cotton Bowl. Some musicians even play gigs at Cowboys Stadium, too!

Six Flags Over Texas is close, too. So imagine your summers spent watching the Texas Rangers make another run for the World Series and riding roller coasters or going to Hurricane Harbor to beat the heat!

So if you want to be close to where the sports action is, perhaps it’s time to buy a townhome or condo in Arlington. New developments are popping up all along the perimeter of the Ballpark and Cowboys Stadium, so get there first to get great deals!

Here are a few new and like-new options that are close to your No. 1 team!

1) 1206 Road to Six Flags Street, Unit 404

Road to six flags rendering

2) 1205 Beaconsfield Lane, Unit 311

1205 Beaconsfield Lane #311

3) 2110 Randy Snow Road, Unit 308

2110 Randy Snow Unit 308

4) 2103 Horizon Trail, Unit 3814

2103 Horizon Trail Unit 3814

5) 1304 Hartwell Dr., Unit 4812

 1304 Hartwell Dr.




Faithful readers may recall when I wrote about a beautiful fractional ownership property in the heart, and I do mean the heart, of Santa Fe called El Corazon de Santa Fe. It was fabulous then, and it is even more fabulous now!

The property has been renamed “Fairmont Heritage Place, El Corazon de Santa Fe”. El Corazon is now in the same “family” of projects as Fairmont’s Ghirardelli Square, which you may see mentioned on this blog soon as I am kicking the tires there in August!  Last year, Fairmont took over the management of El Corazon de Santa Fe and it became a member of Fairmont’s huge family of exchangeable residences across the globe. So buying a fractional ownership — remember fractional is NOT time share, as we have told you — in this Santa Fe property now opens up the world — Acapulco, San Francisco, Telluride, Whistler, British Columbia even Zimbali, South Africa!

I stayed at El Corazon de Santa Fe two or three years ago and LOVED it: there are 16 two-story, two bedroom and I believe 2.5 bath units were beautifully furnished, as I recall, it was extremely comfortable and secure. The master closet was larger than what I’ve seen in some Dallas condos.

Now Rob Harper with Unity Hunt tells me they have actually upgraded El Corazon — didn’t think it needed it. But since I was there they upgraded all of the furnishings and fixtures  in all the residence club units to meet Fairmont specifications.

They expanded the clubhouse to add a fitness room, a second floor outdoor deck and an expanded reception / owners’ lounge area, and then they added an owner’s park on what used to be owners’ parking. I’m assured there still is plenty of that.

“The feedback we have received to date to has been really outstanding,” says Rob, “and with the affiliation with Fairmont we can offer our owners tremendous benefits for travel to Fairmont hotels and resorts worldwide that were not available before.”

It’s really one of the smartest moves ever, because Fairmont offers fabulous options, a growing network, from Ghirardelli to 1oo-plus beautiful hotels world-wide. I’ll have more for you on this come August and the total scoop on Ghirardelli, a chocolate factory turned into beautiful residences.

Then, too, there are those four daily America Eagle non-stops from D/FW International Airport to Santa Fe Municipal Airport. I mean, no more fly to Albuquerque and keep a car — you can fly right to Santa Fe, the Concierge at El Corazon will pick you up, and with the center of town location you may never need a car. When I visited, El Corazon had a luxury courtesy car that chauffeured us around to wherever our hearts desired.

How much? Prices start in the $100,000’s for a six weeks fractional ownership. Yes, I know, it sounds too good to be true so I am totally interested. This is a great time to buy a second home, and I think fractionals make so much sense. Six weeks is about all the vacation I can handle in a year. I’ll be investigating Fairmont’s product with a fine tooth comb as if I were buying myself because who knows, I just might!

This meticulously spacially planned designer condo in the W South Tower is a true one-of-it’s kind in the building. The interior was designed by New York designer, John Chadwick. Then along came Scott and Cooner, who installed the Varenna kitchen  with Kuppersbusch appliances, SubZero, caesarstone countertop and a glass backsplash to match the island.

They did not stop there.

Next, Scott and Cooner installed Bosca Arredi sliding doors, which lead you into the bedroom. These doors can be left open or closed for more privacy, and eliminate the swinging, intrusive (naughty door — today Joan Crawford might have screamed NO BEDROOM DOORS!) ) bedroom door and created more space in the 955 square foot unit. This unit has more storage than any other one bedroom in the building – Poliform closets in the bedroom,  Closets by Design off the bathroom. No excuse for not being organized. There’s Universal Systems  surround sound, lutron lighting controls and shades. One bedroom, one bath, one-car garage spot: $350,000. Beautiful!

Bosca Arredi sliding doors make a huge difference!

We are going to feature very select hotels here on SecondShelters, because more hotels are becoming second homes, some offering CondoHotel deals as well as residences. Two weeks ago, I was in New York City, where I have had my share of negative hotel experiences. Hint: you smell Febreeze, there’s a reason. But I finally found the most perfect hotel in New York City if you want to be in the middle of Times Square and simply walk across the street to a theater. I’m talking 46th Street just a bit east of Broadway. Location with a capital L but also, once inside, a complete peaceful oasis from the NYC jungle with a huge Texas plus to make Dallasites feel right at home: interior furnishings by our very own Cantoni.   (more…)

From Midnight Cowboy to best grandpa ever!

Whenever and wherever he slept at 1505 Elm, the proud grand pappa had the photos of his grandchildren on every wall to keep him company.

Or, here’s why we like it when movies are made in Dallas.

First: what’s not to like about 1505 Elm in downtown Dallas? The .59 per square foot home association dues? That it was designed by George Dahl, built in 1957 as Dallas Federal Savings, once belonged to the Chamber of Commerce, was snapped up by Lazarus Property Co. who purchased the building in 2001 and turned it into 67 luxurious condominium units? There’s underground and valet parking, theater, fitness center, sauna, wine cellar, a catering kitchen, exterior amenities like a pool, dog run, and exterior cooking pavilion, and 24 hour valet and concierge. Enough good stuff that when actor John Voight was in Dallas recently to film the pilot for Midland, he leased a two bedroom, two and a half bath unit at 1505 Elm for about $3,000. (Can you imagine what that would have cost in NYC or LA?) Not only did he lease it, he furnished it complete with big gorgeous blown up photos of his grandchildren, yes, Angelina’s babies.

As Worth Ross broker Steve Shepherd told me today, originally Voight was going to lease a ranch just outside of town during the shooting. But Steve — or “Stevie” as Voight called him — showed him a host of two-bedroom units at 1505 Elm Luxury High Rise Residences and he was impressed. Impressed with the building, with the neighborhood — you can see the Joule pool and Charlie Palmers is only steps away, ditto Iron Cactus and more. “It reminds me of White Plains, New York, where I grew up,” Voight told Steve. “It’s a community around here and I like that a whole lot.”

He almost got the ranch, but changed his mind at the very end to lease the unit on the 18th floor. Steve’s sister-in-law helped furnish it, Voight being very traditional man. (Note: some of the furnishings came from the Mansion on Turtle Creek after the posh hotel’s recent re-do.) All the artwork (save for a few large maps)is enlarged photos of the children, one positioned so Voight could kiss her little angel lips easily every night.

Interiors, next post.

OK, it is really cold in Texas tonight. 20 degrees right now. Supposed to go down to 14. It is my opinion that most homes in Texas are not built for this kind of weather unless they have basements and theromopane windows. Home with old single pane windows are frozen over. I had a pier and beam home because I thought that would be warmer, now I have a pier-ed slab. Both, it seems, are cold. So informal poll: which is warmer in winter, the slab or pier and beam home?