6011 Gaston Avenue, Dallas, Tx 75214
The Fox Trott was a turning point and for me, this project was the jump into the Power Properties you see today.
But how do you make that jump? The project itself, originally called the Lakewood Apartments, was a rundown complex at Gaston and Glasgow Drive. Over the years, the complex had slid into disarray and was slated for demolition. The ownership and management had essentially lost control of the property. Most individuals that lived there were no longer paying rent and many had no active utilities. The tipping point was when a squatter pushed the manager of the apartments through a 2nd story window, paralyzing him from the waist down.
Gaston Avenue hadn't had any renovations since the 60's ultimately becoming one of the scariest streets in our city.
Although I was very young, in my early 20's, there had recently been a lot of positive articles about my work renovating properties and historic buildings. Everyone in the historic district loved me and thought I was a good kid doing my best.
It was Fall 1995 and I had just completed the purchased my 7th project, The Charles on Junius, when the owner of Lakewood Apartments reached out to me asking if I would come to the demolition board meeting. He thought maybe I could convince them to save it and allow me to purchase the property with the intention of doing a full renovation. I took the challenge.
The demolition meeting had over 500 people there for the hearing. News media was there, press was there. It starts - and soon I realized that not everyone believed in my can-do spirit. I lost the 6011 hearing and the chance to buy it. At the time the board decided I was too young and wouldn't have the financial means to rehab. I was devastated. Chris Lowden, Ashley Tacker, Steve Click, Sharon Sadaka, my step-mother and my father along with 480 other people mainly from East Dallas spoke in my favor.
Yet Architects and Engineers spoke and said it was impossible to repair.
The next day, I just wanted to see it through. Several of us were in court waiting on the city attorney to bring the paperwork authorizing the demolition, but the attorney was very, very late. The judge was angry and wanted to teach the attorney a lesson. He threw out the case and "gave this man a chance to pursue his dream" 45,000 square feet for $50,000. Deal of a lifetime.
Interestingly enough, my trademark had become palm trees. I was very frustrated with the lack of support from my neighbors of the project because they seemed to hate palm trees and used that as an excuse to try and fight the acquisition.
What was more interesting, after acquiring the property, I could have sold it for $750,000 but chose not to.
The question now is where do I get the money for rehab. I had a news interview and said how happy I was that Chase Bank was offering the loan to make this happen and I mentioned the Community Reinvestment Act. As it was, they were only looking at the project and had not committed one way or the other. After the news release, Chase got so many calls and accolades that they ended up going with it.
The problem. I still had to come up with 20% equity or $300,000 for the improvements. I could personally pull together $150,000. My father told me he would invest $75,000 as long as I brought by brother Craig in at another $75,000 giving he and my brother each a 25% stake in Power Properties. And that's how it started.
Like the very first project on Reiger that I had completed 4 years earlier, we did things on a shoestring budget and recruited help from in the neighborhood, and ultimately it all came together.
Bud Oglesby and Graham Greene did the front elevation designs. Their pricing was outrageous at 8x cost. One of the biggest reasons is it's very difficult to cost out. That's the reason why no one pursues rehabs, especially if you're doing stuff that's complex and involved. Today, after 25 years we're much better equipped to control costs for new projects.
Our first tenant was Stewart Carey and he still lives there today, 25 years later.
In 2005, we updated the look while maintaining freshness. The first revamp was beautiful. We added private entrances and balconies. We were able to increase rents to an average of $750-1000.
In 2014, with the assistance of Designer Yvonne Wong, we gave the courtyards and apartments a brand new look to match our new image.
I'm so obsessed about the neighborhood that when I saw a building on Gaston and Munger, owned by Dave McQuaid, being painted in lime green and knew it was going to an eye sore. I walked up to the painters and told them that the landlord had made a mistake. I went and bought them new paint and they repainted it.
Cascading waterfalls and fountains, and exclusive pool area
A gourmet outdoor kitchen and custom wood burning fireplace
An intimate escape with stunning views and immaculate landscaping
Bright, decorative textile accents, stylish lounge furniture, and chic cabanas
Music piped through the courtyard to set the mood and ambience
Floor to ceiling glass that opens the space to tons of natural light
Exceptionally tall, airy ceilings
Gorgeous designer hardwood flooring throughout
Contemporary custom chandeliers and sophisticated finishes
and so much more!