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COMMUNAL KNOWLEDGE

Getting to know your neighborhood
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COMMUNAL KNOWLEDGE

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NOW THAT YOU’RE here, where will you live? Good question. The choices are endless and there’s a niche for just about every budget and lifestyle. There’s plenty of affordable housing, you may just have to look in some unexpected places.

Housing prices run the gamut: You can go the tract-house special to the multi- dollar estate There’s development in every sector of Dallas and Tarrant counties-in fact, some of the best bargains are being had south of Dallas in the DeSoto-Lancaster-Duncanville burb. And development is breaking records in Northeast Tarrant County and Southwest Arlington, while the inner cities of both Dallas and Fort Worth are becoming increasingly pricey.

But there’s more to buying a house than coming up with a down payment. What about the neighborhood? The neighbors? Among the hundreds of neighborhoods in Dallas and Fort Worth, we picked a baker’s dozen that reflect the area’s diverse lifestyles.



Bent Tree



BENT TREE IS the Far North Dallas country club community the New Dallas Establishment calls home. Former Dallas mayor Robert Folsom developed Bent Tree and Mayor Starke Taylor lives in a townhouse just steps from the fairways; Jack Evans, who preceded Taylor at City Hall, lives nearby (though just outside Bent Tree’s walls).

Folsom says his neighborhood is like a lot of other nice neighborhoods-well planned, with fine homes and private streets. The houses and townhouses in Bent Tree tend toward big, new pseudo-French styles set on relatively small lots overlooking an immaculate golf course. Many Bent Tree residents are entrepreneurial types similar to those who live in the Park Cities, “but there aren’t as many native Dallasites in Bent Tree,” says Folsom. “It’s not as insulated from Dallas city life as the Park Cities, and there’s lots of civic involvement.”

Realtor Jeanine Nazareth, who lives in Bent Tree and claims to have sold more Bent Tree real estate than anyone, says her neighborhood is “by far the most expensive north of LBJ.” Nazareth points out that Bent Tree even has its own neighborhood charity, the Parkland Burn Center. The full range of North Dallas shopping lies within two miles of Bent Tree, and residents are just a short drive from the Galleria, Prestonwood, Valley View, Promenade and Sakowitz Village shopping centers. “There’s very little need to go downtown,” Nazareth says, “we have everything here.”

That’s good, since getting downtown can be a problem. “You could get into more arguments at Bent Tree by discussing drive time to downtown Dallas than by discussing anything else, ” Folsom says. He estimates that it takes 30 minutes to drive downtown from Bent Tree, but points out that many residents work in North Dallas, either along LBJ Freeway or the Dallas Parkway. And if traffic gets to be too much of a problem, Bent Tree’s highflying residents leave bumper-to-bumper conjestion behind by boarding one of the many private jets at nearby Addison Airport.



House Values: $350,000 to $2 million

Average Age: 45

Typical Cars in the Driveways: Cadillacs, Jaguars

Favorite Places: Bent Tree Country Club, nearby shopping centers

Typical Sunday: Watching a Dallas Cowboys Football Game, Tennis Or Golf at the club

Notable Neighbors: Dallas Mayor Starke Taylor, Robert Folsom

Bluffview



RESIDENTS CLAIM Bluffview is the most beautiful neighborhood in Dallas, but also one of the city’s least-known. Most Bluffview-dwellers would like to keep their neighborhood under wraps. Sorry, folks.

Bluffview gets its name from a 60-foot sheer granite bluff that sits in the center of the neighborhood on one bank of Bachman Creek. Several other creeks flow through Bluffview, which looks very much like suburban Connecticut with its winding, soft-shouldered roads, numerous leafy trees and craggy hills.

The neighborhood’s atmosphere is suburban Connecticut, too. Sprawling houses sit well back from roads on one-and two-acre lots. A majority of Bluff-dwellers are Dallas oilmen, real estate developers and investors who claim that Bluffview is “not as close and clinging as Highland Park. Neighbors here know each other, but aren’t as clubby and are more independent.”

Houses range up to 50 years old; the newest section is the Briarwood Place townhouse developmerit built about eight years ago in the center of the neighborhood. North of Elsby, Bluffview is sprawling and elegant; the area south of Elsby is an older tract development of small cottages.

Though residents are not especially politically active, they have formed the Bluffview Area Homeowner’s Association to fight development along Northwest Highway. Members hope to impede construction of a proposed office/hotel/retail development at the corner of Northwest Highway and Lem-mon Avenue.



House Value: $350,000

Average Age: 50+

Typical Cars in Driveways: Mercedes, Jeep, Chevy Suburban

Favorite Places: Simon David Grocery Store, Riviera, Ewalds, Inwood Theatre

Typical Sunday: Church, Followed By Tennis At Home or at the Club, Horseback Riding

Notable Neighbors: Erik Jonsson

Lakewood



Being one of Dallas’ older neighborhoods, and close to downtown, but made up of mostly small and mid-sized middle-class houses (with several sizeable exceptions), quiet Lakewood is home mostly to demographic bookends-older people on one end of the scale and new homeowners and young renters on the other. You won’t find a lot of teenagers here. But you will find a lot of peace and a lot of property for sale Turnover is high, although that’s less a testament to Lakewood’s shortcomings than to the area’s practically unique role as a reasonably priced piece of old Dallas that may be a weigh station on the road to bigger and better things.

Buying in Lakewood is smart. As the Metroplex continues to devour North Texas and real estate soars, Lakewood’s land values, like those of several other central neigborhoods, will escalate disproportionately, (along with East Dallas.) But Lakewood is already a fine place to live-one many people consider the best place to live. It’s convenient, attractive, neighborly, safe and richly imbued with large and small vestiges of Dallas then, from eclec-tically peopled Dan’s Lakewood Cafe to White Rock Lake.

In a sense, there are many Lakewoods-mansion-lined Lawther Drive, where the Hunt home sits with a placid view of the lake and the many joggers and sailboats about; (Lawther has been said to be the the hilliest, most tree-lined street in Dallas); the so-called “M ” streets, such as McCommas and Martel with 40-year-old bungalows and shady oaks (Matilda, which runs parallel to Greenville Avenue, by the way, is the best alternative street to Greenville during rush hour; and the quiet, wide-street sections of the central neighborhood where not a lawn goes unattended.



House Values: $70,000-$200,000

Average Age: 44

Typical Cars in the Driveways: Volvo, Peugeot

Favorite Places: Lakewood Country Club, Dixie Lakewood, Genaro’s Tropical Typical

Sunday: Visiting neighbors, walking baby, pricing homes in the Park Cities

Notable Neighbors: Craig Holcomb, Tom Stephenson

lake Highlands



LAKE HIGHLANDS is Lakewood’s younger kissing cousin. It’s taking its cues from its stately southern neighbor, growing in every direction-including up. Many of the housing patterns are even the same: Certain streets divide the newcomers from the oldtimers. But unlike Lakewood, you will find teenagers here. By the oodles. This is family land. And one of the best reasons is that LH’s close proximity to Richardson lets residents take advantage of that community’s acclaimed school district. And the natural beauty of the area (abundant trees, sloping streets) doesn’t hurt, either.

Just minutes away from the fast pace of Greenville Avenue, Lake Highlands somehow manages to retain its small town feel. Residents are very community oriented and lay down deep roots when they move in. Many couples buy their first home here; when they and their families outgrow it, they simply move to a bigger Lake Higlands home Unlike many status-seekers in Dallas, LH residents usually shun the country clubs for the refuge of neighborhood haunts such as McCree Park, an old-fashioned park with a swimming pool, tennis courts and a baseball diamond. There’s a ball game there just about every Friday night.

And although the area is primarily single-family, luxury appartments are making their presence known: We’re already seeing the makings for a Lake Highlands “Village” at Skillman and Audelia.



House Values: $80,000 to $300,000

Average Age: 32

Typical Cars in the Driveways: Oldsmobile Regal, stationwagons

Favorite Places: Gershwin’s, Chili’s (on Upper Greenville Avenue)

Typical Sunday: mowing the lawn, jogging, playing tennis

Notable Neighbors: Billy Joe DuPree

Metrocrest



A FEW YEARS AGO, the cities of Addison, Car-rollton, Coppell and Farmers Branch actually paid a consultant to come up with the name “Metro-crest” because the foursome wanted a separate and distinct identity from Dallas. Metrocrest citizens were more than annoyed when people referred to their area as Far North Dallas. To anyone living south of LBJ Freeway, anything north of LBJ is called Far North Dallas. The name Metrocrest doesn’t send tingles down anyone’s spine but it does reinforce the homegenous and conservative image the cities have always been known for.

Now that doesn’t mean you can’t find interesting people and quirky circumstances, you just have to look a little harder. Mavericks owner Don Carter lives in Coppell and Channel 4 news anchor Clarice Tinsley resides in Carrollton as does former Dallas Cowboy Harvey Martin. The most historical per-sonalitiy we found had lived in Addison: World War II hero and movie star Audie Murphy lived on a small spread and now his home is a restaurant called Dovie’s. The late Jimmy Porter was semi-historical. The 84-year-old man was a Minor League baseball player back when the Major Leagues didn’t allow blacks on their teams. He taught baseball to area kids for years.

As for the cities, Addison is in a category all its own, namely the Fast Lane. This is the only place in the Metrocrest where you can shop, buy liquor, eat and dance all in the same place. Belt Line Road is the main strip and employee turnover is high at the restaurants and bars along either side of the drag. By day, it’s filled with BMWs, Porsches, Cadillacs and any number of vehicles that are brand new. The people driving them, mostly Yuppies in real estate and finance, make Addison’s daytime population soar to nearly 70,000. But between midnight and 6 a.m., the adult population drops to a scant 9,000. Oh yeah, even the police drive Volvos. Addison made a brief attempt to keep some of its rural heritage by restoring some old buildings. The project was soon abandoned when it was realized sky-rocketing land values called for multi-story office buildings, not two-story antique barns.

You could call Carrollton and Farmers Branch sister cities, if you wanted to start a fight. There’s a rivalry between the two that is hard to explain. Farmers Branch is sandwiched in between Dallas and Carrollton, and that might be the reason they are so protective of their aging neighborhoods. Homes here are well-kept, modest and it’s one of the few places with mature trees. Farmers Branch spends a lot of money promoting itself with slick brochures and titilating phrases such as “A fun place to live. With lots of things to do and lots of places to do it.”

Carrollton, on the other hand, has one of the highest housing start-up rates in the nation and needs little help attracting people or industry. Acres and acres of tract homes can be a little alarming, but custom builders have managed to acquire land and establish small pockets of prosperity with homes starting at $150,000. There are 31 churches in Carrollton, 12 are Baptist. The largest, First Baptist of Carrollton teaches Bible study in five languages: English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Korean.

Rural Coppell is the step-sister of the bunch and the reputation is likely an unfair one. It’s located five miles west of 1-35. and some consider it too far west although neighborhoods are now beginning to emerge Neighborhood services are undeveloped and most people go to Carrollton to grocery shop. Many observers say that Coppell is going through some growing pains and its siblings don’t care to wait for it.



House Values: $100,000-$200,000

Average Age: 28

Typical Car in Driveway: old station wagon, new pickup truck, (Addision: BMW)

Favorite Places: TGIFridays, Memphis, Joe T. Garcias

Typical Sunday: Church, yard work, tennis at local parks

Notable Neighbors: Clarice Tinsley, Don Carter



Oak Cliff



OAK CUFF VIES with Oak Lawn as the neighborhood of the greatest diversity and certainly the greatest history. Annexed to the City of Dallas in 1903, the former township of 300,000 is only 10 minutes away from downtown Dallas, but it is a world away in attitude. Many Oak Cliff dwellers would never dream of living anywhere else although the area has suffered a bad rap for years. All it takes is a drive around the old winding roads of Kessler and Stevens parks for all preconceptions to be abandoned.

Oak Cliff is, perhaps, Dallas’ one true neighbor-hood: It encompasses an absolute ethnic mix and an across-the-board demographic spread. But actually, Oak Cliff is many neighborhoods. The most prominent are Kessler Park, Stevens Park, Glenn Oaks, Sunset, Plymouth Park and the historical Winnetka Heights. Pricey Kessler Park is a multiplicity of styles, from Thirties English Tudor to Sixties Modern (with everything else in between) that is a sharp contrast to the more affordable Early frontier and Prairie-styles of Winnetka Heights ($70,000 to $250,000). And Stevens Park sports one of the finest public golf courses in the city.

Within the last five years, Oak Cliff has also become home to a growing cadre of artists, the brick bungalows are being turned into studio/ workshop/homes.

It’s interesting that Dallas has grown so rapidly to the north while its southern boundaries have remained all but ignored. The flatlands of North



Oak Lawn



ONE OF DALLAS’ most diverse neighborhoods suffers something of an identity crisis, not without some benefit to its dwellers and visitors. Certainly not without benefit to developers who, particularly in the last five years, have had an inner-city heyday with this multi-use hub that forms the padding between downtown and the burbs. Oak Lawn is colorful, Oak Lawn is convenient, Oak Lawn has more character than the rest of North Texas put together and, to many citadel trendies, Oak Lawn is simply the only neighborhood to live in. Hence, a humble two-bedroom cottage on Herschel (with a small pool) that sits next to a cracking four-plex is on the market for a tidy $300,000.

Still, Oak Lawn is almost anyone’s for the takDallas leave much to be desired in comparison to the topographical beauty of Oak Cliff.



House Values: $70,000-$500,000

Average Age: 30-50

Typical Cars in the Driveways: Honda Accord, Cadillac, VW Rabbit

Favorite Places: La Calle Doce, Norma’s

Typical Sunday: picknicking, barbecuing

Notable Neighbors: Skip Bayless, Nancy Lieber-man, Clyde Barrow

ing. The deluxe high-rises of Turtle Creek sit mere blocks from lower-rent apartments, mid-to high-priced condos and even a few wooden homes with front porches and oblique histories. Just a bit farther to the west lie low-rent strips of battered homes, owned mostly by Hispanics who have kept their land because it sits under several Love Field flight paths.

Oak Lawn has adopted a high-rise silhouette thanks to patchwork zoning. Its street system only now and then resembles a grid. The major thoroughfares of Oak Lawn and Cedar Springs teem with that rare mix of time-worn businesses (tailors, laundromats, dead gas stations) and chic new boutiques and restaurants, and uninviting office complexes. The fastest-moving thoroughfare, Lemmon Avenue, is junked-up junk-food heaven.

Raves for the neighborhood, which come mostly from upwardly mobile singles, including the area’s dominate gay population, tend to mention Oak Lawn’s diversity; its proximity to downtown, Turtle Creek and Highland Park; its abundance of shops and “eateries;” its pedestrian streetlife (particularly on Cedar Springs); and something they call soul. That it has.



House Value: $150,000

Average Age: 29

Typical Cars in the Driveways: MG, Fiat

Favorite Places: Ciao, Wine Press, Parigi, Turtle Creek Greenbelt

Typical Sunday: go to garage sales, bicycle to Gelarè on Lemmon Avenue

Notable Neighbors: George Toomer

Park Cities



LYING IN QUIET repose while Dallas bustles at their borders, the Park Cities are an oasis of quiet neighborhoods, well-groomed lawns and streets that are safe for late-night strolls. Located five miles north of downtown, Highland Park and its larger counterpart, University Park, are communities committed to a high quality of life. The inscription on the back of the town council chairs read: “The preservation of the home is our sole purpose”

Although the borders are not always clearly defined, one always seems to know when they’ve been crossed. The reason is strict zoning. The tallest structure is a five-story office building at the corner of Lovers Lane and Preston Road. The Park Cities don’t want offices, they want families. And many families want the Park Cities and will pay dearly for it. Although property in the Park Cities is considerably more expensive than comparable property in Dallas, property values are among the most stable in the state. Many of the area’s most beautiful homes can be found on the streets of Highland Park. (Beverly Hills-like mansions line the quiet, duck-filled banks of Turtle Creek.) Although roughly twice the size of Highland Park, University Park is generally considered to have smaller homes.

The relatively few shopping areas are characterized by small shops where the proprietors know most of their customers. Highland Park Village at the corner of Preston Road and Mockingbird Lane was the first shopping area in the nation to have stores not facing the street. Opened in 1932, it is considered to be the model for the modern self-contained shopping center and has what has to be the world’s smallest 7-Eleven. University Park’s Snider Plaza is home to such Park Cities staples as Kuby’s (a German restaurant and delicatessen) and the historic old Snider Plaza fountain.



House Values: $450,000-$700,000

Average Age: 48

Typical Cars in the Driveways: Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac

Favorite Places: Jack’s Burger House

Typical Sunday: Church and then brunch at the club

Notable Neighbors: Bum Bright, Edwin L. Cox Pleasant



FORMER HOME OF outlaw Belle Starr, Pleasant Grove has long been considered a black sheep of Dallas neighborhoods. Even if you ask the residents they will agree that “The Grove” is far from perfect. But discuss the quality of life in this Southeast quandrant and that’s a whole new ball game Pleasant Grove is an older, more settled community. Once a separate town, it still seems to take on a separate identity. In fact, ask some of the longtime residents and they probably don’t even know that Pleasant Grove was annexed 30 years ago.

You’ll find your share of rednecks and Democrats here but you’ll also find young professionals who have found the recent building explosion producing affordable homes in a quiet and almost rural environment. The Grove is loaded with parks and recreational areas, including Grove C. Keeton Golf Course, which was ranked in the top 25 municipal courses in the nation for architectural layout.

The Southeast Dallas area (which encompasses other neighborhoods of Urbandale, Parkdale, Piedmont, Pleasant Mound, Buckner Terrace, Rylie/ Kleberg and Seagoville) also has a large variety of churches that play an important role in the stability of the communities.



House Value: $40,000

Average Age: 29

Typical Cars in the Driveways: Chevrolets

Favorite Places: Piedmont Miniature Golf

Typical Sunday: Church, and then lunch at Furr’s or Wyatt’s depending on which side of Bruton Road you live on.

Notable Neighbors: Max Goldblatt

Swiss Avenue



The intersection of Fitzhugh and Swiss is the turning point of the neighborhood. To the east, the glorious mansions of Dallas’ past anchor well-manicured lawns and speak of an era gone by. If Jay Gatsby had chosen Dallas rather than West Egg, he would have lived on Swiss Avenue to impress Daisy. The Victorian street lights and groomed grass medians add finishing touches to its Twenties elegance. Dallas professionals in their thirties and forties, who have already built up substantial equity, are today’s lifeblood of this historic block.

To the west, you get a little bit of everything, including the more affordable houses-old rambling ones that are being bought up by ambitious types who are undertaking complete overhauls. One in need of a lot of attention runs $250,000 to $275,000. (Not your typical re-do.) The efforts of these urban pioneers can be seen at Christmastime, when the area hosts one of the most popular tour of homes.

Swiss Avenue is somewhat of an island unto itself in the middle of a teeming urban melting pot. It reminds us of the eye of a hurricane: tranquil at the center, while chaos reigns on its borders. The upper-and pricey-blocks belly up to peaceful likewood, with price tags in the $700,000 to $800,000 neighborhood.



Values: $250,000-$800,000

Average Age: 30-40

Typical Cars in the Driveways: Mercedes-Benz

Favorite Places: DiPalma, Genaro’s Tropical

Typical Sunday: museums, sitting on the porch

Notable Neighbors: The Rev. W.A. Criswell

The Village



THE VILLAGE REALLY is something of a village considering its inhabitants (young, white, single) go the same places, date the same people, do the same things. It is as homogenized as the Borden Hi-Pro its glowing youth purchase at their grocery store, Tom Thumb in Old Town shopping center, which is also known as Disco Tom Thumb because it is a great place to be seen and even picked up.

The spanking-new apartments and condominiums offer uniformed attractive housing and uniformly attractive people who can be spied in fair months jogging en masse, earplugs permanently attached to their persons, to one surging libidinal beat.

The price of living in the Village is right. Apartments start around $350 a month for an efficiency, and a couple can find a two-fer fer not much more. Standard condominium rents hover (ever higher) around $500 per for a two bedroom unit, and, of course, certain complexes sport top-dollar condos that rent upward of $1,000 a month and sell in the mid-l00.000s. The median age of the Villager is 26. The median occupation is Xerox. But such stereotyping is unfair and misses the point. For the money, the Village is a great place to live. Clean, safe, relatively quiet and, most important, convenient-close to Central Expressway, which is always a block away; close to downtown, which is always a relatively short (five to 15 minutes) traffic jam away; and next to Greenville Avenue, which those who live in the Village consider, almost rightfully, their very own adult jungle gym. Swingers, swing on.



Apartment Values: $400-$500

Average Age: 26

Typical Cars in the Driveways: Honda, Toyota Favorite Places: In Cahoots, Tom Thumb at Old Town, El Torito

Typical Sunday: Splash day at the Village Country Club Notable Neighbors: The blonde next door

FORT WORTH

UNFORTUNATELY FOR those who expect gun duels and barroom brawls, the wild and woolly west is taking a back seat to families these days-at least as far as the Fort Worth Corp. is concerned. This year, the slogan “Fort Worth, Welcome Home” goes out to the world, heralding Fort Worth as a wholesome city and one in which to rear children.



Meadowbrook



MEADOWBROOK (Oakland to west of 820 and I-30 to East Lancaster) is just one of the many neighborhoods in East Fort Worth that bespeak an earlier time. Originally, East Fort Worth was a little country town called Handley. Over the years, it was incorporated into the City of Fort Worth (much like the annexing of Oak Cliff to Dallas), but the pervasive provincial country feel has never left the area. For the most part, tree-lined streets and 20-to 40-year-old brick homes dominate the East Side, although several newer, more affluent developments have moved in. Among those are the luxury townhouses and of Woodhaven and the estates of the Eastchase Interchange, where about 600 acres of property is being targeted for a multi-use project that’s being billed as another Las Colinas.

But young couples looking for their first homes look to stable Meadowbrook, where a vintage house can be picked up for around $70,000 to $100,000. Many of these places, with their large rooms and wood floors, are considered re-dos and go back on the market for quite a bit more when the owners move onward and upward. For many of the area’s residents, these were the first houses they moved into as young marrieds. Some retirees are moving out to bigger and newer houses in places like the Mid-Cities, but enough older folks are staying put to give the area a nice demographic spread. Many observers, looking to the burgeoning development that surrounds Meadowbrook, speculate that the area is on the brink of something big-but they’re not quite sure what it is. Which is probably why one young investigating couple was told by a real estate agent that the area was considered somewhat “bohemian.”

Meadowbrook residents tend to live in their back yards, but are acutely aware of taking care of the front. Many homes sport manicured foot-ball sized front yards and the weekends find many pulling weeds and edging driveways.

The area’s desirability is also influenced by easy accessibility to downtown Fort Worth (10 minutes), the West Side (20 minutes), downtown Dallas (30 minutes) and to D/FW International Airport (20 minutes).



House Values: $70,000-$100,000

Average Age: 30-35

Typical Cars in the Driveways: Honda Accord, New Pickup

Favorite Places: Meadowbrook Golf Course, Steak ’ n’ Ale

Typical Sunday: Church, mow yard, wash cars

Notable Neighbors: T. Cullen Davis (Woodhaven)



Arlington Heights



Camp Bowie Boulevard runs right down the middle of Arlington Heights, dissecting one of Cow-town’s best-known neighborhoods into north and south sectors. North of the restaurant-laden boulevard, the brick bungalows and two-stories run in the $175,000 range, while south of the border, the houses are somewhat smaller and pull down just $100,000. The quiet neighborhood has recently been invaded by construction crews tearing down the older homest to erect expensive new townhomes that mimic the classic styles of the area.

A majority of the area’s inhabitants are native Fort Worthians who are accelerating up the corporate ladder. They’re mostly professionals, and have been guided to the area by the senior members of their law firms and medical practices. There’s a high degree of interest in the arts among Arlington Heights residents. That’s not surprising, since the musuem hub (the Amon Carter, the Kimbell and the Fort Worth Art Museum) is nearby.

And as the AH residents reach the top of their professions, they usually move on-to River Crest, an affluent neighborhood just to the northwest or to Ridgmar/Ridglea to the west. They might even move to the south to areas such as Overton Park and Tanglewood, family-structured neighborhoods that let the social community in Fort Worth know “you’ve made it.” Their larger salaries are put into larger homes ($250,000 to $400,000), country clubs and other good life accessories.



Median House Value: 1$00,000-$200,000

Median Age: 25-35

Typical Cars in the Driveways: Volvo, Datsun 280ZX

Favorite Places: Sardines, River Crest Country Club, Michel’s

Typical Sunday: Church, brunch, museums

Notable Neighbors: Richard Newkirk



Westover Hills



YOU ARE TO be congratulated if you’ve found you’re way into the Westover Hills area. It’s fairly inaccessible, and it’s meant to be that way. Winding, tree-covered roads lead into the most affluent area of Tarrant County. Old Money and everything that goes with it. Everytime we find ourselves in this neck of the woods, we expect to see Blake and Crystal Carrington emerge from one of the oppulent mansions and drive off in a Silver Cloud. This is the richest area in Texas per capita.

Although houses occasionally go on the market in Westover Hills, many realtors agree that you just about have to born there to gain access to its real estate rolls. The 3-mile area was incorporated in the Thirties.

House Value: $500,000-$2 million

Average Age: 40-50

Typical Cars in the Driveways: Rolls-Royces, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguars

Favorite Places: Shady Oaks Country Club; River Crest Country Club, The Fort Worth Club

Typical Sunday: Church, tennis at the club, jogging, poolside lounging

Notable Neighbors: The Bass family, Eddie Chiles



Statistics provided by area chambers of commerce, area boards of Realtors, city councils and city manager’s office

SOME OF THE best housing values can be found outside of Dallas and Fort Worth in many of the surrounding communities. Here’s a rundown of our neighbors in an alphabetical listing, from Allen to Rowlett.



Allen



One of the area’s last bastions of rural, ranch-style living.



Population: 13,500

Square miles: 28

Form of government: council-manager

Median household value: $80,000-$90,000

Median age: 30-34

Telephone: Southwestern Bell

Water: North Texas Water District (Lake Lavon)

Electricity: Texas Power & Light

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 2 fire stations; 1 police station; 1 public library

Major shopping areas: 1

Number of child-care centers: 20

Education: 3 elementary; 1 junior high, 1 high school



Arlington



Many predict that Arlington, which is growing at 2,200 newcomers a month, will be larger than Fort Worth in little more than a decade. It’s also the planned site of the largest shopping mall in Texas.

Population: 232,232

Square miles: 82.4

Form of government: council-manager

Median household value: $68,000

Median age: 29

Telephone: Southwestern Bell

Water: City of Arlington

Electricity: Texas Electric

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 11 fire stations; 1 police station; 4 libraries

Major shopping areas: 2 (and 2 nearly open)

Number of child-care centers: 50

Education: 30 elementary; 9 junior high; 4 high school



Bedford



The glamorous Mid-City sister attracts white-collar businesses and places emphasis on families and schools.



Population: 36,750

Square miles: 10.1

Form of government: council-manager

Median age: 25-34

Telephone: Southwestern Bell

Water: City of Bedford

Electricity: Texas Power & Light

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 1 fire station; 1 police station; 1 public library

Number of child-care centers: 6

Education: 5 elementary; 2 junior high; (2 high schools in nearby Euless and Hurst)



Cedar Hill



Good housing values in a rural farming community, with easy access to downtown Dallas.



Population: 12,500

Square miles: 39

Form of government: council-manager

Median household value: 150,000+

Median age: 27

Telephone: Southwestern Bell

Water: City of Dallas

Electricity: Texas Power & Light

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 2 fire stations; 14 police officers; 1 public library

Major shopping areas: 2 strip shopping centers

Number of child-care centers: 4

Education: 2 elementary; 3 junior high; 1 high school



Colleyville



Perhaps the most affluent Mid-Cities area with plantation homes that are well into the upper six-digit range.



Population: 8,123

Square miles: 11

Form of government: council-mayor

Median household value: $250,000

Median age: 40

Telephone: Southwestern Bell, General Telephone

Water: Trinity River Authority

Electricity: Texas Power & Light

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 2 fire stations; 1 police station

Major shopping areas: 2 nearby, 1 proposed

Number of child-care centers: 2

Education: 1 elementary; 1 junior high; (high school located in Grapevine)



Denton



Denton County is in the nation’s fourth fastest growing county. During the school year, the population of Denton swells by more than 20,000 people.



Population: 57,900

Square miles: 32.8

Form of government: council-manager

Median household value: $49,000

Median age: 24.9

Telephone: General Telephone

Water: 26 percent of water will be supplied from Lake Ray Roberts, scheduled for completion in 1987 (providing adequate water supply until 2005)

Electricity: Texas Power & Light

Gas: Lone Star

Community services: 4 fire stations; 1 police station, 1 public library

Major shopping areas: 1

Number of child-care centers: 19

Education: 8 elementary; 2 junior high; 1 high school; 2 universities (North Texas State University, Texas Woman’s University)



DeSoto



Professionals have discovered the rolling terrain and country atmosphere of DeSoto where land is cheaper than that north of Dallas.

Population: 22,350

Square miles: 21

Form of government: council-manager

Median household value: $90,000

Median age: 35

Telephone: Southwestern Bell

Water: City of Dallas

Electricity: Texas Power & Light

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 2 fire stations; 1 police station; 1 public library

Major shopping areas: 1

Number of child-care centers: 10 (including churches)



Duncanville



From the hills southwest of Dallas, there’s easy access to both Dallas and Fort Worth.



Population: 34,458

Square miles: 14.5

Form of government: council-manager

Median household value: $80,000-$100,000

Median age: 28

Telephone: Southwestern Bell

Water: City of Duncanville

Electricity: Texas Power & Light

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 2 fire stations; 1 police station; 1 public library

Number of child-care centers: 15

Education: 6 elementary, 2 junior high; 1 high school



Euless



A Mid-City that is fast outgrowing its services: It is just now getting its first grocery store.



Population: 32,350

Square miles: 16.5

Form of government: council-manager

Median household value: $98,000

Median age: 25-34

Telephone: Southwestern Bell

Water: City of Euless

Electricity: Texas Power & Light

Education: 4 elementary; 1 junior high; 1 high school

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 1 fire station, 1 police station; 1 public library Major shopping areas: 1

Number of child-care centers: 8 Education: 6 elementary; 2 junior high; 1 high school



Garland



Originally a northeast suburb of Dallas, this community has become a city unto itself, but it is still trying to retain its small-town atmosphere.



Population: 171,825

Square miles: 56 square miles

Form of government: council-manager

Median household value: $25,000-$125,000

Median age: 28

Telephone: General Telephone, Southwestern Bell

Water: City of Garland

Electricity: Garland Power & Light, Texas Power & Light

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 6 fire stations; 1 police station; 3 public libraries

Major shopping areas: 7

Number of child-care centers: 50

Education: 31 elementary; 8 junior high; 4 high schools



Grand Prairie



Although it’s only twenty minutes from both Dallas and Fort Worth, this growing community does not like to be called a part of the Mid-Cities.



Population: 93,000

Square miles: 71

Form of government: council-manager

Median household value: $68,000

Median age: 27.1

Telephone: Southwestern Bell

Water: City of Grand Prairie

Electricity: Texas Electric

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 7 fire stations; 1 police station; 1 public library

Number of child-care centers: 25

Education: 16 elementary; 5 middle/2 high schools



Grapevine



Grapevine likes to think of itself as a rural community most of the year but finds itself as a resort in the summer for boating enthusiasts and weekend picnickers.

Population: 20,257

Square miles: 32

Form of government: council-manager

Median household value: $130,000

Median age: 25-34

Telephone: General Telephone

Water: City of Grapevine

Electricity: Texas Power & Light

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 4 fire stations; 1 police station; 1 public library

Major shopping areas: 3 strip shopping centers

Education: 4 elementary; 2 junior high; 1 high school



Hurst



The matron of the Mid-Cities controls most of the area’s retail businesses.



Population: 34,150

Square miles: 9.7

Form of government: council-manager

Median household value: $98,000

Median age: 35

Telephone: Southwestern Bell

Water: City of Hurst

Electricity: Texas Electric

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 2 fire stations; 1 police station; 1 public library

Major shopping areas:1

Number of child-care centers: 9

Education: 17 elementary; 5 junior high; 1 high school; 1 community college



Irving



Home of Texas Stadium and Las Colinas, Irving is the fourth largest city in the Metroplex.



Population: 145,000

Square miles: 679

Form of government: council-manager

Median household value: $80,000

Median age: 27

Telephone: General Telephone

Water: City of Irving

Electricity: Texas Power & Light

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 8 fire stations; 1 police station; 3 public libraries

Major shopping areas: 5

Number of child-care centers:5

Education: 16 elementary; 6 junior high; 3 high schools: University of Dallas, Devry Institute of Technology



Lancaster



A family oriented community that has retained its historical feel despite rapid urbanization.



Population: 19,336

Square miles:24

Form of government: council-manager

Median household value: $25,000-$50,000

Median age: 30

Telephone: Southwestern Bell

Water: City of Lancaster

Electricity: Texas Power & Light

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 2 fire stations; 1 police station; 1 public library

Number of child-care centers: 5, in addition to church-run facilities

Education: 4 elementary; 2 junior high; 1 high school; 1 community college



Las Colinas



The population swells to double during working hours, with the influx of those who work in the business park.

Population: 25,000

Square miles: 12,500 acres

Form of government: Part of the City of Irving

Median household value: N/A

Median age: N/A

Telephone: General Telephone

Water: City of Irving

Electricity: Texas Power & Light

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 2 fire stations; security system works with the city of Irving

Major shopping areas: 1



Lewisville



Country living on Lake Lewisville 25 minutes from the skyscrapers of Dallas.

Population: 36,500

Square miles: 37

Form of government: council-manager

Median household value: $51,300

Median age: 28

Telephone: General Telephone

Water: Lake Lewisville and five wells

Electricity: Texas-New Mexico Power Co.

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 2 fire stations; 1 police station; 1 public library

Major shopping areas: 3 proposed malls

Number of child-care centers: 20

Education: 12 elementary; 4 junior high; 1 high school



McKinney



Outlet stores and turn-of-the-century architecture are this community’s best known features. But watch out: Big-time developers have already cast their lines in this area.



Population: 19,500

Square miles: 24.2

Form of government: council-manager

Median household value: $26,200

Median age: 28.7

Telephone: Southwestern Bell

Water: North Texas Municipal Water District

Electricity: Texas Power & Light

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 2 fire stations; 1 police station; 1 public library

Major shopping areas: 1

Number of child-care centers: 8

Education: 4 elementary; 2 junior high; 1 high school



Mesquite



Known for the Mesquite Rodeo, this community is experiencing a building boom in its northern area.



Population: 93,000

Square miles: 40.54

Form of government: council manager

Median household income: $21,698

Median household value: $46,567

Median age: 26.6

Telephone: Southwestern Bell

Water: North Texas Municipal Water

District

Electricity: Texas Power & Light

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 6 fire stations; 1 police station; 2 public libraries

Major shopping areas: 2

Number of child-care centers: 30

Education: 21 elementary; 4 junior high; 3 high school; 1 community college

Population: 14,265

Square miles: 12.5

Form of government: council-manager

Median household value: $64,000

Median age: 31

Telephone: Southwestern Bell

Water: City of Rockwall

Electricity: Texas Power & Light

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 1 fire station, 1 police station; 1 public library (county)

Major shopping areas: small center under construction

Number of child-care centers: 6

Education: 2 elementary (1 under construction); 1 junior high; 1 high school



Rowlett



A commuter haven for relocators to the Dallas/Fort Worth area.



Population: 12,600

Square miles: 17.3

Form of government: council-manager

Median household value: $85,000

Median age: Unavailable

Telephone: General Telephone

Water: City of Rowlett

Electricity: Texas Power & Light

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 1 fire station; 1 police station; 1 public library

Number of child-care centers: 5

Education (in Garland School District): 2 elementary; 1 junior high

Piano



Originally a bedroom community, Piano is growing into a self-sufficient city that’s geared for families with children. Residents more than likely work in the High-tech corridor (LBJ at Central North).



Population: 110,000

Square miles: 64.2

Form of government: council-manager

Median household value: $155,000

Median age: 27.1

Telephone: General Telephone

Water: City of Piano

Electricity: Texas Power & Light

Gas: Lone Star Gas

Community Services: 5 fire stations; 1 police station; 2 public libraries

Major shopping areas: 1

Number of child-care centers: 35

Education: 20 elementary; 6 junior high; 6 high schools



Richardson



Suburbia to the north, south, east and west. Richardson is regarded as having one of the best school systems in Texas.



Population: 80,000

Square miles: 28.2

Form of government: council-manager

Median household value: $80,000

Median age: 30.5

Telephone: Southwestern Bell

Water: City of Richardson

Electricity: Texas Power & Light

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 4 fire stations (one under construction); 1 police station; 1 public library

Major shopping areas: 2 large malls

Number of child-care centers: 31

ducation: 35 elementary; 10 junior high; 4 high school



Richland Hills



The boom has hit and the Richland Hills and North Richland Hills areas are reaping the benefits of its retail growth.



Population: 8,000

Square miles: 3.9

Form of government: council-manager

Median household value: $70,000

Median age: 45

Telephone: Southwestern Bell

Water: Richland Hills Water

Electricity: Texas Electric

Gas: Lone Star

Community Services: 1 fire station; 1 police station; 1 public library

Number of child-care centers: 1

Education: 2 elementary; 1 junior high



Rockwall



With Lake Ray Hubbard as a buffer against big-city living, resortlike Rockwall is fighting to retain its small-town identity.

THE RELOCATION CENTER



A vast majority of you who make up that whopping 68,000 annual wave of newcomers are corporate relocatees: employees who have been transfered to Dallas/Fort Worth by your companies. You might be here for good or for only a couple of years. You usually have a spouse and maybe a couple of kids. And you don’t have a clue about how to find a new home in a neighborhood that’s close to the right schools and not too far from your new job.

That’s Larry Powers’ job. He and the staff at the newly opened Relocation Center in Las Colinas make it their business to make corporate moves less of a headache for people like you. It’s a relatively new concept. For years, companies have been moving their employees around the country like so many players on a chess board. And, typically, the employees were the ones who were paying for the costly moves-both financially and emotionally. But recently, company execs have found that it’s not as easy as it once was to entice employees to pull up roots. Families arc becoming more complicated, and almost all spouses work.

The human needs of moving weren’t being met,says Powers, who helps corporations move theiremployees to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Powers andhis staff meet with relocated employees to help themfind affordable housing, the right schools for theirchildren-even provide counseling for the spouseswho must now find new jobs. And the bill Is sent tothe home company.