APARTMENT LIVING

Whether your desire is to live in a sophisticated urban loft with a perfect view of the Dallas skyline or in a luxury apartment located near a private island and beach club, Dallas has it. The area is full of apartments that have what residents want most: luxury.

After a long day of work, running errands, fighting traffic, or the hundreds of other must-do tasks that keep us busy, nothing feels better than coming home. Unlock the front door, drop the keys and briefcase on the entry table, and step inside to everything that exudes comfort and familiarity. The best part of home is that it doesn’t have to look like or cost what anyone else says it should. After all, it belongs to you.

Maybe home to you is a new custom-built residence in North Dallas. Maybe its’ an older home in University Park that you’ve spent years renovating to suit your exact style. Or it could be an apartment. That’s right. Luxury apartments and lofts with the same-if not more-amenities found in the newest, most splendid of homes are located throughout the Dallas area. Apartments are no longer just a place to stay until you get that higher-paying job or decide to start a family. Many area residents are proudly calling apartments home by choice.

As Dallas-Fort Worth grows, so does the number of apartment communities. Taylor Stone, vice president of development at Duke, a general contractor for several area apartment communities, says Dallas can look forward to seeing more apartments go up as the job rate increases. And with the Dallas area experiencing an extremely low unemployment rate, apartments should continue to be built in impressive numbers.

“Dallas needs to house all of the people coming in for the great jobs here.” Stone says, “And the apartments built will continue to be luxury apartments because many of these jobs are high-paying jobs. When you’re making $50,000-plus a year, you want as nice of an apartment as you can find. You want your nice car to be protected by a garage, and you want the finest of amenities and conveniences. A large portion of this market can afford-and doesn’t mind-paying the rent for a luxury apartment.”

Another reason apartment living has become so popular is the change in structure of the typical American family. Non-traditional families don’t always require traditional homes. With more people waiting longer to marry or start families-as well as the increase of empty-nesters and single-parent families-the need for apartment living has dramatically increased. And, people today are busier than ever before. Double-income households are the norm. Working to afford a nice home is essential; keeping up with the day-to-day maintenance of owning a home is not.

“Owning a home is very time-consuming,” says Marcus D. Hiles, chairman and chief executive officer of Western Rim Property Services Inc. “People realize that homes don’t always appreciate. They don’t want to mess with investing in something they aren’t sure about, so they choose to rent.”

Not only have the appearance and amenities of apartments changed, so have the type of residents who live in them. No age or type defines today’s apartment resident. Those who choose to rent range from young, upwardly mobile professionals to empty-nesters who just sold their long-time home and plan to travel most of the year. Anyone looking for a more convenient lifestyle feels right at home in an apartment.

“People think of an apartment resident as a college graduate in an entry-level job who can’t afford a home yet, or a couple who is living just a few years in an apartment while saving for a house,” Hiles says. ’Today’s apartment resident is anyone, really. Those who are older and wealthy are renting, too. As baby boomers age, they want to downsize and enjoy their time instead of spending it working on their home. Others want to devote more time to their jobs or leisure activities. Renting is the solution.”

First-Class Amenities

Today’s apartment residents are no longer satisfied with the compact appliances, inexpensive flooring, tiny rooms, and parking lot views that yesterday’s apartments offered. They demand the ultimate in amenities and conveniences to make their apartments feel and look as much like a custom home as possible. With so many luxury apartments providing elegant indoor amenities, beautiful pools and clubhouse areas, and services that rival those offered in the finest hotels, living in a rented apartment can actually seem like living in a lavish custom home. Some apartments have become so luxurious and exclusive that their name alone is synonymous with prestige.

“Apartments are an address today,” says Betty Clohessy, vice-president of Windsor Residential Corporation. “They are so gorgeous. More and more features are added all of the time.”

To grab prospective residents’ attention, apartment managers and developers must constantly top themselves with the latest in hotel- or resort-like services and conveniences. It is not uncommon to find luxury apartments offering a free coffee service in the morning, weekend brunches, Friday happy hours, dry cleaning or errand services, and classes in cooking, wine-tasting, computers, and fitness. The Park al Turtle Creek, a three-story luxury apartment and condominium community, offers its residents a library, on-site café, and poolside bar and towel service, among a host of other first-class services. Windsor Residential’s Greyson’s Gate in Dallas features a striking art collection in its clubhouse for residents to enjoy

Apartments are taking their new concierge roles seriously. Many even act as referral services for anything a resident could possibly need, from limos to the best caterers. Some properties strive for the personal touch by offering voice mail and wake-up calls, mini-movie theaters, personal trainers, massage therapy, and supervised on-site day care or babysitling services.

The custom amenities on the inside of the area’s most luxurious apartments are just as breathtaking as their services. Granite countertops, marble or hardwood flooring, Berber carpeting, ceramic tile entries, built-in oak cabinetry and computer desks, marble baths with garden tubs, and alarm systems are becoming the norm. Intricate crown molding, one- and two-car attached garages, individual addresses with private entries, fireplaces, multiple phone lines, high-tech wiring, vaulted ceilings, and gourmet kitchens with top-of-the-line appliances have set a new standard in apartment living. The Barnes Cos.* apartments, such as St. Andrew’s in Dallas, all offer two of the most sought-after amenities not often found in apartments: oversized closets and lots of of striking windows.

The size of today’s apartments are just as impressive as their amenities. Two-story designs with oversized balconies or patios are popular, and many models total more than 1,600 square feet and offer up to four bedrooms and three baths. For the ultimate in privacy, most area luxury apartments are equipped with remote-controlled, gated entries.

“A lot of young people today grew up in pretty nice homes and are accustomed to nice carpeting, garages, and large living spaces,” Stone says. “They want the same for themselves. If an apartment is nice enough, a resident will live there much longer than the typical 12-month to two-year stay.”

A superior location near golf courses, lakes, and parks is what keeps many area apartment residents interested in long-term apartment living. Many luxury apartment complexes are surrounded by incredible recreation opportunities and natural features which make living in an apartment community seem like a permanent vacation. Duke’s Cross Creek at Grapevine Ranch community overlooks a breathtaking escarpment that offers residents miles of hike and bike trails to enjoy. Full-size tennis, racquetball, and basketball courts, state-of-the-art fitness centers, and lavishly decorated clubhouses with pool tables, dart boards, and other games are commonly found community amenities.

Many high-end apartment communities offer a distinct lifestyle centered around a particular nearby attraction. Western Rim Property Service’s Mansions by the Lake in Coppell is a lakeside community featuring a resort-style pool and a man-made lake with a tropical island and residents-only beach club. The new Mansions at Ridgeview Ranch in Piano provides a country-club lifestyle with two championship 18-hole golf courses situated near the apartment community. Spa and tanning areas, Olympic-sized and resort-style pools, saunas, state-of-the-art fitness centers, picnic and barbecue areas, large parks with hike and bike trails, and beautiful nature preserves add to any apartment community’s luxurious lifestyle.

“Apartment residents can come home on a Friday and never have to leave the house because so much is available to do and see right around their own apartment,” Stone says.

A convenient location is another attraction of apartment living since most are located near major highways, business parks, schools, shopping, and entertainment. Most people want to live near their work, Clohessy says, and finding a nice apartment near work and other desired areas is typically easier than finding the perfect home in a specific location.

“Finding a home you like and can afford may take you to the far-out suburbs and extend your commute to work,” Clo-hessey says. “Beautiful luxury apartments convenient to major highways and businesses are available throughout the area. Apartments are the best way to combine convenience and luxury.”

The Price of Luxury and Convenience

Not surprisingly, the private beaches, sprawling golf courses, and on-site massages available in luxury apartments all come with a price tag. The cost of the area’s most luxurious apartments easily can top more than $1,000 a month.

While some may argue that paying a high rent for an apartment you’ll never own is a waste of money-especially when the cash can be put toward a home of your own-satisfied apartment residents across the Dallas area aren’t worried. Instead of mowing their lawns, repairing their plumbing, or weaving their way through traffic to get the gym, they are exercising just a few steps away from their front door or are in engaged in a conversation with their neighbors over a glass of Features to Look For



■ Crown molding

■ Garden tubs

■ Ceramic tile entries

■ Berber carpeting

■ Hardwood flooring

■ Granite kitchen islands/countertops

■ An abundance of windows

■ Decorative columns and archways

■ Built-in solid oak cabinetry

■ Stainless steel appliances

■ Walk-in closets

■ Marble baths

■ Alarm systems

■ High-lech wiring

■ Up to four bedrooms/three baths

■ Lots of space-up to 1.700 square feet

Most-Wanted Amenities



■ Spacious and flexible floor plans

■ Concierge service

■ Athletic/fitness facilities

■ Scenic views Custom indoor features

■ Access to major highways

■ Multiple resort-style pools

■ Private entries and garages

■ Individual addresses

■ Controlled access gates Near lakes, golf courses, and parks

■ Planned community social activités

Features to Look For



■ Crown molding

■ Garden tubs

■ Ceramic tile entries

■ Berber carpeting

■ Hardwood flooring

■ Granite kitchen islands/countertops

■ An abundance of windows

■ Decorative columns and archways

■ Built-in solid oak cabinetry

■ Stainless steel appliances

■ Walk-in closets

■ Marble baths

■ Alarm systems

■ High-lech wiring

■ Up to four bedrooms/three baths

■ Lots of space-up to 1.700 square feet

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