Massive Texas ‘White House’ estate sells with $11 million price tag

The Dallas White House is a replica of the real one in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of Dave Perry-Miller
The stately 16,041-square-foot mansion is at 10777 Strait Ln. in Preston Hollow. Photo courtesy of Dave Perry-Miller
There are more than 200 trees on the 3.3-acre property. Photo courtesy of Dave Perry-Miller
A two-story grand foyer with French limestone floors welcomes guests. Photo courtesy of Dave Perry-Miller
A wine cellar can stock plenty of bottles from around the world. Photo courtesy of Dave Perry-Miller
The sellers spent more than two years remodeling and reconfiguring the home.

A Lone Star State estate with a Texas-sized price tag is off the market. The “White House of Dallas” — a replica of the real White House in Washington, D.C. — has a new owner. But it’s not George W. Bush or Donald Trump or any other presidential figure, at least as far as we know.

Dallas’ “mini” White House — a stately 16,041-square-foot mansion at 10777 Strait Lane in Preston Hollow — was sold May 7 to an unidentified buyer. The estate was listed at $10.9 million by Diane and Becky Gruber, both of Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate. The purchase price wasn’t revealed.

“We put the house on the market last summer and had quite a bit of interest,” Becky Gruber says. “The buyer saw it online and flew into town to see it in February. It went under contract shortly thereafter.”

Before putting it on the market, the sellers spent more than two years remodeling and reconfiguring the home, which was built in 1996 and has been on the market several times. That work included relocating the master suite from the first floor to the second floor.

The buyer was “impressed with the exceptional quality and detail of the home,” Diane Gruber says.

Among the property’s amenities are:

Four bedrooms Five full bathrooms Four half-bathrooms Eight fireplaces 14-foot ceilings A two-story grand foyer with French limestone floors A wine cellar A 24-seat home theater A full bar A full catering kitchen A walk-in refrigerator A koi pond Connected swimming pools A six-car garage More than 200 trees on 3.3 acres

Becky Gruber says the sale of the Strait Lane mansion demonstrates the strength of the Dallas home market. She notes that three other properties that were listed for more than $10 million each are currently under contract in Preston Hollow and Park Cities.

“Homes in the $10 million-plus range perform differently,” Diane Gruber says, “so seeing these large sales happen, along with so many companies continuing to relocate here, indicates to us that Dallas remains an economic powerhouse people feel comfortable investing in.”

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Walker & Dunlop Secures $82 Million in Bridge Financing for Lakeside Apartments in Texas – Baltimore Business Journal

BETHESDA, Md., May 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Walker & Dunlop, Inc. announced today that it structured $81,827,200 in bridge financing for the acquisition and repositioning of Landmark at Lake Village North and Landmark at Lake Village East, two garden-style apartment communities in Garland, Texas. The multifamily properties are undergoing significant renovations and will cater to residents looking to live near Bayside, the $1 billion master-planned, resort-style development along the shore of Lake Ray Hubbard. Once complete, Bayside will feature upscale restaurants, retail, beachfront recreational activities, office space, and Texas’ first Crystal Lagoon, an eight-acre manmade pool with clear turquoise water.

Led by Managing Director Alex Inman, Walker & Dunlop secured two bridge loans from a regional bank on behalf of the owner, Madera Residential. The financing will allow the owner to execute their business plan of repositioning both multifamily communities. Each three-year loan includes favorable terms, is partial interest-only, and is followed by a 30-year amortization.

"Having closed nearly 30 transactions with Walker & Dunlop already, it’s no surprise they executed flawlessly on the transactions of both Landmark at Lake Village East & North." Commented Alton Smith at Madera Residential. "Alex and his team were able to present several different financing options from various lending sources, allowing us to choose the best fit for our business plan."

Said Mr. Inman, "Madera Residential is a highly skilled multifamily owner in the Dallas area and we are certain that their improvements will increase value for both the owner and residents." He added, "We are pleased to be part of an exciting project in a growing area of Texas."

Both properties were constructed in 1983 and are undergoing a comprehensive upgrade program to renovate unit interiors, make exterior improvements, and increase offerings to residents. As part of their business plan, Madera Residential’s use of the loan proceeds improving curb appeal and interiors will add significant value to the overall portfolio.

Landmark at Lake Village North is an 848-unit, garden-style apartment community located near the intersection of Interstates 635 and 30 and close to the President George Bush Turnpike. Landmark at Lake Village East is a 321-unit, garden-style apartment community that sits on a peninsula of Lake Ray Hubbard. Amenities at the properties include features such as multiple swimming pools, several basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, tennis courts, dog parks, a playground, clubhouse with coffee lounge, 24-hour fitness center, and picnic and barbeque areas.

The properties enjoy quick access to both Downtown and Uptown Dallas, as well as the Firewheel, CityLine, and Rockwall neighborhoods. The properties are also well-positioned near future employment hubs within the submarket, such as the redevelopment of Big Town Mall into a new FedEx outpost.

Walker & Dunlop is a leader in the multifamily lending space, ranking as the #1 Fannie Mae DUS® Lender in 2017 and within the top five largest multifamily lenders with Freddie Mac and HUD. Our brokered loan originations have also significantly increased, growing at a compound annual rate of 28 percent from 2014 to 2017. Learn more about our ability to execute on a variety of financing types:

Walker & Dunlop Originates $100 Million Revolving Credit Facility for Presidium $50 Million Loan Closed for Multifamily Property in Jacksonville, Florida by Walker & Dunlop $33.5 Million Freddie Mac Green Up® Loan Closed by Walker & Dunlop for Multifamily Property in Texas

About Walker & Dunlop
Walker & Dunlop (NYSE: WD), headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, is one of the largest commercial real estate services and finance companies in the United States providing financing and investment sales to owners of multifamily and commercial properties. Walker & Dunlop, which is included in the S&P SmallCap 600 Index, has over 650 professionals in 29 offices across the nation with an unyielding commitment to client satisfaction.

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Arrest in Texas transgender woman’s strangulation death

DALLAS — A 24-year-old man has been charged with murder in the strangulation death of a Dallas transgender woman. Jimmy Eugene Johnson II was arrested near Huntsville, Texas.


He was driving a car seen in surveillance video from the Dallas apartment complex where 26-year-old Carla Patricia Flores-Pavon was found dead on May 9.

A Dallas police statement issued Thursday says Johnson revealed that he had goods stolen from the woman’s apartment. The police statement says there is presently no evidence of a hate crime.

CBS DFW reports that police said the motive in the case was robbery and that Pavon was not targeted for her “transgender lifestyle.”

Deputy Chief Thomas Castro tells The Dallas Morning News that Johnson and Flores-Pavon had been engaging in online chats.

Johnson is confined to the Walker County Jail in Huntsville under $500,000 bond.

The Human Rights Campaign says 28 transgender Americans died in homicides in 2017 and 10 have died so far this year.

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Mishandled Dallas housing program could cost $1.3M

DALLAS (AP) — A report says Dallas officials should repay $1.3 million in federal funds after mishandling a program meant to renovate dilapidated houses for low-income homeowners.

The Dallas Morning News reports that the federal housing department’s Office of Inspector General report released this week examined more than a dozen homes remodeled by Dry Quick Restoration. The report found the homes had defective workmanship and long construction delays.

The report criticized the city for not properly vetting the company when issuing contracts in 2015.

A March newspaper investigation found the company’s owner has ties with a local housing official now suspended pending an internal probe.

Surveillance footage captured a cougar roaming around the streets and peaking through a window of a Brookfield, Wisconsin family’s home on February 18.

Dan and Bridget Guerndt, the home’s owners, were not aware of the unlikely visitor until they saw the paw prints in the snow and decided to check their Nest security camera. The cougar can also be seen walking up and down the block on the survailance video.

Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources confirmed the cougar sighting in Brookfield, according to reports. The animal has been roaming around the area and appears to be passive, leading DNR officials to believe it was injured. Homeowners in the area have been warned of its presence, the animal is believed to be about a year old weighing 50 pounds. Credit: Dan Guerndt via Storyful

Media: Storyful

The city says it’s working with federal officials to address the issues. City Manager T.C. Broadnax says Dallas shouldn’t have to repay the funds because the money went into the homes.

Dry Quick declined to comment.


Information from: The Dallas Morning News,

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State GOP leader: Make N.J. affordable (so we don’t lose folks to Texas!)

By Tom Kean Jr.

A recent opinion piece by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott encouraged overtaxed New Jerseyans to consider relocating to the Lone Star State.

Abbott was likely emboldened by Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget plan to raise state spending by nearly $3 billion, funded with billions in income, business and sales tax increases on New Jerseyans.

He apparently understands, unlike our governor, that New Jerseyans already shoulder one of the greatest tax burdens in the nation.

He’s probably seen how many of our families, retirees and businesses of all sizes have been worn down by rising costs and convinced to leave New Jersey for other states with lower and more predictable tax bills. Likely sensing Murphy’s overreach, Abbott took the opportunity to highlight the tax benefits of moving to Texas.

A combination of public and private marketing efforts have helped Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — among others — to lure away millions of New Jerseyans in recent years, including many of our prized employers. The sales pitch is almost always the same — those places are more affordable and have lower taxes than New Jersey.

New Jersey is filled with talented entrepreneurs and highly skilled employees from one of the most desirable markets in the world. It’s no surprise then that others would attempt to take advantage of our governor’s extreme tax plans to try to convince more New Jerseyans to move in their direction, with offers of cheaper housing, reasonable taxes and attractive career opportunities for young professionals.

Once they start looking, families and innovators may be surprised to find that income tax rates have remained stable in states as seemingly different as Massachusetts (flat 5.1 percent) and Virginia (top rate of 5.75 percent), regardless of the changing party affiliations of their governors over time. Income tax predictability, at lower rates, has been the key to success in other states.

All of these poaching efforts have had a real impact on New Jersey.

An analysis by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association of census and Internal Revenue Service data from 2004 to 2014 determined that New Jersey lost approximately 2 million residents, 75,000 jobs and $18 billion in adjusted gross income.

The latest IRS data from 2016 showed a net outflow of $3.6 billion in income, equating to a loss of about $100 million in state tax revenues.

Further, a July 2017 report by McKinsey & Company found that middle- and high-skill millennials are the most likely to leave New Jersey, with 85 percent of those leaving in 2015 ranging in age from 18 to 35.

New Jersey businesses are losing talent to other states. New Jersey’s industries are losing the ability to grow because of the lack of skilled human resources. Our state is losing on its investment in higher education, in its families and in its future.

What’s most disconcerting is that our governor doesn’t even appear to recognize that New Jersey is in a competition with other states, much less recognize that it’s focused almost exclusively on taxes, affordability and opportunity.

That’s clear from his response to Abbott in a Dallas Morning News opinion article, in which Murphy discussed his focus on making New Jersey taxes "more fair."

He doesn’t realize that families and businesses aren’t driven by immeasurable promises of "tax fairness," but by dollars and cents. People look at their paychecks, bank-account balances and credit-card bills to judge how they’re doing each month. If those metrics are stable or improving, they’re likely to stick around. If they’re sliding in the wrong direction, they’re more likely to consider leaving.

The obvious solution to keep New Jerseyans in the Garden State is to focus on affordability.

With our state budget on track to end the fiscal year with a significant surplus, it shouldn’t be difficult. There’s simply no need for the billions in new taxes the governor has proposed. We should cut state government spending, not increase it. We should shelve Murphy’s expensive plans to create a state bank that would make risky loans at taxpayer expense. We should hold off on his "free" community college proposal that will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars while doing little to improve college affordability. The list could go on.

New Jersey is a wonderful state with much to offer. Many of the people who feel forced to leave would love to stay. We can make that happen. Hopefully the governor changes course before it’s too late.

Tom Kean Jr., R-Union, is the minority leader in the New Jersey Senate.

One of two entrances to the Caven Point section of Liberty State Park.

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Dallas apartment proprietor, who cares enough to succeed, might invest in repairing or enhancing of his or her dummy post

Dallas apartment proprietor, who cares enough to succeed, might invest in repairing or enhancing of his or her apartment in order to boost the opportunity and keep up the apartment all their life in ship shape while profiting off it. This is particularly engaging and makes the tenants who need to lease Dallas apartments to call for action. By starting correspondence with you through email or telephone, the tenant is already showing enough interest and you need to take over from there.
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Texan Bank CEO Appointed to Texas Southern University Board of Regents

HOUSTON, April 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Texan Bank announces appointment of CEO to Board of Regents of a prestigious Houston area university.

The Governor of Texas Greg Abbott has appointed Texan Bank’s Chief Executive Officer Kenny Koncaba to the Board of Regents for a term to expire on February 1, 2023. "I sincerely appreciate Governor Abbott appointing me to the Texas Southern University (TSU) Board of Regents. TSU is a dynamic institution of higher learning, and I look forward to serving TSU students, faculty, and administration into the future," stated Koncaba.

Koncaba also serves as a Director on the Board of Innovative Alternatives, as well as the Friendswood Education Foundation Board. He is a former gubernatorial appointee to the Texas Housing and Health Services Coordinating Council and the Board of Pilot Commissioners for Galveston County Ports.

About Texan Bank
Based in Houston TX, Texan Bank is a full-service, local community bank offering business and personal banking with four locations across Houston, Sugar Land, Clear Lake, and Friendswood. Purchased in 2011 by Friendswood Capital Corporation, Texan Bank serves its communities through doing business the right way and inspiring employees through servant leadership.

For more information, visit

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TX Firefighters Injured in Gas Line Blaze

Gas from a line that had been struck caught fire early Sunday evening in Arlington, injuring two firefighters and a water department employee.

Arlington, TX, Fire Department

April 16 — Gas from a line that had been struck caught fire early Sunday evening in Arlington, injuring two firefighters and a water department employee.

Arlington Water Utilities crews were clearing asphalt to to reach a water line leak at Dugan Street and Ditto Avenue when a gas line was struck about 6:45 p.m., Fire Department Lt. Mike Joiner said.

Firefighters and Atmos Energy workers responded and were pumping excess water out so that they could begin repairs when the gas ignited, he said.

The firefighters and the water department employee were taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital, and only one firefighter remained hospitalized Sunday night.

Firefighters remained on the scene to control the fire while Atmos workers repaired the leak. Police were also there to help with traffic control.

Power and water were cut off to the immediate area Sunday night while repairs were completed.


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More Americans Are Moving to Texas

This Friday, Jan. 14, 2011, file photo shows highway traffic with the Dallas skyline in the background. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

Texas continues to be America’s fastest-growing state, the U.S. government Census Bureau says.

Six of the nation’s top 10 largest-gaining counties between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017, were in Texas, the bureau recently said in a news release.

The fastest-growing area in the country was the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area which includes 13 counties in Texas. It gained 146,000 residents last year.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Molly Cromwell is a demographer at the Census Bureau. She said the Dallas area “attracts large numbers from both international and domestic migration.” In other words, the area draws people moving within the United States and those moving to the United States from other countries.

Many large metro areas in the country, Cromwell explained, depend mostly on “international migration and natural population increase for growth.

Lloyd Potter is Texas state demographer at the University of Texas San Antonio. He said in a statement that people most likely relocate to Texas for its “resilient economy” and cheaper housing costs.

Potter added that oil and gas production continue to be a major part of the state’s economy, but other sectors, such as information technology, manufacturing and biomedicine are important sources of job growth.

In addition to good jobs and cheap housing, Texas is one of the seven states with no state income tax.

Demographers expect Texas to continue to grow, though its rate of growth may slow down.

While domestic migration is a major reason for Texas’s growth, recent international immigration is also up. And people are coming to the state from “a greater variety of nations than in the past,” Potter added.

Texas state demographers have observed an increase in immigrants from Asian countries and a decrease from Latin American countries — especially Mexico.

Potter said, “With this, migration will not only increase the size of the state’s metro areas, but also will lead to greater population diversity in these areas.”

I’m Jonathan Evans.

VOA’s Matt Hilburn reported on this story. Xiaotong Zhou adapted it for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.


Words in This Story

demographer – n. the person who studies changes (such as the number of births, deaths, marriages, and illnesses) that occur over a period of time in human populations

domestic – adj. of, relating to, or originating within a country and especially one’s own country

resilient – adj. able to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens

biomedicine – n. medicine based on the application of the principles of the natural sciences and especially biology and biochemistry

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