Preston Hollow and its adjacent neighborhoods to the west are known for their large and leafy lots. Acre and half-acre properties are the norm. Located north of the Park Cities and extending out toward LBJ Freeway, many of these neighborhoods were developed after World War II. Most of the original homes were ranch style. As is often the case in a desirable locale, there has been much rebuilding in the past decade. Large new estate type properties now abound.
Preston Hollow benefits from having some of Dallas’ finest private schools in or very near the neighborhood. These include St Marks, a boys’ prep academy, Hockaday, the equivalent school for girls, the Catholic private schools Jesuit (boys) and Ursuline (girls) and many others.
The area also abounds in superb shopping. Options include NorthPark Center, the ultimate in Dallas shopping (Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, to name a few of the hundreds of stores there). With easy access to the Central Business District, these neighborhoods, with their creeks and country-like lanes, are quite popular.
Pricing in these neighborhoods begins at around $500,000 to “the sky’s the limit.” Many of the traditional new homes in the area on half-acre lots run $1.5 to $2.5 million.
Highland Park tops the A-list of neighborhoods in Dallas. It’s safe to say that this exclusive enclave with its limited land area has the highest property values of any neighborhood in the city.
Not even most lifelong Dallasites know the reason Highland Park and neighboring University Park have been able to remain independent of Dallas since being incorporated as towns in the early 20th century. The rule was that if Dallas surrounded a town, then Dallas would have the right to annex it. Dallas has never been able to surround Highland Park because part of the township’s boundary is its sister city University Park.
The boundary lines of Highland Park are irregular. Roughly its eastern line is the Katy Trail. Its northern boundary is Mockingbird or Potomac (just north of Mockingbird). Its southern boundary is the north side of Armstrong beginning at the Trail and then zigzagging up to Fitzhugh at Lakeside and St. Johns and cutting back into Westway west of Preston Rd and reaching almost Lemmon along Lomo Alto. The western boundary is one block east of the North Dallas Tollway.
Among the amenities of the township are its famous Highland Park Independent School District (which also serves University Park) and the equally famous Highland Park Village shopping center. The school system ranks nationally for superb educational standards and results. “The Village,” as it’s known by locals, is historically important for being the first suburban shopping center in the U.S. that opened onto interior streets as opposed to being a shopping strip.
The area of the township east of Preston Road (which was originally a cattle trail!) is known as Old Highland Park. Lots tend to be a bit larger here. The parks along Lakeside Drive and St. Johns are among the loveliest in Dallas and benefit from superb landscaping and maintenance. The town hall building is an impressive Spanish Revival building and is located on Drexel at Euclid. Currently homes in Highland Park average well over $1 million. Some homes, if they came up for resale, would exceed $20 million in value.
University Park is the home of Southern Methodist University. This close-in suburb was incorporated in the 1920’s on what had been the Caruth family farmland. The original Caruth home built in 1852 sits across from NorthPark Center. The primary building on the SMU campus, the Rotunda, was completed in 1915. Houses were soon built around the campus for university professors and personnel.
University Park, like Highland Park, is a township and has its own city hall, school system (the Highland Park Independent School System which serves both towns), mayor, and police and fire departments. Residents of both towns like to brag about the quick response time when either police or fire personnel are needed.
Collectively Highland Park and University Park are known as the Park Cities. University Park has a much larger land mass than Highland Park and has almost three times the population. There are also a number of parks in the town. At Goar Park, on University Blvd. adjacent to the Town Hall, the town hosts a big neighborhood party at the end of the annual 4th of July parade.
University Park has seen an amazing number of new homes constructed in the past decade. As the neighborhood has become more and more desirable, there has been a tremendous demand for new family homes averaging around 5,000 square feet. New homes in the area currently begin at over $1.5 million.
Bluffview is an upscale neighborhood in northwest Dallas, bound by Lovers Lane, Midway Road, Northwest Highway and Inwood Road. It is so named for its relatively hilly topography and lies along cliffs overlooking Bachman Branchand its tributaries. The neighborhood was originally developed as Bluff View Estates by the same developer of Stevens Park in Oak Cliff. John P. Stevens bought 215 acres of dairy farm along Bachman Creek and developed the land into one acre lots. This area is served by the Dallas Independent School District, however many residents choose to send their children to many of the nearby private schools. These unique homes on irregular lots can sell well into the millions.