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New housing Development in Dallas TX

"They want to buy something, and they want it to be close in, " Anderson said.

'Sleepy area'

Larkspur started shopping East Dallas for sites a few years ago.

"Our model was to go into transitional neighborhoods and buy land at good values, " Anderson said. "We had no competition when we first started buying."

He said it was still a "sleepy area" when Larkspur acquired its first building sites along Fitzhugh Avenue. "We wanted to build an Uptown quality project along Fitzhugh and other corridors neglected for a long time, " Anderson said.

Larkspur has done five townhouse projects on Fitzhugh and Bennett east of North Central Expressway.

"A lot of our buyers are renters, " Chris Anderson said. "We offer them a better value, given where rents have gone in the last few years."

Anderson said Larkspur's development at Fuqua Street and Bennett will open next summer with 22 townhouses. The builder has an 18-unit project it's doing a few blocks away near Capitol Avenue, too.

The townhouses start at more than $350, 000 with the smallest units near 1, 450 square feet.

"Each one of them is a little different, " Anderson said.

Scott Jones moved into one of the builder's townhouses off Fitzhugh earlier this year.

"We were in a high-rise on Turtle Creek, " said Jones, a restaurateur who's planning a new eatery in East Dallas. "We had lived there for about 10 years and came out of 4, 000 square feet."

Jones' new digs on Fuqua Street are about 1, 800 square feet on three levels with a rooftop deck.

"I love the area — it's exploding with activity, " he said.

The surge in close-in townhouse construction is filling a need for housing in Dallas at a time when there is a shortage of existing homes for sale.

Commutes a factor

Ted Wilson, a principal of Dallas-based housing analyst Residential Strategies, said there is demand for new homes near downtown.

"People want to live closer in to jobs and entertainment, " Wilson said. "The commute times are so protracted now that people are willing to give up the yard to be closer in.

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