Amy and Chris Camillo live in a plush Uptown Dallas unit that has a rooftop deck.

Debbie Denmon reports
July 20, 2008

DALLAS - High gas prices and long commutes have started to change the view of Dallas area residents when it comes to choosing where to live.

The trend over the last few years has showed many former suburb residents moving into modern luxury within the inner city.

Jim Moore's company, Urban Innovations, builds townhomes and condos in the inner-city area, including in downtown and Uptown Dallas.

"There are 5,000 jobs six blocks away," he said of the convenience of living in the inner city.

Moore gave News 8 a tour of rooftop deck on his newest property at the corner of Canton and Pearl streets, which is right next to Dallas Farmer's Market. During the mid-'90s, Moore was building homes in the suburbs. But, he soon had a revelation.

Jim Moore's company specializes in upscale inner-city properties.

"I realized I'm building in the suburbs and doing fine, but I thought it looks like I need to be in front of the trend," he said. "It's really accelerated. And now with gas prices $4.00 a gallon, people realize it's a significant cost to come back and forth to work, and they want to be closer to their jobs."

Moore's newest property, called 2100 Downtown, were designed with a minimalist look. Prices start at $375,000 and the property is 10 percent full.

Right at the edge of Downtown Dallas at Ross Street and Central Expressway, Moore's townhomes called the "Verandas" start at $270,000. The traditional, Spanish-villa style property, which was built with rooftop decks, is 70 percent full. But, Moore's property in Uptown, called the West Side, is 90 percent full. Large modern units at West Side start at $399,000.

Amy and Chris Camillo are among those who chose to live within the city. They live in a plush unit that has a rooftop deck overlooking the State Thomas Street area of Uptown.

"It's quality of life, less time in our cars," Amy Camillo said. "On the weekend, we don't drive at all. We put our cars in the garage and walk down the street to restaurants or to the supermarket."

Instead of a backyard, the couple relaxes on a rooftop deck that has a pool and Jacuzzi, which makes their spot the place to be among friends who visit from the suburbs.

"Actually, we had a friend from the suburbs come up and he liked it so much he ended up buying a unit a few doors down," Chris Camillo said.

No yard maintenance is required.

"We wanted our own outdoor space," Amy Camillo said. "We really wanted our own pool. We didn't want maintenance of a yard. We didn't want to commute living in a suburb. We wanted the energy of Uptown; and our builder with Urban Innovations made it happen."

It's no wonder the couple has thrown nearly ten parties since they moved into the unit a year and half ago. The couple said they would rather sink their money into their home than into their gas tanks.


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