A 14,000-square-foot Fort Worth mansion on Crestline Road, near River Crest Country Club, is selling for $8 million, but that’s only part of the eye-popping details reported by Bloomberg News last week.
The three-story mansion was completed in 1913 by the prestigious Fort Worth architecture firm of Sanguinet and Staats. There are six bedrooms and eight bathrooms, a 2,000-bottle wine cellar, a full fitness center, two kitchens, plus a huge outdoor barbecue area that includes a gas pizza oven. There’s a large pool, naturally, and a guest suite on the 1.5 acre lot.
There’s even a concrete bank vault, according to the report by Bloomberg Pursuits, which reports on luxury living for Bloomberg.
The Baldridge Estate, as the home is called, was named for its first owner, Earl Baldridge, and it is one of Fort Worth’s original homesteads. In 1978, it was registered as a historic Texas landmark.
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But the ornate house has undergone major renovations in the last 10 years, when Paun Peters, president of the oil and gas company Western Production Company, bought the house out of foreclosure.
“My wife, dare I say, lusted for that house,” Peters told Bloomberg. “She always dreamed of having herself in there and walking around on one of those balconies.”
They bought the house for about $3 million and spent millions more on renovations, including a half-million on the lush landscaping, he said.
Peters and his wife are downsizing and moving to Dallas, which is why the palatial Fort Worth estate in on the market now, looking for a new owner to take it into its second century. Rick Press
Measuring earthquake risks
A recent U.S. Geological Survey report predicts that the earth may be moving less under our feet in 2017, but it doesn’t mean that the danger of an earthquake doesn’t still exist.
While the study forecast fewer damaging earthquakes in the central and eastern United States — areas where temblors have been linked to wastewater disposal wells used in the hydraulic fracturing process — it also noted that there is still more seismicity in that region than 10 years ago.
As a result, energy companies may find helpful a new software tool developed by Stanford University, with the help of Exxon Mobil and others. The technology enables them to calculate the risk of triggering an earthquake when using injection wells and other activities associated with oil and gas production.
The Fault Slip Potential software uses information typically collected by energy companies such as how much wastewater injection will increase pressure, information about natural stresses in the earth and knowledge of pre-existing faults in the area.
Mark Zoback, a geophysics professor at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, said the earth has a lot of faults where slips have occurred in the past. The tool allows a company to use information to identify faults before injection begins.
Regulators can also use the tool to identify areas where drilling may be problematic.
“It is timely because things are picking up again and timely because now seismicity is an agenda item for the oil and gas industry,” said Zobach, who developed the tool with graduate student Rall Walsh. “We think it will be in widespread use before very long.”
The school is allowing the software to be downloaded for free from its website. Zobach and Walsh tested it in Oklahoma, with some success.
Kris Nygaard, an engineer with the Exxon Mobil Upstream Research Company, worked closely with Stanford on its development. XTO Energy in Fort Worth, which is owned by Exxon, has been screening for seismic risk management since 2016, he said.
Nygaard said his company feels strongly that this is “about sharing information so we can proactively work to reduce seismicity.”
“Putting all the pieces together, that was the major collaboration — software scripts — that provided for a collaborative end product that allows other users to be able to use it more effectively,” Nygaard said.
Lidl opening Tarrant area stores
Lidl, a German-based grocer and Aldi competitor that has been expected to enter the Fort Worth market, is on the way. It now has four stores planned for Tarrant County among a dozen that will open in Texas, according to permit filings.
The Fort Worth locations will be at Golden Triangle and North Beach Street, and Basswood Boulevard and Blue Mound Drive. The others will be off North Tarrant Parkway in North Richland Hills and Paul Meadoor Drive in Lake Worth.
Construction costs for each store are estimated at $5.8 million, with construction to start by June and completion expected by March of 2018. The stores are about 30,000 square feet. Sandra Baker