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Dallas' Preston Hollow abuzz after announcement that Bushes plan to live there

DALLAS — A typically quiet cul-de-sac in the Preston Hollow neighborhood was abuzz Thursday after word leaked out that George W. and Laura Bush are expected to move there after the president leaves office Jan. 20.

Helicopters circled overhead and cars filed through the tree-lined neighborhood for a chance to look at the home many believe the couple will soon occupy.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Nicole Russell, who lives on the cul-de-sac with her husband, Peter. “I don’t know what to think. It would be very exciting if they live here.”

The White House issued a statement Thursday that the Bushes have bought a home in Preston Hollow but didn’t release any other information about the home, saying the Bushes don’t have occupancy of it. But officials did note that the Bushes, who will also spend time at their Crawford ranch, lived in Dallas from 1988 until January 1995, when George W. Bush became governor.

A woman who came out of the house at 10141 Daria Place — a one-story, 8,501-square-foot home recently bought by Robert McCleskey, the Bushes’ Midland accountant, that is believed to be the future Bush residence — became upset when news photographers took photos of the exterior.

“You have to understand and respect the people who live here,” said the woman, who declined to give her name or answer any questions.

Gus Hamed, working to renovate the Russell home at 10161 Daria Place, said watching the traffic flow in the neighborhood was very interesting.

“Before we find out the president is going to live here, we don’t see any cars,” said Hamed, of NGH Construction in Dallas. “Now, they’re driving from Oklahoma and everywhere to see.“It’s a very famous street.”

Moving on

After first lady Laura Bush told reporters Wednesday during a White House Christmas tour that “there might be a new house coming along,” news broke that McCleskey had bought the Preston Hollow home, off Meaders Lane, from Dan and Laura Boeckman in October.

The four-bedroom home, valued at $2 million, was built in 1959 and has been extensively renovated. It includes a cabana, storage building, detached garage and 896-square-foot detached servant quarters on 1.13 acres, according to Dallas property tax records.

It is a short walk from John J. Pershing Elementary School and next to a vacant $1.6 million house under contract, news reports say.

Speculation is rampant that the Bushes would live in the home at 10141 Daria Place and that the Secret Service might occupy 10151 Daria Place, a 4,684-square-foot ranch home listed under the ownership of the Joan Northway estate.

The two homes back up to properties owned by Gene and Roxanne Phillips and Tom Hicks, who bought the Texas Rangers from Bush and other investors in 1998, news reports say. Hicks also owns the Dallas Stars.The woman at 10141 Daria Place who was upset about the photos declined to talk to the Star-Telegram but told another reporter that the house had not been sold to the president.

Reports link the home to the Bush family because McCleskey, who put the Bush assets in a blind trust when George W. Bush became governor, may be acting on behalf of the family.

Talk, talk

Not everyone is sold on the assumption that 10141 Daria Place will be Bushes’ new home. Some residents said it’s also possible they might move to 10121 Daria Lane, which was sold recently but is unoccupied.

Others wonder whether the Bushes might be looking for a temporary home while they build elsewhere in Preston Hollow.

About a mile away, at i heart yogurt, talk is that the Bushes may build a home, possibly on Strait Lane, near were Ross Perot lives.

“I think it would be great if they lived here,” said Kevin Kian, general manager of the store. “They should come in here. Mark Cuban, Ross Perot Sr. and [actor] Luke Wilson have come in.

“It would be great for the morale if they lived here, that a high-profile family would move to Dallas rather than the suburbs.”

Also giving a thumbs-up to the expected move was Hicks, who owns a 29,000-square-foot mansion valued at $32.3 million adjacent to the cul-de-sac.

“If he moves next door, we’d love it,” Hicks wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “The Secret Service would make the neighborhood safer!”

Other neighbors include billionaire businessman Boone Pickens, Republican donor Harold Simmons and recently retired Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Lee Raymond, according to property records.

Preston Hollow, once a city before being annexed in 1945, is well-known for homes on big lots, affluent neighbors and plenty of privacy.

The Bush family lived here on Northwood Road before George W. Bush became Texas governor.

The Bushes’ possible new home is a few blocks from the Dallas North Tollway and not far from Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church. NorthPark Center, which houses an Oscar de la Renta store — a favorite of Laura Bush — also is not far.

Hamed, the construction worker, said news that the Bushes are moving to Preston Hollow is good.He watched with amusement as motorists drove by, pointing and smiling at the home.

“We would love to have the president around here,” he said. “It’s a nice feeling, nice to have people like the Bushes here. It makes us very proud.”

Staff researcher Cathy Belcher contributed to this report, which includes material from The Associated Press.Anna M. Tinsley, 817-390-7610

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