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DALLAS-A $100-million condominium tower will break ground in February on a 38,000-sf tract, once tagged as a hotel site for the Galleria mall. The 126-unit Galleria North Condominium project stands out from its peers not only for its irreplaceable corner, but a $1.5-million, high-tech backbone.

The condo developer, Mockingbird Properties of Dallas, quietly acquired the site about a year ago in an off-market deal with Houston-based Hines. The development plans have been closely guarded as Mockingbird Properties’ president Mitchell Vexler and team set about designing a 21-story footprint unlike any other condo product currently available in Dallas. “You don’t talk until you have something to talk about,” Vexler tells GlobeSt.com. “Being on the Galleria property, it’s impossible to pull this off again.”

Vexler’s marketing to date has been one full-page ad in a local newspaper just a week ago: no details, just the project’s website “url.” As a result, the sales office will open in the first week of November with 72 private appointments with prospective buyers. “It’s hard to gage, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we were 80% sold within the next 60 days,” Vexler says.

The European-style tower will take 18 months to complete. Ground will break on time, Vexler vows, saying his financing doesn’t require any presales.

Galleria North Condominium Tower, set to rise at the corner of Alpha and Noel roads in front of Nordstrom’s, will have units ranging from 890 sf to 3,050 sf for $375,000 to more than $3 million. But, the design is flexible enough to combine units, just as one tentative buyer is planning to do with two penthouses to get a condo on the 20th floor with more than 6,000 sf, according to Vexler.

“The key is the lifestyle. The price per sf and quality-wise, this is the top tier of its level. There’s nothing proposed anywhere, Manhattan or Las Vegas, that can touch us in terms of technology,” says Vexler, part of a Canadian development family that specialized in high-density, mixed-use projects and a Dallas resident for 15 years.

Vexler and Craig Bell, owner of Millennium Technologies Inc. and Mockingbird Properties’ high-tech guru, have spent 1.5 years getting the right wireless mix for an in-house system that allows owners to sit in the 5,000-sf skyclub and remain in full control of in-unit functions like temperature, lighting and window shades or linked to the outside world to communicate with the concierge, order meals and arranging deliveries from nearby restaurants or get live traffic reports every 15 minutes. Each condo comes with a basic mobile control panel that costs $5,200. Upgraded tech packages start at $15,000 and go as high as $500,000, including the option to embed an LED TV in the bathroom mirror. Another Miami-based wireless provider has bundled VOIP, cable and Internet into one package for $126 per month. The overall technology delivery, Vexler says, “has never been done to my knowledge.”

Mockingbird Properties’ in-house architect David Cannon designed the tower. Vexler’s firm, Mavex Construction Co., will build it. John Armstrong with Armstrong Berger Inc. of Dallas is the landscape architect, and Vexler’s wife, Catherine, is the interior designer.

Interiors will have custom cabinetry, granite, ceramic and porcelain from Italy; Sub-Zero refrigerators in a design that doesn’t hit the market for another 15 months; and Miele appliances.

Galleria North Condominium Tower’s first five floors will be skinned with hand-cut limestone. The grounds include a Zen garden linking the tower to 309 parking spaces in a shared garage, a “puppy park,” spa and two-tier swimming pool. Common interior areas will boast original artwork, conference facility, exercise room, marble porte cochere and private skyclub with garden decks on all four sides plus a music room with a grand piano, wine room and cigar lounge.

“I will put my designers up against anyone in the world. It doesn’t get any better than this,” Vexler says. “The market wasn’t here five years ago to do this. I’ve confident enough to say that I’ve done it in London and I can do it here. The sophistication is here now.”

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