Enjoying all the benefits of living near downtown Dallas and its Arts District, Lakewood area homeowners reside almost exclusively in older single-family residences, with few apartments or other multi-family properties in the community.

Bordering White Rock Lake, a unique in-town amenity boasting biking trails, clubhouses, sailboating, and a dog park as well as soothing lake views from stately older homes, Lakewood is a strong family-oriented area with many churches, schools and walking-distance neighborhood shopping centers.

Like other popular areas, Lakewood's borders are undefined and often widened by those who want to be included, but the boundaries of lore are the lake itself, and the homes that border the west side of the lake, east of Abrams Road, south of Mockingbird Lane and north of Gaston Avenue.

While most homes near downtown are older, Lakewood as a neighborhood has grown where other neighborhoods have deteriorated primarily because of its strong neighborhood activism. With strong support for community parks, historical homes and a desire for quietude and privacy, Lakewood residents voted down public trains through its borders, even while other neighborhoods clamored for the economic boost promised by better access. Instead, the neighborhood turned its energies to cleaning up White Rock Lake, spearheading an initiative to get the lake dredged, a project that was just completed in 2000. Residents also conduct occasional organized shoreline cleanups and participate in fundraisers that improve other areas of the park.

Many Realtors feel that Lakewood's land values would be even higher if the area had better ingress-egress to highways. Because of a fan-like highway configuration, Lakewood residents have at least a ten to fifteen minute drive just to access a highway. Residents who want to go downtown most often travel residential streets where traffic lights have been wired for quicker commutes in the morning and afternoons. In addition, much growth in the Dallas area has been to the north and northwest to take advantage of the international airport and other business opportunities. Lakewood, in East Dallas, is not a neighborhood convenient to air commuters.

But it all depends on what residents value. Lakewood residents, with their older and historic homes, value life the way it was before incredible population expansions in Dallas made it a city of strangers instead of neighbors. This is a neighborhood of people more likely to remodel and preserve older architectural styles than to tear down. Lot sizes for the most part are generous, and allow for add-ons. Trees are mature and provide majestic canopies to the homes. But the biggest draw will always be the brief bike ride, walk or drive to the lake. Residents enjoy evenings watching sunsets from the docks, or running in marathons for worthy causes, or throwing sticks for their dogs to retrieve from the water.

"The Lakewood area which features classic Tudor and Prairie-style homes built from the early 1900's and is located minutes from downtown and White Rock Lake has attracted homeowners from across the Metroplex and around the world," says Realtor David Marett ( Electrical Wiring System illustrated construction plans ). "Appropriately priced, updated homes under $500,000 are selling quite well. And the Hollywood Heights area in particular has outperformed the rest of Old East Dallas selling within 98 percent of list price with an average of 32 days on market."

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