The headline is a bit of a stretch, but here’s what I’ve pieced together after noticing an application for a replat of 5806 Watson Ave., pictured above, on today’s agenda for the City Plan Commission (item #4). Owner Tavistock Group, LLC wants to tie together the lot at 5806 Watson with an adjacent, abandoned, 50-foot-wide-or-so stretch of what was once part of Douglas Avenue. The replat is about as standard as they come, says city planner Paul Nelson, incorporating the smaller, Douglas Avenue section into the larger lot so, presumably, the owner can legally build across the property line. It will also mean the side setback will be measured from the road rather than 50 feet in. Snooze.
What got me interested was the owner. Some quick googling showed me that the Tavistock Group is an investment firm with its fingers in a lot of pies (and burritos): Financial services, restaurants (including Freebirds, which is actually registered as its own company, Tavistock Freebirds, LLC), and big, luxury residential developments. But no mention of lone residential properties. A quick DCAD search indicates the Watson House is the only property in the county owned by the firm.
A quick check with the Texas Secretary of State indicated that Tavistock’s Freebirds arm is the only Tavistock registered to do business in Texas (though I don’t think this prevents them from owning property). And I’m going somewhat out on a limb in assuming the Tavistock that owns the Watson property is the same Tavistock mentioned above. Didn’t find a definitive connection, but I couldn’t find any other Tavistocks. Further complicating the picture, the contact person for the Plan Commission application was Preston Hollow resident Michael Ruff, a founding partner in Preston Center-based Icarus Investments. I left a message for Ruff at his Icarus office yesterday so, perhaps, I can unpuzzle the connections and figure out why a global investment firm has taken interest in a lone Preston Hollow property. Until then, I’m left to wonder.