Aabout a year ago, brady WoodFounder of an investment company for the hospitality industry Woodhouse (Park House, José), found himself talking about a recent acquisition, T Bar M Racquet Clubwith dagger Nowitzki. “Don’t waste tennis,” warned Dallas’ greatest athlete—only he didn’t censor it.
Rumors of what might happen to Dallas’ beloved (though not much discussed) T Bar M began swirling after news broke that WoodHouse had bought the 13-acre campus. Since opening on Preston Road and Dilbeck Lane in 1972, the private racquet club has earned a respected reputation for its quality staff and killer tennis academy. But in terms of upkeep, the aesthetic has long fallen short of T Bar M’s illustrious status. That’s where WoodHouse and its $70 million renovation comes in.
It started when Megan Wood, Brady’s wife, returned home from playing tennis at T Bar M and recommended that her husband look after it. “After I Googled it and tried to figure out where it was, I came here and realized what a tremendous opportunity it was,” Brady told an enthusiastic audience of current club members at T Bar’s 50th anniversary celebration M on Thursday with , January 19. For those who feared WoodHouse’s presence would mean a total annihilation of the past five decades, Brady did his best to allay their fears.
“First we talked to members, professionals and focus groups. We ate dinner and drank and learned what you wanted,” Brady said. “And I have to tell you, when you acquire a business, this isn’t what usually happens. We inherited the absolute best team and culture – we don’t need to change anything. We celebrate it.”
WoodHouse is focused on “improving” the club, a mission that includes resurfacing hard courts, adding two red clay courts and throwing in a grass court “just for fun”. During Thursday’s event, Brady shared plans for all-new LED lighting, upgraded sound systems, a dedicated pro lounge and bathrooms in the tennis pavilion – this latest announcement was met with a thunderous applause from current members.
But this is a WoodHouse project after all, so the company will really make its mark on the look, feel and social component of the club. “We want this to be your second home…not just for tennis,” Brady added.
To help them pull off a thoughtful overhaul of the T Bar M, Brady and his team put together what he calls the “Trifecta of Talent.” There is an architecture firm based in Texas lake | Flacho, whose sophisticated modern designs have graced many a Rizzoli book-shaped coffee table. Dallas based hump will oversee the landscaping of T Bar M’s 13 acres (previous projects include Forty Five Ten and the Dallas Museum of Art Eagle Family Plaza). And finally based in Los Angeles commune design (the company behind Manhattan’s Goop store and several Ace hotels, including the Palm Springs swim club) will oversee the interior design of T Bar M.
In addition to the improvements, the $70 million renovation will include notable additions. A brand new 20,000 square foot clubhouse designed by Lake | Flato will include restaurants, lounges, coffee/juice bars and event spaces. An updated fitness and wellness facility will include group classes and a standalone spa for sports massages and facials. T Bar M’s current swimming pool will be replaced with a new resort-style facility, complete with a poolside margarita bar and taqueria.
Even the pro shop is being redesigned to better cater to Dallas members – a preview of the more modern, meaningful retail experiences just rolling out this month Blu Scarpaa Miami-based luxury footwear brand by matthew Chevallardwho founded Del Toro Shoes and worked with the Pharrell Williams team to help revitalize the artist’s iconic Ice Cream sneakers.
T Bar M’s refurbishment is to be phased in over the next two years while the club remains open for gaming. Of course, a $70 million renovation will result in an increase in monthly dues—various membership price levels are likely to be announced in the coming months.
But aside from poolside tacos, adult-only bar areas, and a special pickleball pavilion, the new era of T Bar M is a boon for all Texas tennis lovers. A partnership with The Dallas Openwhich hosted its inaugural event as part of the ATP Tour 250 series at SMU in early 2022, will bring some of the sport’s best players to two new stadium-style courts at the North Dallas Club.
“When I hear this story of Brady’s vision, I can’t tell you how amazing it is for tennis, not just here in Dallas, Texas, but across the country,” he said Peter Lebedevs, Tournament Director of the Dallas Open, at the end of the evening. “It sets a standard that will be the benchmark for everyone.”