Tuesday, July 21, 2020 / by Ken Couture
Las Vegas came under the global real estate spotlight in July with two high-profile listings of former gaming executives whose homes define class and luxury in Southern Nevada.
Former MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren and his wife, Heather, have put their architectural masterpiece called Skyspace in The Ridges in Summerlin on the market for $10.5 million.
Former casino magnate Steve Wynn has placed his home dubbed Museo, which he bought two years ago on Enclave Court (known as Billionaires Row adjacent to TPC Summerlin), on the market for $25 million.
The two homes, both on 1.5-acre lots, are vastly different styles — one known for its modern and artistic architecture and the other viewed as a priceless piece of art.
Murren’s home at 7 Painted Feather Way was created for the Murrens by world-renowned architecture firm Marmol Radziner, builder Jack Raftery and artist James Turrell. The nearly 13,000-square-foot estate built in 2009 is composed entirely of glass, steel and concrete.
“We have one home (in the Murren property) that is architecturally amazing,” he said. “What they did so well with that house is not only did they take this modern approach but they mixed it in with the desert landscaping and Zen feeling with a garden. Within the home, they also softened it with wood floors in some areas. It’s this great livable but strikingly modern home on a great acre-and-a-half natural habitat.”
Wynn’s home at 1717 Enclave Court in Country Club Hills is on the most exclusive street in Las Vegas with six other homes. It was built in 2001 and measures 13,500 square feet. It underwent a $16 million remodel by Wynn, who bought the home in 2018 for $13 million as reported by Real Estate Millions.
“Juxtaposed (to the Murren home), 1717 Enclave, here we have this stately European-Beverly Hills-style home where no expense was spared and completely redone on the inside and finely finished with attention on art preservation,” he said, who’s not allowed to disclose the owner’s name. “It’s so much so that the owner of the home (installed) a fire suppressant system that you can only find in museums.”
He said both homes have already drawn a lot of interest from potential buyers, including people who are interested in both even though they are vastly different.
“Both are stunning, but they are so different. The only similarity is that they are both best in class,” he said.
“There’s nothing that compares to either of them in their particular genre and styles. We have so many homes in this city that are beautiful, but there’s really nothing that compares to them.”
He said it’s rare but not surprising to find people who are interested in both homes. Someone on the East Coast, for example, might be attracted to the familiarity of homes that they’ve lived in but at the same time are drawn to Murren’s home that they would never find in New York or New Jersey.
“What these homes have that is similar is they both require a sophisticated buyer,” he said. “For someone where price is no object but they don’t have a sophisticated palate, they won’t appreciate these homes. They need to understand finishes, design and architecture.”
Gaming executives in Las Vegas are known for their high-quality and price detail in their homes as evidenced on the pages of Real Estate Millions over the last five years.
“I don’t know if it’s gaming executives that have unique properties as much as entrepreneurs,” Sher said. “To be successful at what you do, you have to push the boundaries a little bit and overcome to be the best. There is something about being entrepreneurial and having an appreciation of working hard and growing something — whether it’s art or a house. They have a drive and appreciation of fine things because they know what it is to work for a lofty goal. When they see fine things, create fine things and know people that have fine things, they appreciate the diligence it has taken to get there.”
Given the U.S. is still enduring a pandemic with COVID-19, Sher said he was unsure what the interest would be like, but he said he’s “excited by the interest level on both properties. There’s definitely local interest but more than anything I am seeing is out of state. That’s what we expected. There’s a lot of out-of-state buyers, especially from areas where their local government is reacting poorly to COVID and people are getting frustrated. We are getting a lot from California (because of coronavirus handling) in addition to New York, New Jersey and Chicago.
The Murrens are selling the home because their two children have grown, he said.
“They absolutely love the home and have gone back and forth for a number of years about if they wanted to sell it,” he said. “They will be staying in Las Vegas. As their family has grown, it’s time for them to get something more modest and a little smaller.”
The seller of the Enclave Court home is spending less time in Las Vegas and having such a large home doesn’t make sense, Sher said.
“Las Vegas will always be a home for them but at the same time it doesn’t need to be on that scale,” Sher said. He added that he’s already done several showings of the homes along with some where buyers’ agents Facetimed to clients, especially to older ones. While people have flown in for viewings, there’s also interest from local residents, he said.
“Vegas has an incredibly understated pool of wealthy people,” he said. “There are people in this city you would never know have money who are quietly living here. If the right opportunity presents itself, they will jump up and take it whether that be the right-priced home or right-style home. Vegas was built as a place where everyone comes together from every part of the world and America.
“There are a lot of people that have come here with lots of money that others don’t know about. I have been showing local and out-of-state people that fit that profile.”
The Murren buyer will be someone who “gets the architecture” and is familiar with the firm that designed it, Sher said. He said it’s hard to find a home in The Ridges on 1.5 acres with its own private gate and security and “dead-on Strip views,” golf, mountains and lake with new homes around it jutting out like a peninsula.
“It has the privacy, security, the views, the architecture and design and landscape. It’s an impossible find,” he said.
The buyer for the Enclave Court home may be “a family who wants the best. It’s somebody ready for the finest finishes and a phenomenal address. In my mind it will be somebody from Europe or somebody from San Francisco or New York. Twenty-five million dollars in Las Vegas is a big number, but $25 million in New York is not a big number. It’s not small. It’s a breath of fresh air for a home of that size on an acre-and-a-half. And because of what was done with the house for art to present, preserve and protect, someone would have to have a fine appreciation for art. It’s set for somebody to bring their own art and have it featured the way art should (be presented).”
There are customized light sets focused on the art that can be hung on cables, he said. The second floor has a waterproof barrier in the ceiling in case there is a water leak. With the fire suppression system, an instant gas is released that doesn’t damage the art.
“For someone who collects art, this is a must,” he said. “It’s one-of-a-kind.”
It has four bedroom suites in the main house, a detached one-bedroom guest casita, and eight baths. The home’s indoor-outdoor design incorporates the desert landscape with bamboo and pine trees integrated into the main living spaces and floor-to-ceiling glass walls in nearly every room, Sher said. They offer unobstructed panoramic views of the golf course, city lights and surrounding mountains.
The property’s James Turrell Skyspace is an art installation that plays on space and light and is one of just a few residential installations from the artist in the world, he said.
“Skyspace is an immersive art and sensory experience,” he said. “It captures the natural light of the rising and setting sun, combines that with a sophisticated pattern of lights inside the structure and creates the illusion through its lighting that you are floating through space. It’s a truly transformative experience.”
The estate includes an elevator, subterranean half basketball court, fitness room, office, in-home movie theater and wine cellar. The master suite features a centered oversized tub. The suite’s outdoor amenities include a private terrace with a Zen garden, Jacuzzi and cold plunge, he said.
The home has a Scavolini luxury Italian kitchen surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows. A detached formal dining room appears as if it is suspended over the edge of the property and features three completely glass-enclosed walls, he said.
The courtyard has a resort-style patio, outdoor kitchen, advanced surround-sound audio system and pool that overlooks the Bear’s Best golf course.
A climate-controlled garage is hidden from view, surrounded by native desert landscaping designed by Sage Design Studios and the Las Vegas Springs Preserve. Walking paths throughout property lead to the casita, dining room, art installation and gardens, he said.
The property has six bedrooms and nine baths, and as noted recently went through a $16 million renovation. Dropped ceilings are a custom paneled copper design with Altman Lighting fixtures. There are gilded doors, plush silk carpeting, and Mohair Fabric walls showcased on the first floor, Sher said. A eucalyptus wood arched hallway doubles as a closure system and the arches frame hidden doorways to storage and technology rooms, he said.
There’s an additional family room with a wine closet, high-tech media room with both 8K and 4K televisions, game room, modern kitchen, full butler’s pantry, spacious breakfast room and large caretaker’s wing complete the home’s main level, he said.
The home’s three-phase Caterpillar backup power system can instantly generate 100 percent power for 36 hours and can sustain the house independently for weeks, he said.
Infrared cameras on the exterior of the home serve as expanded security measures. Creston home automation is seen throughout the residence, and a new tankless water heater was a part of the recent upgrades, he said.
The upstairs master suite is coupled with spacious his-and-her closets and bathrooms. The suite features a custom shower, complete with exposed stainless-steel plumbing to resemble the design of a luxury yacht, new white Venetian plaster throughout the bathrooms and a number of additional balconies, he said.
The backyard offers an “extravagant” fountain, gazebo, pool and spa, Sher said. Travertine stone was added throughout, with slip-resistant grit stone installed around the pool. Tall hedges that originally sectioned off the pool and gazebo area were removed to reveal an expansive outdoor space.
“It’s almost like an English garden,” Sher said. “It’s beautiful. “There’s a large area of grassy space for families, a beautiful oversized swimming pool, fountains and hedges.”
He expects the Enclave home to set a record and surpass the Copperfield home. It could have easily been listed for $30-plus million but $25 million is a “palatable price,” he said.
Who came to Las Vegas in 2000 and partnered with the late Florence Shapiro who had strong relationships throughout the city, said he has worked with the clients of these homes in the past. Overall, he said clients value when working with them is about the relationship and their needs.
“I feel very fortunate to have the clients I have and sell these incredible homes,” he said. “There are many times I have had beautiful homes, but these are pretty exceptional. There are very few like these, even in the new construction that is coming, even homes that may be more expensive down the road. There are very few homes like these on an architectural level to a design level to the address and owners.”
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