Sales delayed for Ascaya home community

Ascaya. Where nature meets chic. Where sunsets seduce. Where life glitters.

Those are some of the slogans advertising the luxury home development carved into the McCullough mountain range in Henderson.

Ascaya, once known as Crystal Ridge, offers half-acre lots with sweeping views of the Las Vegas Valley for $1.5 million to $2 million.

The developer, W.L. Nevada, has decided to delay sales in light of the current economy and has returned the deposit for the lone buyer, spokeswoman Elizabeth Trosper said Tuesday.

Development of infrastructure, including mass grading, street construction and utility installation, is expected to be completed in the summer.

"The development team will continue to monitor national and local economic and housing trends and will decide the most appropriate time to commence custom home site sales within this premier community," the company said in a prepared statement.

Ivan Sher of Prudential Americana, who's handling sales at Ascaya, said there were no actual sales, only an "interest list" with reservations taken.

"It's one of those things where the developer has done the improvements, everything's paid for and the development is going forward," he said.

W.L. Nevada, whose principal is a Hong Kong real estate financier, bought the land in the early 1990s and spent $250 million preparing the 650-acre site, which included blasting and excavation for 317 lots. Residents of nearby communities such as MacDonald Ranch complained that the blasting was damaging their homes and destroying the mountainside.

The buyer at Ascaya, who asked that her name not be used, said she put down $25,000 in July on one of the first 50 lots and was supposed to go to escrow in September. Her agent found out the homeowners association had not yet been formed, and the developer wasn't ready to go to contract.

Steven Schultz of Windemere Realty said he attended a meeting at Ascaya and was told the project was fully financed. The smallest lot is half an acre, but lots can be bundled together for larger parcels. It's a beautiful area, he said, and homes have height limitations to preserve the views.

The city of Henderson adopted and approved a 10-page zoning ordinance for Crystal Ridge in August that said the applicant could not record any final maps, or lots, for the project until major water and sewage facilities have been designed and all bonds covering construction of those facilities were secured by the city.

The developer is testing the water system and expects to turn it over to the city of Henderson in the next several months, Trosper said.

Contact reporter Hubble Smith at or 702-383-0491.