In its heyday, Arabian horses, lemurs, South African penguins and flamingos roamed the 40-acre property dubbed Casa de Shenandoah. After years of legal issues, disputes and plans of turning it into a museum, Wayne Newton’s former estate is now up for sale.
Synergy Sotheby’s International Realty listed the property at 6629 S. Pecos Road for $70 million last month.
“The price is flexible, but you have to put a high number on such a historic property like this,” said listing broker Dale Thornburgh.
Thornburgh said the new owners of the property, Texas businessman Lacy Harber and his wife, Dorothy, have since invested $15 million to $20 million in improvements. The enhancements consist of new stair railings, wallpaper, flooring, bathroom, hardware and landscaping.
“The Red Room was kept to preserve its original history but has been modernized with red plaster,” Thornburgh said. “They pretty much left a lot of the historic value intact and just upgraded everything.”
In addition, Thornburgh said the Harbers have planted more trees, shrubs and acres of grass throughout the property.
Thornburgh claims that although he has not received any direct offers, there are at least six different people that “are asking a lot of good questions about the property, which show that they’re true buyers.”
According to Thornburgh, most recently a billionaire software developer based in the U.S. has shown serious interest.
“I feel fairly optimistic that we’ll get something soon. How soon? I couldn’t tell you,” Thornburgh said.
The realty company cites the property’s features as a mansion, a manor and six additional homes that have at least two bedrooms and are between 1,100 and 1,700 square feet. The property also features an array of stables, an equestrian pool, a security system, tennis courts and acres of corrals.
A Las Vegas Review-Journal story in October 2012 said CSD LLC, a development company headed by the Harbers, brought the property for $19.5 million in June 2010.
Lacy Harber is the owner of American Bank of Texas, which, according to its website, has 32 branches in 21 Texas cities and assets of $1.9 billion.
The company brought the property with the intent to turn Casa de Shenandoah into a museum known as “Graceland West,” a tourist attraction meant to honor the life and career of the 71-year-old entertainer.
Clark County approved development of the project in November 2010, and the museum was scheduled to open in February 2011, but instead the project spiraled into a web of legal disputes with claims of fraud, animal abuse and sexual harassment.
The project became bankrupt in October 2012, and the museum was never built.
The Newton family, which owned 20 percent of CSD LLC, settled a court case and sold interest, and the Harbers became the sole owners, the Review-Journal reported.
Newton’s reported new residence is approximately 2 miles from Casa de Shenandoah, where he lived with his family and plethora of exotic animals since the 1960s.
According to Kelliee Caron, curator of The Sloth Center Sanctuary & Zoological Wildlife Conservation Center, 280 of the exotic animals, which resided on the property, were either brought, donated or given back to the center.
Caron said the transaction was made between the center and CSD. The center previously loaned a few sloths and lemurs to CSD for Casa de Shenandoah.
“We were so happy to have our sloths and lemurs back,” Caron said. “And they were happy to be back home. A few of them even came back pregnant.”
The center received its lemurs and sloths back, along with 150 lovebirds, which were donated by the producers of the Animal Planet television show “Confessions: Animal Hoarding.”
Caron said the only purchase that the center made was for some of the wallabies that resided at the property.
However, not all of the animals have left. Thornburgh said there are still a lot of peacocks and a few horses left. According to Thornburgh, the animals are negotiable to any potential buyers.
Thornburgh said the property is in pristine condition and also added that there are seven two-car garages on site.
Since Newton was such an avid fan of exotic animals, the property includes fountains, ponds and large cages for birds and other animals. There is also an advanced agricultural system, with a surplus of water sources on the property.
In addition, the estate comes with a Fokker F28 private jet and terminal for entertainment purposes.
“This is one of the most famous properties in Las Vegas. Casa de Shenandoah was something that Wayne Newton put together over the years of his successful career,” Thornburgh said. “Hopefully there’s someone that appreciates this great success story.”
Contact Sunrise/Whitney View reporter Sandy Lopez at email@example.com or 702-383-4686.