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There’s a new player in the Las Vegas uber-luxury housing market

Updated March 28, 2022 - 11:48 am

The Las Vegas uber-luxury marketplace is getting a new player that’s combining a resort to host weddings and events, along with a 16-home enclave in the Red Rock National Conservation Area that will feature some of the more expensive homes in the valley in excess of $20 million.

Called The Reserve at Red Rock Canyon, the 16-lot residential enclave on more than 60 acres, 20 miles from Las Vegas, has already sold three lots — two of which are dedicated to show homes. Two lots have been acquired by the developers and 11 remain to be purchased when they’re released to the public this spring, according to Kristen Routh-Silberman, a partner with Corcoran Global Living and real estate broker for the development.

Those 11 lots range from 2 to 3 acres with prices starting at $6.6 million and increasing to $9.3 million, Routh-Silberman said.

The site is the former Bonnie Springs Ranch, an 1880s Western town replica. It’s in the middle of nearly 200,000 acres of protected land, nestled in the middle of Red Rock National Conservation. The homes will be surrounded by the Spring Mountains with wildlife such as great-horned owls, mule deer, desert bighorn sheep, coyotes and red tail hawks.

“The Reserve at Red Rock Canyon is a very special and a very different project than anything that exists on the luxury residential front in Las Vegas,” Routh-Silberman said. “It is also a totally different mindset. It’s the opportunity to have a property in a national park like Yellowstone or Yosemite. It is the ultimate Vegas trophy asset, no doubt, but more so, I think a legacy property where people keep in the family for generations to come.

Two lots have been dedicated as show homes to be built by Las Vegas-based Blue Heron, which will be introducing its Canyon Contemporary design. The other is designed by Napa, California-based Backen &Backen Architects which has created Napa wineries and estates in California.

A project of developers Joel Laub and Randall Jones, it’s more than a ultra-exclusive enclave of luxury estates. The Reserve will include a luxury resort with villas, an outdoor amphitheater, a gourmet restaurant and an event barn, all created to maximize the Red Rock Canyon views, Routh- Silberman said.

In a press release, the developers said it’s designed to be a first-of-its-kind recreational-residential enclave and called it one of the most exclusive eco-resort communities in North America.

The community will be an expression of biophilic design, where the lines are blurred between indoor and outdoor space, which research has shown enhances happiness and well-being, the developers said.

“There’s nothing even remotely like this, and there never will be again,” said Blue Heron CEO and founder Tyler Jones. “There’s some nice homes out at Calico Bay, but this is surrounded on all sides by the National Conservation Area and right up against the Red Rock (Spring) Mountains. In terms of comparison, it’s not even close because everything is protected around it. The exclusivity and low impact makes it a destination, whether it’s people building their homes out there, visiting their homes or going out there to enjoy the event space and boutique (villas).”

Jones said he got involved with the project because Randall Jones is his uncle and Laub has been a close family friend for years. The two developers are going to live on two of the 16 homesites.

“We actually looked at the project when it was for sale and potentially be the developers ourselves, but Randall and Joel ended up buying it,” Jones said. “The main reason they chose to work with Blue Heron on this show home is because they’re personally passionate about Red Rock Canyon and this property. They both grew up in Las Vegas hiking out there, like I did as a kid. They bought the property to preserve it so that nobody did something that was overly intense. This could be a casino resort for the zoning, and they wanted to make sure that didn’t happen.

They are trying to do the right thing with the property.” Jones said the developers wanted the architecture to be “very meaningful and appropriate for the canyon, and they wanted a diversity of style.” They developed design-review guidelines for the site early on, and Blue Heron was part of that conversation, he said.

“They asked us to develop an aesthetic that was unique to Red Rock Canyon and specific to the surrounding and bring it life and do something that would fit in well,” Jones said.

The show home will serve as a model where clients can walk through and visualize what can happen on the remaining lots, Jones said. The home will ultimately be sold.

The guidelines are about being respectful to the surroundings, Jones said. They didn’t want to overbuild it and be crowded and cluttered.

“There’s a rule in the guidelines that limits any one structure to 7,500 square feet,” Jones said. “You can have basements and multiple structures, but they’re forcing the designers and the clients to spread the homes out even further so you don’t end up with one massive 20,000-square-foot home you plopped up on the lot. It’s about encouraging integration into the landscape so we’re not being offensive to the natural vantage points of looking in all directions.”

Homes can have two stories, but there’s limitations on how much space can be on the second floor to respect vantage points, Jones said.

The guidelines allow a variety of home styles, including European and traditional.

Jones said his show home will have about 8,600 square feet in total and be a project “on par” to the one in MacDonald Highlands that set the record in the valley for $25 million. Construction will start in the summer.

“The home is unique,” Jones said. “Those who know Blue Heron know we’re always trying to innovate and evolve.

It’s a complete departure from what we have done in the past because of the large lot and the assignment. We’re passionate about pushing boundaries, and this is something nobody has seen before and some of our best work.”

The Blue Heron show home is divided into four separate buildings. It has a four-car garage, which is part of a multi-purpose space. Another building is an entertainment space with a bar, pool table and media space. It’s just off the pool, and there’s a gym and spa connected to that, Jones said. There’s a detached structure that serves as a guest suite with two bedrooms and their own bathrooms.

“There’s the main home with a beautiful great room and kitchen,” Jones said. “It’s about 6,000 square feet with a two-car garage. It has two bedrooms and a lot of entertainment space.”

The primary bedroom takes up a wing on the first floor with some of the best views to the west. The upstairs features a loft and bedroom.

When designing a home without knowing who the end user will be, Jones said they have to create a story line of who would live in it.

“This home is designed as a generational property,” Jones said. “It’s for a very affluent couple we envision buying this home. It’s a place meant to create an incredible sense of place that could be passed down for generations. There’s grandkids playing and families having a place to gather and enjoying incredible views in the mountains and desert. There’s lots of incredible indoor-outdoor relationships.”

Every room and window is in a place for a reason to capture different focal points of mountain views, Jones said. “The opportunities out there from a design standpoint were endless and took some time to figure out how to capture everything and miss nothing of the opportunities out there,” Jones said.

Jones said the home has a contemporary transitional feel that fits into the landscape. There’s a lot of wood and stone. It has a pitched roof, which is unusual since Blue Heron does a lot of flat roofs.

“Those low pitches on the roof are meant to blend in with the mountains behind it,” Jones said. “It’s friendly, warm, inviting, and has a contemporary feel. This is a perfect environment to explore biophilic design principles: the way we have the water situated in front of these main spaces off the primary view and the way that indoor-outdoor spaces are articulated. There’s a nice entry sequence that brings you through a corridor with some trickling water and beautiful landscaping. We are trying to interweave these natural elements with the home design. What our team came up with is really effective and great.”

In addition to designing a show home, Backen &Backen Architects are designing the commercial site as well. Firm Principal Dusan Motolik said they were contacted 1½ years ago by Laub and his group who had seen an event hall and hospitality barn in Ojai, California. The firm helped with modifications to the master plan after viewing the topography and vistas, which reduced the lots to 16.

“That left us with a piece of land that was sufficient to accommodate a small resort,” Motolik said. “We ended up settling for a master plan that includes multiple buildings that are organized in such a way they would have a predominant view of Red Rock Canyon (Spring) mountains with all of the vista points looking west.”

Motolik said it will be a pedestrian-oriented resort. The program includes an event hall about 15,000 square feet with two dedicated rooms accommodating 120 and 160 seats. They also can be combined.

“It will have a bar and outdoor terrace with a large event lawn, and the building will include a commissary kitchen support dining at the event hall,” Motolik said. “It will also include a small bridal suite for weddings.”

The event hall will have an outdoor amphitheater for 200 people and would be adjacent to the outdoor lawn and pond.

An entry hall will have a large fireplace where people have cocktails and hors d’oeuvres before the events.

There will be a two-story restaurant measuring about 15,000 square feet that includes a main dining room, private dining room and the kitchen. It will have a roof terrace with a covered outdoor bar. The restaurant will be available to Las Vegas residents who aren’t there for an event or to stay at the resort.

There’s two outbuildings for a wine cellar and a private dining room for 12 people. In addition, there’s plans for an outdoor cooking area that would have a wood-burning fireplace.

The rest of the resort includes a reception building with some additional back-of-the-house areas for operations, Motolik said.

The residential component of the resort will consist of nine hotel villas. Four would be a single-story measuring about 1,500 square feet with a living room and master suite and terraces.

Motolik said they are looking at five two-story villas of 2,200 square feet to 2,500 square feet that could have one or two suites on each level.

The resort will have a spa building with treatment room and gym, outdoor pool and other facilities for people who come to the resort and for the 16 homeowners in the enclave who are in their own secluded gated area. A man-made two-level pond separates the residential resort from the homeowners.

With the firm’s show home, Motolik said the total building area will be about 12,800 square feet and be separated into the main home, two garages and an entertainment area.

“It’s set up in a way that there would be a connection to gardens from every room and from every wing.” Motolik said.

He said the design for the event hall will start in the third quarter as part of the first phase of the commercial development. It will take six to nine months to go through the design, engineering and permitting process, and construction will take 12 to 18 months. The event hall could be completed in 2024.

“They want to do the event hall first because that’s the anchor for the commercial site,” Motolik said. “The second phase will be the restaurant and areas outside of it. Phase three will be building those nine hotel cottages and pool and spa area.”

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