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5/16/2013 4:07:44 AM

Lake Las Vegas is a community with Italian, Mediterranean-inspired style.

At the southeast corner of Las Vegas, there is a community built around a man-made lake, and it is called “Lake Las Vegas”. From Highway 215 going east, connecting with Lake Mead Blvd, it takes merely less than twenty minutes and you can get to the community shown on the picture on left.

Lake Las Vegas community occupies a landmass of 3500 acres, including a man-made lake of the size of 320 acres. When it first developed, it took two 8 foot pipes to pour water in from Lake Mead, and it took one year to fill the lake.

Originally, the developer planned to plant grapes along the lake shore, with coffee shops dotted around, and small boats motoring or sailing in the lake. Golfers, when they finish their games, could sit in the coffee shops or in the boats to enjoy the sunset. There are 19 small subdivisions in the community, with some mansions and some multiple units overlooking the lake or golf course. Mediterranean styles dominate the landscape. There is also a covered bridge in the style of Florence, Italy, which belongs to a 300 room casino-hotel. In front of the hotel there are restaurants and shops, all built in the Italian motif?  There is also a boat rental place.

During 2005 and 2006, more than ten mansions were sold every month. However, after the financial storm, there were 123 out of 1,700 houses foreclosed by banks in 2008. 124 more houses were foreclosed in 2009. The price came down from $544 per sq. ft. to $106 per sq. ft. By then the developer, which owed $540 million to banks, also filed bankruptcy. The maintenance of the man-made lake costs about $200,000 per year, and rumor had it that it might be left to dry. There were three golf courses, and their greens had turned yellow due to lack of maintenance. They were also foreclosed by banks. For lack of business, the casino which owned the covered bridge also closed.

However, in July of 2011, the developer, after filing for Chapter 11, began to reorganize. After bankruptcy, it not only paid back the loans, but also had $300,000 cash in hand. It proceeded to develop new projects. One golf course had been purchased by a Hawaiian developer for $450,000, and reopened in February 2011.  The hotel which owns the covered bridge has been purchased by Dolce Hotel, a well-known hotel operator, and renamed Ravella.

There are celebrities living in Lake Las Vegas community, such as: 1. Celine Dion, a famous singer who is still performing  in Las Vegas; 2. British actor Nigel Lathgoe, who produces the TV show “So you think you can dance”; 3. American movie star Chris Tocker, who has once co-starred with Jackie Chan in the movie “Rush Hour”; 4. Natalie Gelis, a famous golf player.

Currently there are 35 properties on the market, 8 of which are selling for less than $300,000, 13 of which are selling between $300,000 and $900,000, and 14 selling for over $900,000.

The highest priced property on the market belongs to Fred Segal, a Beverly Hills high-end clothier. It is built in 2006 and it is asking $15 million. It has 3 bedrooms, six bathrooms and a four car garage. It has living space of 9,328 square feet and occupies an area of 31,100 sq. ft.

The lowest priced one is asking $220,000, and it has three bedrooms, two baths and a two car garage. The living space is 1,877 sq. ft, and the land area is 4,356 sq ft. It is brand new. It has never been lived.

Lake Las Vegas is about 40 minutes from the Strip. It has very few Chinese residents but it has potential.