It’s not surprising that McNeil Estates is one of the most in-demand neighborhoods in the Las Vegas Valley. It has everything going for it: a central location; scores of unique, vintage homes spanning various architectural styles; quiet, tree-lined streets; proximity to parks, schools and amenities; and yes, just plain cachet. Located just west of Rancho Drive between Charleston and Oakey boulevards, McNeil homes often hit the sweet spot between the half-million-dollar-and-up, old-school mansions of Scotch 80s to the east and the smaller bungalows and cottages of Westleigh to the west. It’s not often when these homes come up for sale, and when they do, they don’t last long on the market, despite often being priced about 125 to 150 percent above the Las Vegas per-square-foot median.
One McNeil gem that hasn’t hit the MLS yet is located at 2731 Bryant Ave. Offered for sale by its owners at the bold price of $424,000, this corner lot stands out from its neighbors, with perfectly manicured desert landscaping, a freshly painted gray exterior with white trim, and unmarred concrete steps leading to a white, tiled entryway. But just two months ago, it was an innocuous, faded blue house surrounded by tree stumps, dead grass and overgrown weeds.
That was until Nate Jones and John Soderstrom stepped in.
Jones, a designer and high-end finishes supplier, and Soderstrom, a designer and builder, aren’t your typical house-flippers. The pair worked together for years in Hawaii doing high-end custom home builds for people with way too much money, creating resort-style estates using only the finest materials. Wanting a change from constantly catering to the whims of clients, Jones and Soderstrom opted to try their hands at working on their own projects, and where better to do so than in Las Vegas?
“Flippers out here buy the cheapest of everything,” Jones said. “We want to offer something that’s a high quality product.”
And with the Bryant house, they’ve certainly accomplished that. Built in 1961, the 2,500-square-foot house features two bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms in the main house plus an attached studio with its own full bathroom and laundry hook-up. By the time Jones and Soderstrom got a look at it, the property was in sorry shape from years of neglect, but they recognized that the home had a “great floor plan,” and snatching it up at $67 per square foot (about half the McNeil average price) afforded them the freedom to spare no expense in its rehabilitation.
Most of the roof was rebuilt (leaks were found “everywhere” and part of the roof literally caved in during the first few days of construction), 40 new can lights were installed, and about 90 percent of the plumbing, 90 percent of the electrical, and 400 wall studs were replaced, according to Jones. Despite comprehensively overhauling almost everything in the house, the duo didn’t make any major structural changes, aside from removing an oddly placed built-in entertainment center obstructed the middle of the living area, and moving a few wall sections by a foot or two in order to open up rooms and maximize use of the space.
After about 10 weeks of construction, the end result is stunning enough that you almost don’t question the $165 per square foot Jones and Soderstrom are asking for it. Decked out with marble and travertine countertops, imported Spanish and Italian tile, stainless steel appliances, Ikea cabinets and landscaping that’s both low-maintenance and attractive, the attention to detail and obsession with quality that the designers brought to multimillion-dollar estates is present in this comparatively quaint, quarter-acre home.
Despite all the glimmering, new materials and finishes, however, the house retains its mid-mod flavor—and not just because of the new Sputnik chandelier in the dining room. Original exterior features such as a decorative stone wall abutting the carport and its ornate wrought-iron support posts were retained, as well as the built-in dresser in one of the bedrooms. They fit perfectly well with more modern touches such as the barn door leading to the master bathroom or the main entry door featuring frosted glass insets.
Jones said he and Soderstrom just bought another McNeil property not far from the one on Bryant, and though that two-story house calls for a more traditional style, it’s a good bet whatever the duo produces will be worth seeing.
PHOTOS BY NATE JONES