A McNeil Estates Eyesore Gets a Luxe Upgrade

Two in One

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.

The kitchen, before.

The kitchen, before.

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.

The kitchen, after.

The kitchen, after.

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

  • Heidi Swank

    I have to say that this updating of an otherwise wonderful mid-century diamond in the rough is a bit disheartening. Studies nationwide and by the National Trust for Historic Preservation demonstrate time and time again that homes that maintain their original character and architectural details are much more likely to also maintain their home values in the long run.

    We have many wonderful mid-century homes. If only people took the time to understand and restore them.

  • MCM

    I’m afraid the owners have gutted all the mid-century out of that house!
    Such a shame to see what happened to this home; I would have killed for that kitchen; the front rock wall was fantastic and those double doors were killer. Now we have yet another character-less mid century home with white trim, tacky can lights and fat white 4″ baseboards against disgusting beige walls and a golden-rock yard with little thought or design. I am so utterly disappointed with the final outcome of this.

    • John

      Paying 424K for that house is insane!! I’ll call the property brothers and buy a fixer upper next door 🙂

  • gmwdesign

    I think you both are insane. This house looks awesome. Great work to the people that took time to upgrade this house.

  • LV NATIVE

    Learn about Xeriscaping brothers. That all rock yard is for amateurs which I don’ think you are. In the summer those are going to add heat to the house. Get rid of those palm trees and look into a list of trees that won’t take as much water and flowering plants to bring out the sexiness. LVVWD is good place to start or just drive around your neighborhood and find someone who has already done it.

  • Tom Davies

    The house was a disaster before Jones and Soderstrom had the courage to buy it. It devalued the neighborhood and virtually turned people off. That pair had experience and vision. The facelift was fantastic, and it will be so in 50 more years. Can you imagine what it would look like if regular “flippers” had put a coat of paint on it? Ugh! If any of you naysayers have money and courage, buy one and try it out. Just plain sour grapes on your part.

  • Amos O’Toole

    I find the negative comments really challenging. I am in Indiana, a former Realtor a multi-property landlord and homeowner. I think the renovation that Jones & Soderstrom have done on this house is really a great thing. I feel it sets the bar for wanna-be flippers that unfortunately (because of the highly popular television shows) are flooding every market with people that think they can do better when they really have no business or skills doing so.

    I am a huge fan of mid-mod homes and a huge fan of vintage. I am also a huge fan of knowing when trash is trash and years of neglect need updated in a tasteful manner. Lucky for this house it was saved from the wrecking ball.

    The popularity of buying a house for cheap and painting it cleaning the weeds and putting in a new counter top burst with the 2007 real estate bubble. I would challenge any of the naysayers to actually produce such a product that will last another 50 years. With plumbing, electrical and structural integrity. This house is a home I will definitely be looking at when I move to Vegas this month. If it’s still available.

  • analogcyclist

    I’ve been inside this house before and after the renovation and I think it still maintains the overall spirit of the previous design. This current evolution of the house works because the house is essentially the same. Adjustments were made to the floor plan, appliances and finishes all to accommodate 21st century living.

    Is it a restoration? No, but that has never been claimed by the investors. I do agree that the landscaping could’ve been done better.

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