Las Vegas homebuilder Jim Rhodes was like a dad with a newborn baby handing out cigars when he gave a tour of the Spanish Hills home he’s completing and has on the market for just shy of $30 million.
The estate at 5212 Spanish Heights Drive on an elevated lot that has 360-degree views of the Strip and Spring Mountains is Rhodes’ masterpiece — that is until he works on his next project that he’s already sketching.
“There has never been a house built like this in Vegas,” said Rhodes, founder of Harmony Homes, which developed Spanish Hills, Rhodes Ranch and other communities. “It speaks for itself. Have you ever seen anything like it? It’s like a piece of art.”
The home is more like a compound on 2 acres with the nearly 20,000-square-foot home divided in two by a courtyard. The entrance to the home sets the tone.
There’s a porte-cochere with a copper fascia on the roof that shows off the earth tone look of the home with its extensive use of copper, said Heidi Kasama, an agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Nevada Properties, who is listing the house.
“It’s so cool and private,” Kasama said of the entrance with courtyard. You can have your quiet area, and it creates a dramatic sense of entrance.”
The front part of the home with its offices and bedrooms has an opening that leads down the passage to a courtyard that has palm trees and a design that resonates not only outside the home but inside it as well.
“Jim loves yachting on the ocean, and you will see touches of the natural theme of the desert,” Kasama said. “If you look at the courtyard, it’s shaped like the bow of a boat, and you can see the half-rounded elements of the wall and how the roofline comes. There are beautiful curves.”
Curves are a dominate feature of the home that Kasama calls a “contemporary free-flowing art piece of a home.” She said vendors who’ve worked on the home and have done projects on both coasts and Europe have said “they’ve never seen a house like this,” Kasama added.
“Just look at the roofline and the cost in labor to do curves when a home is normally straight and boxy,” Kasama said.
There’s eight bedrooms, eight full baths, two half baths, media room, game room and 15-car garage. There’s a two-story pool house that can used as living space and an exercise room. It has a view of the valley and a casita with a two-car garage.
On the inside, the home resembles an art project. Barth White, whose done finishes for casinos and celebrities and the uber-wealthy around the world, is behind the finishes with mica, stone and crystal-accented walls throughout the house that give off different coloration depending on where you are standing or sitting.
The home also has cork wallpaper, copper-inspired wallpaper, mother of pearl-embedded tiles and imported Italian finishes.
“If you took away the art work and the marble, there isn’t anything about this house that isn’t a masterpiece,” White said. “There’s the views, and the windows, the way it’s open and architectural design. This is one of the most unique homes I have been in from an architectural design, from the ceiling and balconies to potato chip motion (the design of the porte-cochere) going on. And almost every room is a master bedroom.”
Rhodes said he needed a great craftsman for the detailed finishes and he hired the best architects in the world to build the home. He selected Robert Tyler and Jay Larsson with RFT Design in Irvine, California, who have dubbed the home as Skyfire.
“I don’t think many people could build this house, and it couldn’t be put together and be executed without the right architects,” said Rhodes, who added he constructed it “to show what a real nice house would look like. I built it to live in it, and that’s one of the reasons why it’s so nice. I was involved in every step of the way. It was fun working with smart and talented people.”
The house with its curves, concave and geometry is making a bold statement, Rhodes said. It’s a complex roofline with no wood trusses and structural steel.
“This is the most complex house you can build,” Rhodes said. “I like this architectural design. I wanted people to say, ‘Wow, I haven’t seen this,” as if they saw it in Architectural Digest and other professional publications Rhodes said. “That was the inspiration.”
When he was going through the design of the home, he talked about having a twist for the porte-cochere. He happened to be eating Ruffles potato chips at the time.
“I said here, make it look like this, and that’s how the design came about. It’s got that potato “chipesque” look to it.”
The great room has a 24-foot-high, redwood ceiling and is shaped like boats in building on that theme from the courtyard.
The elevated lot Rhodes said he selected is an ideal location because of its views, especially from a rooftop deck. The views from the backyard make it look like you’re close to the Strip.
The walls pulls back to open the way for a gathering between the backyard and house, which can host a large party. The views from inside the house are just as spectacular with the open floor plan and heavy use of windows.
“I’ve had people tell me there’s too many windows,” Rhodes said. “That is the ultimate compliment. You can’t have too many windows.”
Rhodes started in 1991 assembling land for Spanish Hills in the southwest valley where only custom homes are built. He said he always planned on building a home like this and combined two lots to make the project happen. Construction started in 2016 and finishes were still being wrapped up.
“This was a chance for Jim to build an incredible home,” Kasama said. “He’s had his dream house in mind for years, and that’s what he created with his vision.”