Couple re-creates Vegas mid-century estate

Jeff Michels and Dominique Piotet don’t want to say goodbye to Las Vegas and to their home in the Las Vegas Historic District they’ve grown to love over the last five years.

But the couple’s work as digital consultants is returning them to the San Francisco Bay Area, and they’ve placed their home on the market for $1.995 million.

The home at 2315 Alta Drive near Rancho Drive was built in 1974 and measures more than 7,200 square feet with five bedrooms and 4½ baths.

It sits on a 1.25-acre lot dotted with olive trees and one-time horse barn renovated into a casita that measures more than 1,900 square feet and is used as an office loft.

The two had lived in the Bay Area and were the owners of RebellionLab, a digital strategy consulting group, when they were in the process of selling their company, adopting their infant son, Lucas, and looking for more space than their 1,600 square-foot home they renovated in North Berkeley. Las Vegas was a more affordable option, and they bought their home in March 2013 for $1 million.

“We stumbled across the home,” Michels said. “There wasn’t even an open house. We knocked on the door and saw there was a for-sale sign. We loved how super sleek it was with the floors with huge slabs of stone. We loved the proportions of each room and the super long hallway that feels like a runway. The back area has a really open great rooms, and we knew we would be doing a lot of entertaining. And, we loved that it was on a huge piece of land that made it feel like a compound.”

The home has served its purpose for entertaining.

The two have hosted galas for the Las Vegas Human Rights Campaign and have even hosted French and foreign dignitaries, including Fleur Pellerin, a venture capitalist and former French minister of culture. Piotet is a Paris native.

The home is far different than when they first saw it five year ago. It was 80 to 90 percent complete with renovations needed to fireplaces and the kitchen to accommodate the duo without changing the integrity of the midcentury design. Michels and Piotet hired Las Vegas designer Jill Alderman for an initial redesign that cost about $100,000, and they put more money into additional improvements over the years. One big change: The walls were all white with high gloss, and now they have 11 shades of gray.

“We have always been drawn to properties that are very unique,” Piotet said. “The previous home was an historic craftsman home with the original woodwork that we restored. We are just drawn to homes unique in character.”

This Las Vegas home has handcarved wood doors at the entry and people walk into a grand foyer with marble floors. There’s a step down into the formal living room with a wall of windows overlooking the grounds. It has a stacked stone accent wall with fireplace.

There’s a step up from the formal living room to enter the kitchen with a dining area and fireplace set in a curved stone wall and black granite hearth.

The kitchen has been modernized with stainless-steel appliances, side-by-side Sub-Zero full refrigerator and full freezer. There’s a built-in Espresso machine and oven with a gas range and electric cooktop. There’s custom cabinetry, granite counters with breakfast bar and cone-shaped pendant lighting. Sliding glass doors in the kitchen lead to the pool, sundeck and backyard.

Upstairs, there is a separate master bedroom with a bonus room. It has a fireplace, porcelain flooring and arched windows overlooking the front yard and trees.

The master bath, which overlooks the pool and backyard, has a jetted Jacuzzi tub, separate steam shower with bench and dual shower heads. It has a makeup table and walk-in closet.

The two-unit casita can be used for guests or even be rented out to produce income. Each unit, although in one structure, has its own bedroom, bath, kitchen and living area.

The duo currently work as executives with Fabernovel, which purchased their company. It represents luxury retail brands that include Chanel, Louis Vuitton and other large luxury conglomerates. Michels is a vice president and Piotet is CEO of U.S. operations.

The operations are based in the Bay Area and that’s one of the reasons they’re returning there. When they arrived to Southern Nevada, there was a lot of excitement in Las Vegas with the Downtown Project and tech startups that hasn’t worked out as expected, Michels said.

“We loved the privacy of living here and having more space,” Michels said. “We never thought that after that tiny little home in North Berkeley that we would be able to have a home like this. It’s a real luxury. I remember when we moved here that I was just not accustomed to living in a space this large.”

Such a home fits someone with a particular set of tastes and not someone who would buy in a master-planned community, said Realtor Avi Dan-Goor, who has the listing.

Many wouldn’t even find such a big lot on which to build in the master plans, said Dan-Goor, an agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Nevada Properties.

Michels said the buyer will be someone who’s sophisticated and wants to be close to the Strip and downtown with access to quality restaurants and high-end retailers rather than ones found in malls.

“The type of person who wants to live in a cookie-cutter home is the exact opposite of the buyer here,” Michels said. “It’s for someone with a unique personality who wants to express themselves within the openness of the space. It’s going to be someone who is well-traveled and has a strong sense of aesthetics. If you’re looking for the faux sports-bar type, it’s not that type of home. This is a supersleek, open home much more geared for European buyers. My husband is French and the previous owner was Iranian.”

Michels said when they moved into the neighborhood five years ago it was in transition, but that’s no longer the case today. Many homes on the block have been sold, gutted and renovated and that’s been a positive for the neighborhood.

The buyers are someone who could afford a condo at the Mandarin Oriental, but they would rather pay that amount for a beautiful house and still be close to the Strip, Michels said.

“I think the people who are going to be here are from Los Angeles and New York and larger cities who are used to amenities,” Michels said. “And they want the privacy and not necessarily be stuck on a condo right on the Strip.”

Dan-Goor said a price below $2 million is attractive for a huge property. It’s about finding the right buyer for it, and they’ve even listed it on 40 global websites to lure foreign buyers, he said. When people see it, they said it doesn’t feel like Las Vegas, which in this case they like.


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