Gone are the days of the McMansions. Luxury living is redesigned at MacDonald Highlands, this time with a smaller footprint.
MacDonald Highlands has long been defined by its lavish custom homes, elevated lots and sweeping views of the Las Vegas Valley. Chiseled into the Black Mountain foothills of Henderson, the exclusive guardgated enclave is now offering something new: its first townhouse development. Vu at MacDonald Highlands is currently under construction by Christopher Homes but has already welcomed its first residents.
“We’ve taken luxury features and put them in a smaller footprint,” says CEO and founder Chris Stuhmer. “I think the days of building McMansions are numbered. The luxury buyer is looking to simplify, and you can simplify when you make spaces smaller. They’re not any less luxurious, but there’s less to maintain and worry about.”
Instead of downsizing that produces limitations, the trend seeks to enhance the living experience by maximizing efficiency and usable space in ways that make sense to the homeowner. “People aren’t going to compromise when it comes to closets,” says Stuhmer, citing one example.
The name is pronounced “view”— and with good reason. The homes soak in the spectacular scenery of the Strip, Downtown, McCarran International Airport, DragonRidge Golf Course—or, in some cases, all of the above. Six floor plans are being offered, with four models currently on display. They range from a 2,841-square-foot single-story residence with two master suites to a towering 3,652-square-foot multilevel home with its own penthouse and multiple outdoor terraces. Base prices range from $735,000 to $925,000.
While the single-story homes are perfect for affluent empty nesters, the multilevel options are geared toward younger buyers who may be starting families of their own but favor unconventional layouts. “Vertical living is usually found in urban areas,” says Stuhmer. “To bring this product type into a luxury golf course community and take advantage of the view is cool, hip and fun. It just hasn’t been done before.”
Stuhmer notes that today’s home buyer is drifting away from the Spanish colonial and Mediterranean-inspired designs that have dominated the Las Vegas housing market. Vu reflects a growing appetite for modern residential architecture that’s clean and simple yet bold and striking. The floor plans forgo compartmentalized rooms in favor of living spaces that comfortably merge together. For example, it may be hard to determine where a kitchen ends and a living room begins, especially with appliances and shelving often hidden behind handle-free wood paneling. Natural light is particularly important, even in the bathrooms, while sliding doors open wide to reveal vibrant outdoor components like courtyards, balconies and patios that could include small dipping pools.
High-end finishing touches such as waterfall-edge kitchen islands, 60-inch linear fireplaces and tile flooring in all the main living areas are already incorporated into the base price. Much of the furniture featured in the models can be purchased through Restoration Hardware and coordinated through the on-site design center for added convenience. High-tech options include glass induction cooktops and Control4 automation that manages lights, locks, temperature and other features by smartphone.
When Vu is complete, Stuhmer believes that residents will appreciate not only their own home, but also its compatibility with neighboring homes, blending style and luxury into one cohesive streetscape and environment within MacDonald Highlands. “We are very concerned about designing and developing a neighborhood,” he adds. “It’s not just a home plotted a hundred different times. We’re looking at the entire experience.”