Friday, Jan. 18, 2008 | 2 a.m.
One Queensridge Place stands out.
The two 18-story residential condominiums at Rampart Boulevard and Alta Drive tower over the neighborhood.
But the real treasures are inside and on the project’s grounds. Frank Pankratz, president of Executive Home Builders, describes the project as a prefect combination of architecture and art.
“We wanted to create something very special here,” Pankratz says.
Artisans drew their inspiration from some of the great landmarks, including the Trevi Fountain in Rome, the Champs-Elysees in Paris and the Parthenon in Athens, he says.
From the first steps inside the gate, it’s clear there was a vision to make One Queensridge Place stunning to look at it. Elaborate fountains, statues and meticulous landscaping surround the buildings. Great care was taken to ensure that everything from the largest fountain to the smallest planter fit the grand scheme.
The project features mosaics throughout the buildings, in public areas and private residences. The developers employed a technique known as pietra dure, which flourished under the dukes of Tuscany, Italy, in the 16th century. The technique, which simply means hard stone, involves inlaying marble with semiprecious stones.
It’s easy to see why the technique is revered. In a project where everything from the ironwork to the stones was meticulously selected and handcrafted, the mosaics stand out. The pieces, which are liberally spread throughout the buildings and include a huge piece that jumps out at visitors as soon as they enter the buildings, give the whole project the feel of a museum.
Although price is always a consideration, Pankratz says the goal was to give the valley something it was lacking: a truly upscale, residential condominium development. With that in mind, developers were determined not to cut corners or provide a project with a slick look.
“The people who will live here are paying a premium price, and we wanted to be sure they get their money’s worth,” Pankratz says. “We didn’t just want a project that looks nice. We were determined to provide a living experience that is unique to the valley, and I think we’ve done that.”
When the developer is Executive Home Builders, a company with connections around the world and which has its own quarries, there are ways to defray some costs, but the $400 million price tag on the project suggests money was not the primary consideration.
Pankratz says developers were confident there would be demand for this type of living.
It appears they were right.
Despite a price tag of $1.8 million to $23 million for a two-story crown penthouse, both buildings are almost sold out. Units range from 2,000 to 16,000 square feet for the 219 residences in the towers, which are almost 200 feet high.
A version of this story ran in a sister publication, In Business Las Vegas.