Saturday, March 6, 2010
JPMorgan Chase is foreclosing on the troubled, ornate 15,000-square-foot Liberace Mansion, which was bought in 2006 for $3.7 million. The owner admitted to me for my AOLNews.Com exclusive that he hasn't paid the mortgage for more than a year, then blames Clark County for hamstringing him from conducting the banquet and wedding business that has kept the place going for a while. He's also playing an interesting anti-foreclosure stalling tactic that I'd not heard of before, suing Chase to produce his original loan note.
The house is on Shirley Street immediately south of the Thomas & Mack Center. Here are some interior images, borrowed with permission from the site of Las Vegas Villa. That's what they call the place because the Liberace Foundation won't allow them to use the late pianist's name in their title.
What was interesting to me was how little the usual suspects seem to care. The Liberace Foundation folks had absolutely no interest or use for the place and even Old Vegas groupie ringleaders shrugged. Very Vintage Vegas real estate guru Jack LeVine, for instance, said it's a shame but the house is not on the radar of the folks who aim at preserving such places as the Huntridge Theater. Liberace's place is so overbuilt, LeVine said, that nobody would use it as a single-family house -- there's a 5,000-square-foot banquet hall in the backyard -- and the neighborhood parking issues all but kill the chances to make it a thriving business for parties or tours.
Thanks to Realtor Roberta LaRocca for the big tip-off here. Her schedule didn't allow her to be interviewed for the piece, and that's too bad because she all-but-predicted precisely the scenario the home is mired in now last year in this post.
So, local TV and newspaper reporters who follow up on this, give her a call.