Dec. 2--Mark Doppe is carrying the "Main Street America" theme he created with Carina Homes in Las Vegas to his new commercial development company, Rhapsody Partners.
Doppe sold Carina's home-building division and signature Lamplight housing product to Lennar Corp. this year and retained his core management to form the new company, relocating it to Kirkland, Wash.
He also carved out 11 acres of the 40-acre Village of Centennial Springs mixed-use development in northwest Las Vegas for a $42 million retail and office project.
"We have a lot of people up in that area starving for restaurants," said Rebecca Ralston, a partner with Rhapsody and former land acquisition manager for Carina. "People are just farther away and they'd like to see some neighborhood restaurants."
While Lennar has yet to start building the brownstone and urban housing originally planned for the site, Rhapsody is going forward with construction of the first office building.
Ralston said there's enough rooftops in the area to support the suburban mixed-use project that will have about 41,000 square feet of office space and 75,000 square feet of retail and commercial use, including 28,000 square feet of restaurants.
The project broke ground in May and construction of the Main Street shopping portion is scheduled to start early next year. The street leads to a central park with an outdoor amphitheater, children's play area and barbecue areas.
Rick McCarty, another partner in Rhapsody, said the company is negotiating for another parcel in the southwest Las Vegas Valley to do a similar mixed-use project.
Doppe took the company to Kirkland because of the "quality of life" found in the Seattle area, Ralston said.
"The market sector we've identified is highly educated and subscribes to this quality of life," she said. "It's about reading books and being educated, and Seattle has a high education level."
Rhapsody is also exploring other markets, such as Portland, Ore., and Gilbert, Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix that also has strong market demographics such as high income and education levels, Ralston said.
<<Las Vegas Review-Journal (KRT) -- 12/05/05>>