The former bikini-clad Baywatch babe filed a federal lawsuit in Los Angeles claiming a former beau, real estate tycoon Laurence Hallier, owes her the cash in accordance to a 2006 agreement that said she'd promote his ritzy Las Vegas condo project in exchange for a unit in one of the Panorama Towers or $1 million if the place was not completed by a certain date, reported TMZ.
The first of what was to be four towers, which overlooks the Las Vegas Strip, exceeded $750 million in sales in 2006 and moved in its first buyers that summer, according to a February 2006 press release. The highrise broke ground in 2004. The fourth tower, where the blonde bombshell was suppose to have a home, was never built.
"Our first three towers are virtually sold out," Hallier said in the release. "Most of our buyers weren't planning to buy in Las Vegas, but were swayed by the lifestyle... A view of the Strip is like having an ocean or Central Park view."
Although the first tower sold out in six months; the second, which opened in 2007, sold out in 12 weeks; and the third tower, which neared completion in fall 2009, had sold 92 percent of its units, the recession then hit. As a result, only half the units in the third tower ended up closing. Many of the units entered foreclosure or short sale. Hallier then told ABC News it would take years to break even.
Earlier this year, in January, it was announced that the third tower, originally known as Panorama North, was renamed as The Martin, in a marketing strategy to bolster sales at the 45-story, 372-unit luxury condo development on Dean Martin Drive, off Interstate 15, reported the Las Vegas Review Journal.
Condo units at The Martin (pictured; gallery below) are priced from the $200,000s for one- and two-bedroom floor plans ranging from 1,035 square feet to 1,962 square feet. (Prices for the first two 33-story Panorama Towers' started in the low $400,000s for smaller units, which ranged in size from 978 to 1,899 square feet.)
In addition to the new name, the rebranding efforts include a new logo, revamped website, and new sales and marketing materials. According to The Martin website, each residence, which has either a deck or Juliette balcony, has "dramatic floor-to-ceiling views of the city, mountains and horizons."
The condo building also offers a resort-style pool, regulation racquetball court, fully equipped gym with yoga and Pilates area, separate his and her full-service spas, concierge services, valet service, covered parking and a large-screen theater room.
Between 2003 and 2004, Las Vegas set national records when the median home price shot up more than 52 percent in one 12-month period. By 2009 Forbes placed Sin City at the top of "America's Most Emptiest Cities" list.
Also in 2009 Hallier advertised for sale his own three-level, 7,000-square-foot "chairman's
penthouse" in the Las Vegas Review-Journal for $2.8 million. The unit, which takes up the 23rd through 25th floors, was being sold as a "gray shell," which means the interior needed finishing.
Somebody's going to "steal" this unit, spend $1 million to finish it and turn around in three or four years and sell it for $12 million, Hallier told the Las Vegas Review Journal when he put it up for sale at the low price. It had been originally listed for $11.5 million, and Hallier said he turned down a $7.5 million offer when the market was booming.
"Those types of houses or condos, whatever you call them, you cannot reproduce them. It costs $500 a [square] foot in concrete just to build this tower. In good times, you can charge whatever you want because there's no comp [comparable sale] in town."
Hallier is also chief executive of Show Media, an outdoor ad company that sells backlit ad displays on top of taxicabs in Vegas, Los Angeles and New York. The company's ads appear on 3,000 New York cabs -- 25 percent of all taxicabs on the street, reported Forbes, adding that "Hallier is known for coming up with creative ways to get his advertisers--and his company--noticed.
For example, at the groundbreaking of the original Panorama North, Hallier celebrated with a celebrity-laden, VIP only, red-carpet event. In addition to the former Playboy centerfold and cover girl, Anderson, who served as the evening's hostess, also on hand were Leonardo DiCaprio (who reportedly purchased or was given a condo), Ryan Seacrest, Mickey Rourke, Rick and Kathy Hilton, NBA stars Dikembe Mutombo and Tracy McGrady, Steve Wynn and Robin Leach, according to a press release. The event was held in Hallier's penthouse residence in Tower I.
Las Vegas-based Klai Juba Architects designed Panorama Towers, which is distinguished by the "holes" that offer a view through the first two towers. Designers Graft Labs and Munge//Leung created an urban modern style for Panorama Towers that Hallier once said is unlike any other high-rise project in Las Vegas.
"When we started developing Panorama Towers several years ago, there were really only a few high-rise projects here, and all but one of those projects were just being built," Hallier said in 2006.
Panorama Group even met with feng shui consultants while designing the Towers. "We decided that we wanted to make the building feng shui because about 20 percent of our sales are to Asian-Americans. We worked with our architect, Klai Juba, to incorporate all of our consultants' suggestions," Hallier, who was also board chairman, said.
"The consultants' suggestions for the most part were very good. It is all about how the light shines on the lobby, how the tower reflects the sun, how our roof sort of reflects the sun," Hallier said, adding that the placement of glass was well thought-out.
"An architect doesn't always think about how a sun hits a building. It has more to do with the culture of feng shui and how a building reflects the sunlight and how the light hits the common areas. ... Specifically, more glass was added to the lobby which allowed light to hit it at a certain angle," he said. "We have received great feedback from every Asian customer."
On February 3, developers Surety and Indemnity Company also sued Hallier and Panorama, according to court documents.
As for PETA advocate Anderson, who has two children, Brandon, 14, and Dylan, 13, from her marriage to rock star Tommy Lee, she has battled money problems in recent years, including owing California more than $493,000 in back taxes.
Th 43-year-old also moved into a trailer park in 2009 while her home in Malibu, Calif., was being renovated.
Don't feel too sorry for her, however, Paradise Cove Mobile Home Park is a super-exclusive community where 'trailers' go for between $325,000 and $1.2 million. She also allegedly failed to timely pay the construction workers.
"A lot of people are owed a lot of money," Jay Bruder of Bruder Construction told a reporter.
She allegedly refused to pay Bruder Construction $674,043 dollars for labor and materials and subcontractorss to remodel the main house, construct a swimming pool, and construct foundations for her guest house.
Jim Brown, the president of Mini-Haulers tells Star that his company carted construction debris away from Anderson's home and is owned $1,975 for their service. "Everyone did their job and expected to be paid, but it hasn't happened," Brown said in 2009. "I have a family, and putting a food on the table isn't easy in this economy. When someone doesn't pay their bills, it's that much harder."
Karma hurts, just like Cupid's arrow through the heart.
Sheree R. Curry, who has owned three homes, but never a condo, is a three-time award-winning journalist who has covered real estate for six years. During her 20-year career, her articles have appeared regularly in the Wall Street Journal, TV Week, and Fortune. She's been writing for AOL Real Estate since 2009 from a Minneapolis-area rental. She seeks a book publisher -- or at least a lender who'll give a reasonable mortgage rate to a self-employed mom.
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