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Las Vegas Home Prices Gain Again As Market Draws Institutional Investors

31 Oct 2013, 2:07 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Now that the final summer numbers for the nation’s housing market are in, it is clear that Las Vegas outperformed the rest of the nation once again in August. The Standard & Poor’s Case=Shiller Index shows that  home prices for the Las Vegas market grew 29.2 percent compared to August 2012.

According to the Associated Press, that is more than double the 12.8 percent increase achieved by the 20-city Index during the 12 months ending in August.  All 20 markets recorded year-over-year growth. However, the Las Vegas housing market still has a long way to go before catching up with pre-recession levels. Prices are still 47 percent lower than peak values.

In the office market, the fast pace of price growth is already starting to lessen the appetite of institutional investors. In the single-family housing market, however, the reverse is happening, as institutional players are increasing their activity. According to a RealtyTrac report cited by VegasINC magazine, institutional investors accounted for a quarter of all Nevada residential sales in September, up from 14 percent during August.

During the first half of 2013, institutional investors accounted for 15 percent of home purchases in the Las Vegas Valley. The prices still outpace last year’s figures considerably, but the market is showing signs of cooling. As VegasINC noted, September was the first month this year to record a month-over-month price decrease.



Caesars, Gansevoort Part Ways on $185M Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall Makeover

25 Oct 2013, 11:20 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor, and Paul Rosta, Senior Editor

Caesars Entertainment’s $185 million makeover of Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon is going forward without one of its original partners. In response to concerns raised by Massachusetts regulators about an investor’s alleged links to Russian crime syndicates, Gansevoort Hotel Group is stepping away from its role as developer of a 188-key boutique hotel. Statements from Caesars and Gansevoort strongly dispute the problems cited by regulators, and imply a reluctant but amicable parting.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that New York City-based Gansevoort’s departure stemmed from an unrelated billion-dollar casino venture in Boston, on which Caesars teamed with Suffolk Downs Race Track.  Massachusetts Gaming Commission officials raised a red flag because of a 2012 report in the New York Post, which suggested that an investor in Gansevoort has connections to Russian crime syndicates.

Although Gansevoort had no connection to the Boston proposal, officials nevertheless raised concerns about its partnership with Caesars on the Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall project. Massachusetts regulators prompted Suffolk Downs Race Track to drop Caesars from the Boston project. Also at issue was Caesars’ $23 billion debt load.

The action drew a sharp response from Caesars, which called Massachusetts’ standards “arbitrary, unreasonable and inconsistent with those that exist in every other gaming jurisdiction,” according to the Review-Journal. After consulting its partners, the statement added, Caesars had decided “to focus on our 54 properties around the world as well as other growth opportunities.”

Gansevoort expressed equal dismay. Michael Achenbaum, the company’s president, released a statement charging Massachusetts regulators with relying on what it called “rumor” and “innuendo.” “No new facts have arisen since we passed the internal gaming compliance process of Caesars prior to the execution of our agreements,” Achenbaum added, according to the Journal-Review.  “However, in order to minimize any controversy for Caesars, we have agreed to end our role in the Las Vegas project. Gansevoort wishes Caesars and its team continued success.”

According to statements from Caesars, Gansevoort’s departure will have no impact on the transformation of Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon, which will include a 40,000-square-foot casino. Nor will other planned attractions be affected, such as the 65,000-square-foot nightclub owned by Victor Drai, which is scheduled to open in the spring of 2014, or  celebrity chef Giada De Laurentis’ restaurant.

 

A while ago, part of a city-wide trend to improve or redevelop old gambling spots on the Strip, Caesars Entertainment announced plans to turn a local staple into a completely revamped, high-end hospitality spot. The Las Vegas giant had presented its project to put new life into the former Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon, with the aid of New York-based Gansevoort Hotel Group. The idea was to turn the aging casino property into a fresh-faced, 188-key boutique-style hotel, sporting the signature style of the iconic hospitality company. That partnership however, is now ancient history, The Las Vegas Sun reports.

While Caesars Entertainment is set to go ahead with the $185 million investment in the boutique hotel project, Gansevoort is no longer part of the scheme, marking a split between the two organizations. The breakdown will also not affect other planned attractions at the rebranded property, with the Victor Drai-owned 65,000-square-foot nightclub set to open in the spring of 2014, as well as celebrity chef Giada De Laurentis’ new Italian restaurant at the address.

According to press statements from Caesars, the split with Gansevoort will have no impact on the transformation of Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon into a new nightlife-oriented spot, with a 40,000-square-foot casino also part of the proposed package.

The backstory regarding the split with Gansevoort has received quite the amount of coverage recently. The Las Vegas Review-Journal recently reported that Caesars ended its partnership with the hospitality company for Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Casino as a result of its forced exit from a billion dollar casino venture in Boston, MS. State regulators prompted Caesars’ partner in the joint venture, Suffolk Downs Race Track to drop the Las Vegas company due to its involvement with Gansevoort in the Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall redevelopment project, and denied Caesars’ gambling license in the state of Massachusetts. The action came as a result of information regarding one of Gansevoort’s current investors having ties to Russian organized crime. Caesars and Gansevoort ended their partnership amicably, as press releases from both sides point out, mainly in order to prevent the gambling company to take any more hits from their association.



New Office Product Nears Debut as Job Picture Brightens

19 Oct 2013, 6:42 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

As office rents stabilize and surge of new office product approaches the Las Vegas market, a new study confirms that local economic fundamentals are continuing to improve.

Employment improved to the tune of a 2.3 percent increase in payroll, reflecting the creation of 19,300 jobs over the past 12 months, reports Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services Inc. Growth was consistent over a wide range of sectors; professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and government each added around 4,000 jobs. Unemployment also appears to be leveling off. Although Las Vegas’ 9.7 percent jobless rate remains well above the 7.6 percent national average, the local rate has dropped 470 basis points since the depths of the recession.

In terms of development, Marcus & Millichap’s report indicates that 109,000 square feet of new office came on line during the 12 months that ended with the third quarter. That fell far short of the 535,000 square feet of new product that debuted during the prior 12-month period. Through the third quarter, new office inventory consisted of a single 22,000-square-foot building.

Las Vegas’ office pipeline looks considerably more robust going forward; 600,000 square feet are under construction. By the end of the year, 408,000 square feet are scheduled for completion; 91 percent of it is pre-leased.

 Chart courtesy of Marcus and Millichap Real Estate Investment Services @ marcusmillichap.com



Shops at Summerlin Lands Nordstrom Rack for Fall 2014 Opening

2 Oct 2013, 10:21 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

As metropolitan Las Vegas’ office and residential sectors show signs of life, the retail sector is also continuing to attract investment from major retailers. As a recent case in point, Nordstrom has announced plans to open a Nordstrom Rack store at The Shops at Summerlin, Howard Hughes Corp.’s 1.6 million-square-foot open-air retail project.

Scheduled to open in the fall of 2014, the 36,000-square-foot Nordstrom Rack will offer leading brands at discounted prices from both Nordstrom stores and Nordstrom.com.

Located at the intersection of I-215 and Sahara Avenue, the 106-acre Shops at Summerlin will feature 125 stores. Howard Hughes Corp. envisions the property as a vibrant downtown for the 22,500 acre master-planned community.

Summerlin will also include office and entertainment components and accommodate up to 200,000 residents at full build-out.

Image courtesy of www.howardhughes.com 

 



Blackstone Buys Hughes Center in $347M Deal

25 Sep 2013, 10:30 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

In one of Las Vegas’ largest recent trades, an affiliate of the Blackstone Group has acquired the 1.5 million-square-foot Hughes Center for $347 million.

The seller, Crescent Real Estate Holdings, is a Wall Street investment firm owned by Barclay Capital and Goff Capital Partners, according to VegasINC.com.

Located on Howard Hughes Parkway between Flamingo Road and Sands Avenue, Hughes Center offers 1.4 million square feet of office space. Equity Office, a Blackstone company, will oversee management and leasing for the property. Colliers International will stay on as leasing agent.

Hughes Center’s tenant roster features Gordon Silver, Ameristar, Wells Fargo Bank, Venetian, Boyd Gaming, Snell & Wilmer, and Lewis and Roca L.L.P. Restaurants include restaurants Del Frisco’s, Lawry’s Prime Rib, Fogo de Chao, Bahama Breeze, Gordon Biersch Brewery and McCormick & Schmick. A new Starbucks is under construction.

The hospitality facility at the office park is the Residence Inn Las Vegas Hughes Center (pictured), a Marriott-operated extended stay hotel offering 256 suites and 1,500 square feet of meeting space. The office component has an occupancy rate of around 78 percent, but the property is still recovering from the recession. As VegasINC reported, vacancy was 2.3 percent when Crescent acquired the property a decade ago.

HFF, led by the team of Executive Managing Director Mark Gibson, Executive Managing Director Scott Galloway and Senior Managing Director Dan Cashdan, represented the seller. Blackstone was self-represented.

Image courtesy of marriott.com



The Residences at Mandarin Oriental Reach Sales Milestone

19 Sep 2013, 5:13 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor


One of the city’s highest-profile luxury residential properties, The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, has achieved strong sales figures for its first six months.

Located on the upper floors of the Mandarin Oriental hotel in MGM Resorts International’s CityCenter, the 74 residences sold to date have generated $76 million, according to a statement from MGM Resorts.
Averaging 10 sales per month, the Residences features high-end one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging in size between 1,110 and 4,000 square feet.

Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, the 47-story tower’s Residences component features 225 luxury units, with prices starting at $680,000 for a one-bedroom apartment.

As part of CityCenter, the Mandarin is near ARIA Resort & Casino and The Shops at Crystals.

 



Miracle Mile Refinancing Yields $580M for Tristar Capital, RFR

12 Sep 2013, 3:55 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

One of Las Vegas’ signature retail properties, the Miracle Mile Shops, is the subject of a $580 million refinancing announced on Sept. 9. HFF arranged the deal on behalf of the owner, a joint venture of Tristar Capital and RFR Holding LLC. Robert K. Futterman & Associates acted as the owners’ marketing and leasing adviser.

The refinancing consists of a 10-year, fixed-rate CMBS loan led by Cantor Commercial Real Estate with the participation of JP Morgan and Citigroup. Tristar Capital and RFR will use the proceeds to refinance current loans, and fund upgrades, such as the area adjacent to PH Live Theatre, site of a forthcoming show starring Britney Spears.

In refinancing Miracle Mile, Tristar Capital and RFR benefited from its track record. Tristar Capital president David Edelstein characterized it in a statement as “one of the top five malls in the country, with tenant sales at double the national average and over 26 million shoppers per year.” Miracle Mile is currently 95 percent occupied and has about 180 tenants. Many stores generate sales of more than $1,000 per square foot.

Tristar Capital and RFR have invested about $130 million in renovating the property since acquiring it in 2004. Its current tenant roster includes retailers such as H&M, GUESS, Gap, Cabo Wabo, Tommy Bahama, Quiksilver and Urban Outfitters. Also part of the property are Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino and Elara, a Hilton Grand Vacations Hotel, plus five theatres and a 4,903-space parking garage.

Photo: miraclemileshopslv.com



Rising Las Vegas Home Prices Lead U.S.: S&P/Case-Shiller Index

5 Sep 2013, 5:56 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Las Vegas housing prices continue to rise and are driving a positive year nationwide. From June 2012 to June 2013, local home prices increased 24.9 percent, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index.

That performance again far outpaced the 12.1 percent national average over the same period. Other markets that have firmed up considerably are San Francisco, where prices increased 24.5 percent, and Los Angeles and Phoenix, which each posted gains around 20 percent.

“National home prices rose more than 10% annually in each of the last two quarters,” noted David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a statement. “However, the monthly city-by-city data show the pace of price increases is moderating.  The Southwest and California have consistently led the recovery with Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Francisco posting at least 15 months of gains.”

Las Vegas housing prices look better still considering that growth rates slowed from May to June in 14 of 20 cities surveyed. According to The Las Vegas Review-Journal, the cities that have seen the largest increases are those that have experienced the worst downturns a few years ago. Prices increased only modestly between June 2012 and June 2013 in New York City (3.3 percent) and Cleveland (3.5 percent). That said, prices in New York City rose 2.1 percent in June, the best month-over-month gain since 2002.

Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index covers around half of the housing stock in the United States. The buying trend in residential real estate is believed to stem from a slight uptick in employment during the past year, and the strengthening of tech markets across the country.



Third Tower at Marriott’s Grand Chateau Tops Out; Court Approves Harmon Tower Demolition

28 Aug 2013, 9:39 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Thirteen months after breaking ground, Tutor Perini Building Corp. has topped out the 37-story third tower of Marriott’s Grand Chateau project.

According to Marriott Vacation Club, the property will begin to accommodate owners next summer. Comprising 223 one-, two- and three-bedroom units, the third tower will offer such amenities as a lobby-level lounge, a billiards area with electronic game tables, whirlpool spas, and a three-level parking deck. Upon completion, the third tower will bring the total number of units at Grand Chateau to more than 600.

Grand Chateau will feature contemporary-style villas with sizes ranging between 810 and 2,070 square feet. In-unit features will include granite countertops, fully equipped kitchens, stainless steel appliances, custom cabinets, generous living space, multiple flat-panel LED TVs with Blu-Ray capabilities and WiFi access throughout. Grand Chateau’s three-bedroom villas can accommodate up to 10 guests.

Tutor-Saliba also figures prominently in the latest twist to another high-profile Las Vegas project. Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez ruled that MGM Grand will be permitted to tear down Harmon Tower, which Tutor-Saliba built as part of CityCenter, the Las Vegas Sun reported. Gonzalez’s decision follows a fourth series of tests on the troubled project. Demolition could start in 2014.

Image courtesy of marriott.com



Inspirada Wins Approval for Project Changes, Unveils Park Plans

21 Aug 2013, 10:23 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

The Henderson City Council has approved major changes intended to boost Inspirada Builders L.L.C.’s struggling 1,600-acre residential development. On Aug. 6, the council signed off on Inspirada’s request to modify its development agreement with the city, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Three years after receiving city approval in 2005, the development hit a snag during the recession, and it is now in the process of emerging from bankruptcy protection.

The modifications approved by the council would give Inspirada flexibility in its home designs and would reduce the amount of park space. Completed portions, as well as Inspirada Town Center—the project’s 350-acre mixed-use centerpiece—would be unaffected by the modifications. The number of units would remain capped at 8,500. Participating builders include KB Homes, which is building 72 percent of the units, as well as Pardee Homes, Toll Brothers and Beazer Homes.

On Aug. 8, Inspirada detailed plans to build 30 acres of parks at a cost of about $20 million and donate them to the city, the Review-Journal reported. Inspirada will build two community parks and a neighborhood park. A fall groundbreaking is scheduled for the first community park, which will include lighted multi-use fields, a dog park, basketball courts, tennis courts, a splash pad and play areas. The second community park is scheduled to break ground next year; completion is scheduled for 2014.

Image courtesy of kbhome.com



Ad Agency Holds Whimsical Contest for $1-Per-Month Sublease Space

16 Aug 2013, 10:09 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor, and Paul Rosta, Senior Editor

Las Vegas’ recovering housing market has received extensive coverage, and efforts to revitalize downtown have earned plenty of attention. Now, a local advertising agency is taking unconventional steps to draw attention to the downtown office market, reward local entrepreneurship and backfill some of its own space, all at the same time.

This month, The Glenn Group L.L.C. is holding a contest to find a company to sublet 1,000 square feet of space for a year at Holsum Lofts, the converted former bakery at 231 and 241 West Charleston Blvd., where it occupies 12,890 square feet.  The unusual price: $1 per month.

Even more unorthodox is how the Glenn Group will find its new neighbor. Interested parties have until the end of August to submit 15-second Instagram videos making the case for their selection. Entries will be judged by a panel representing downtown technology companies and other local stakeholders.

“Instead of using the extra office space we have for a one-legged hopscotch-basketball court, or renting it out for big dollars, we decided to do what we can to help downtown Las Vegas, and the Nevada tech industry, grow some big ideas,” said B.C. LeDoux, the agency’s president and executive creative director, said in a statement. “We feel that it’s our duty as a Nevada business that’s dedicated to the growth of enterprise and imagination throughout our state.”

The Glenn Group already shares the space with Abe Froman Productions and Greg Anderson Photography.  The firm launched the contest to coincide with Las Vegas Startup Weekend, as well as the inaugural year of SXSW V2V. An open house was scheduled for Friday afternoon.

 



Diamond Resorts Closes IPO; Condo Resale Sets Record at Cosmopolitan

7 Aug 2013, 9:15 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

A significant Las Vegas player has opened a new chapter. Diamond Resorts International Inc. is now the most recent hospitality and gaming company to complete an initial public offering.

Diamond Resorts, whose local assets include Cancun Resort, Desert Resort and Polo Towers Suites, closed its IPO of 17.8 million shares of common stock at an initial offering price of $14 per share. According to company data, Diamond Resorts’ proceeds totaled $210,185,500 before deducting offering expenses.

In all, Diamond Resorts owns a network of 296 vacation destinations in 32 countries, including properties in Las Vegas, Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa.

In other news, a local multi-family record fell in early July when a 599-square-foot condominium on an upper floor of the Cosmopolitan fetched a fee of $675,000, VegasINC magazine reported. That translates to $1,127 per square foot, a new mark for a Las Vegas condominium resale, according to Luxury Real Estate Management.

At a time when median prices for previously owned residential properties sit around $96 per square foot, the price for the Cosmopolitan condo is enough to raise eyebrows. The unit’s owners reaped a $25,000 profit on the deal, the publication said.

 



MIG Buys $13 Million Asset as Office Investment Shows a Pulse

24 Jul 2013, 11:42 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

The residential sector and Downtown Project may have grabbed headlines in Las Vegas’ real estate market of late, but the area’s office sector is also showing signs of life.

A recent case in point is MIG Real Estate’s $13 million acquisition of Colonial Plaza, a 110,738-square-foot asset located at 4670 and 4730 South Fort Apache Road.

In a statement, Greg Merage, CEO of Newport Beach, Calif.-based MIG, cited “the property’s desirable location, high-quality construction and leasing flexibility, enhanced by a variety of suite sizes.”

The location offers ready access to McCarran International Airport and the residential communities of Summerlin. Colonial Plaza marks MIG’s sixth acquisition in the Las Vegas area.

The seller, whose identity was not immediately available, was represented in the transaction by Rockwood Real Estate Advisors. Rockwood notes that fundamentals in the local submarket have surged recently. Average asking rents and net absorption ranked first in metropolitan Las Vegas during the fourth quarter of last year; the submarket’s vacancy rate ranked second.

Photo courtesy of loopnet.com



Pinnacle Founder Chases Elusive Finish Line for Henderson Condos

18 Jul 2013, 9:27 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

The Vantage Lofts development in Henderson has encountered a rocky road since the $160 million condominium project stalled six years ago. After several developers have come up short in their efforts to finish the architecturally distinctive but financially troubled project, the Seattle-based developer and investor John Goodman is betting on a reversal of fortune.

Goodman, founder and chairman of the Pinnacle Family of Cos., bought the property from Rothwell Gornt Cos. in a $10 million deal, VegasINC reported. Rothwell, a venture capital fund, had acquired the property in February 2012, nearly four years after construction stopped on the project’s 110-unit first phase. Vantage Lofts’ original sponsor, Slade Development, had originally envisioned a $160 million, 300-unit condominium complex.

By last August, Rothwell was submitting permit applications and expected to complete work in six to nine months at a cost of about $15 million, as City Pages noted at the time. Rothwell received city permission in January 2013 to turn the condos into rental units but later decided to put the property on the market. Completion costs are estimated at upward of $13 million.

Rendering courtesy of lasvegascondoloft.com



Luxury Homes Regain Their Shine as Newton Expands New Estate

11 Jul 2013, 2:09 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

As housing sales volume and prices rebound in Las Vegas, a once-lagging
category—the luxury residential market—is beginning to catch up.

According to real estate researcher Redfin, 85 homes changed hands for $1 million or more, VegasINC reports. That is more than double the 39 high-end homes sold during the same period last year.

At this pace, 2013 is well on the way to exceeding last year’s numbers, when a relatively modest 194 sales of million-dollar homes were recorded.

A recent example of a big-ticket residential property acquisition is Wayne Newton’s $5 million purchase of a two-story, 5,446-square-foot house on a 10.3-acre site. The parcel is adjacent to the entertainer’s new home at East Orquendo Rd. and South Gateway Rd.

Newton moved there earlier this year from Casa de Shenandoah, a home he had owned for some 50 years. He is in the process of expanding his new property by buying adjacent parcels.

 

Image courtesy of drhorton.com



Las Vegas Valley Land Values On the Rise; Still Short of Pre-Downturn Peak

8 Jul 2013, 2:14 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

It has taken a long time for growth to be mentioned in discussions about metropolitan Las Vegas’ real estate sector, but even lagging markets now ppear to be stabilizing or improving. The latest category to show positive movement: land.

Research from Applied Analysis cited by The Las Vegas Review-Journal indicates that the Las Vegas Valley’s land market is on the rise. According to the data aggregator, the volume of land transactions has increased dramatically in the past year. During the first quarter, 809 transactions were completed, up from 159 purchases recorded in the first quarter of 2012.

Average land prices hit $183,813 per acre during the first quarter, a considerable increase since the same time last year. However, values still have a long climb ahead before approaching the pre-recession peak of about $940,000 per acre recorded in 2007 the Review-Journal reported.

Though the Applied Analysis report signals generally good news for land values, at least one prominent seller is heading back to the drawing board. According to the Las Vegas Sun, Clark County commissioners are looking for alternative plans for 9,000 acres  in Laughlin. A planned sale of the parcel for a solar plant to Chinese investor ENN Mojave Energy LLC fell through. Local officials will divide the land in hopes that smaller parcels will attract investors.

 



Eurasia Resorts Seeks Return to Super-Sized Development

13 Jun 2013, 11:59 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

In recent years, the tendency to turn away  from the mega-resorts of the Las Vegas Strip toward projects of more modest proportions has seemed to mark a new direction. Yet the interest in developing projects on a monumental scale has hardly vanished. Case in point: the recent announcement by Eurasia Resorts International Ltd. for what it touts as a world-class entertainment initiative.

The company’s proposal would provide at least one element that Las Vegas has been seeking for some time, namely an international sports facility. Also part of Eurasia Resorts’ plan is a 15-million square-foot mall that would become the world’s largest retail center. \

Six hotels, 39 casinos and an additional six million convention center would rise, as well. Adding to the city’s inventory of exhibition and meeting space has come onto the radar this year with the announcement of plans for a makeover and expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Eurasia Resorts International and its partner, Global Financial Trust Ltd., say they will unveil details of their massive proposal during the first quarter of 2014.



Surge in Las Vegas’ Home Prices Outpaces Nation’s

5 Jun 2013, 10:23 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

In the latest sign of the Las Vegas housing market’s recovery, home prices appear to be rebounding. According to data cited by the Las Vegas Sun, the average home price in the Las Vegas area could hit $250,000 by the end of the year. That projection is based on a median sale price of $239,000 for the month of April.

The local rise is part of a nationwide surge that culminated in a 12.1 percent increase from April 2012 to April 2013, the strongest year-over-year performance for any month since April 2006, according to The Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Moreover, Las Vegas is outpacing most of the nation; home prices in the area rose 20.9 percent in March, behind only Phoenix (22.5 percent) and San Francisco (22.2 percent).

Nevada, as a whole, recorded a 24.6 percent increase in home prices, the highest year-over-year jump in the nation, CoreLogic reported. Rounding out the top five states were California (19.4 percent), Arizona (17.3 percent) Hawaii (17 percent) and Oregon (15.5 percent).

The accelerated growth rate for prices could encourage prospective buyers in the Las Vegas market to seek out homes before prices are out of reach. Developers are likely to step up their efforts in order to meet the demand.

Image courtesy of drhorton.com 



Wolff Co. Buys 3,098-Unit M-F Portfolio

1 Jun 2013, 7:43 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

As new mega-resort projects return to the Las Vegas Strip and the Downtown Project revitalizes the city’s core, investors and developers are leaving years of uncertainty behind and showing increased interest in the city. The latest sign of that renewed confidence: The Wolff Co.’s acquisition of 3,098 apartment units from Sierra Nevada Multifamily Investments L.L.C.

Collectively dubbed the Oasis Portfolio, Wolff’s acquisition consists of 14 apartment communities located around Las Vegas. The seller was a joint venture created by DRA Advisors on behalf of an institutional investor and an affiliate of Camden Property Trust. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“The portfolio represents an excellent mix of assets with strong in-place operations and a potential value-add opportunity as the market continues its recovery,” commented Fritz Wolff, CEO of the Wolff Co., in a statement.

He added that the company, a real-estate private equity firm specializing in multi-family acquisition and development, is seeking similar investment opportunities.

For an analysis of the current multifamily trends in the U.S. market, courtesy of Reis Reports  click here.

 



TIAA-CREF Takes 50% Stake in Grand Canal Shoppes; GGP Reaps $410M

24 May 2013, 5:18 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

A recent recapitalization underscores the appeal of trophy Las Vegas retail properties to institutional investors. TIAA-CREF has acquired a 50 percent stake in the Grand Canal Shoppes, including the Shoppes at Palazzo, from General Growth Properties Inc. The transaction generated approximately $410 million in net proceeds, according to a joint statement issued May 16 by GGP and TIAA-CREF.

Part of the Venetian and Palazzo complex, The Grand Canal Shoppes offers 774,000 square feet of gross leasable area that generates more than $1,000 per square foot. TIAA-CREF’s newly acquired stake involves only the retail component of the complex.

Besides retaining 50 percent ownership, General Growth will continue to serve as the property’s manager and primary leasing agent. Grand Canal Shoppes had a 99 percent occupancy rate at the time the deal closed.

TIAA-CREF’s retail growth strategy focuses primarily on regional properties offering strong revenue streams. Its portfolio, which includes office, retail, industrial and multifamily properties on both sides of the Atlantic, is currently valued at $33 million.

Image courtesy of thegrandcanalshoppes.com







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