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Las Vegas Wins $28M in Affordable Housing Incentives; Relaxed Laws for Medical Marijuana Could Spur Space Demand

18 Jun 2014, 2:40 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

About $28 million in federal financing for affordable housing is headed to Las Vegas.  Under the New Markets Tax Credits program, investors will get incentives to invest in development targeting residents at the lower end of the income scale. According to The Las Vegas Review-Journal, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was instrumental in securing the allocation for Las Vegas.

However, some new niches of the economy appear to need no incentives from the government to spur growth. A new state law authorizing dispensaries for medical marijuana is drawing considerable interest.  According to the Bradenton Herald, Clark County had approved 18 dispensary licenses as of  June 9 from a field of 79 applicants. Before the enactment of the law last year, patients wishing to legally use medical marijuana were required to grow it themselves.

More relaxed laws related to medical marijuana could also create a new niche real estate market. Clark County has recently approved 101 applications to operate production, cultivation and laboratory facilities, according to the Review-Journal. The applications await final approval from the state.



Master-Planned Communities Line Up at the Starting Gate

11 Jun 2014, 9:40 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

As Downtown Summerlin prepares to test the market this fall, a number master-planned communities in the Las Vegas metropolitan area are moving forward after weathering hard times.

After the economic downturn put its development plans on hold,  The LandWell Co. sold a 200-acre site to Lennar Corp. and then lined up an 18-acre residential project with Woodside Homes. According to VegasINC.com, the developer now has around 255 acres of its land under development following a  series of recent deals.

The site of LandWell’s Cadence project is the 2,200-acre former industrial dump located between Boulder Highway and Lake Mead Parkway. Development plans call for 13,250 housing units, 1.1 million square feet of retail, as well as 1,500 hotel rooms. With Cadence seeing movement and grading expected to start soon, a new hub of activity may be on the horizon in Henderson.

VegasINC.com also noted that the 1,700-acre  Skye Canyon development is scheduled to break ground this month. The project calls for 9,000 new homes. In North Las Vegas, developers are eyeing a 2015 start for Park Highlands, 2,700-acre master-planned community that will ultimately encompass some 15,000 homes at the site. And in Henderson, the 7,500-home  Inspirada project is gearing up for construction.

Image courtesy of colliersparrish.com



Downtown Summerlin Nears Completion and First Test

5 Jun 2014, 1:24 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

As Summerlin’s downtown edges closer to reality, Howard Hughes Corp’s concept for a new style of large-scale development in the area is set to get its test with with homebuyers and businesses.

Already 20 years in the making, the new city on the western end of Las Vegas aims to offer a category of urban environment new to the area.

Downtown Summerlin will include 1.6 million square feet of space over 106 acres along the Clark County 215 Beltway. The project will also include more than 125 shops, a nine-story office building and a high-end apartment component.

At full buildout, the 22,500-acre Summerlin development will offer 22 public and private schools, houses of worship, nine golf courses, 150 parks, more than 150 miles of trails, as well as a  large inventory of office space, retail and medical facilities.

According to The Howard Hughes Corp., Summerlin should total around 80,000 homes and house around 200,000 residents at full buildout. The new urban center is halfway there in terms of homes and residents. Homes here range from apartments to high-end, custom-built houses. As 6,000 acres still remain unsold, some 30 years of development are still ahead.

 Image courtesy of howardhughes.com



Asurion to Open Call Center in North Las Vegas; U-Haul Opens Self-Storage Facility

28 May 2014, 5:25 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

In a significant boost for the North Las Vegas office market, Asurion L.L.C. plans to open a 90,000-square-foot call center at the Montecito Point office complex. The Nashville, Tenn.-based provider of insurance for mobile devices says that it will hire 500 people in the next year and 800 people over the next five years at the facility, which is located at 6605 Grand Montecito Parkway near U.S. Highway 95 and the Las Vegas Beltway.

According to The Las Vegas Review-Journal, the announcement comes after Asurion made a pitch for tax incentives in January to the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

In other news, the newly acquired and rebranded U-Haul Moving and Storage at 3083 W. Lake Mead Boulevard is now open. Formerly known as Pic-N-Pac Storage, the facility includes a two-story self-storage facility as well as a one-story self-storage building that also includes office space and an apartment.

Completed in 2005, the facility offers 634 indoor and drive-up units, 534 of which are air-conditioned.

According to a statement from U-Haul Co., the new facility reflects the company’s support of infill development to help communities reduce their carbon footprint. The use of existing buildings helps minimize energy and resource consumption associated with new construction.

Photo courtesy of U-Haul Co.



Blackstone Acquires The Cosmopolitan from Deutsche Bank in $1.7 Billion Deal

21 May 2014, 7:59 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

In one of the year’s largest asset sales, Deutsche Bank has agreed to sell the Cosmopolitan to Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII for $1.73 billion.

 According to Pius Srenger, head of  the bank’s non-core operations unit,  the deal is part of the company’s Strategy 2015+ which aims to reduce Deutsche’ Bank’s“non-core legacy positions in a capital efficient manner which benefits shareholders.”

For Blackstone, the Cosmopolitan marks the latest addition to a growing portfolio that also includes a stake in Caesars Entertainment, approximately 1,000 homes and the Hughes Center business park.

The Cosmopolitan is a 6.7 million-square-foot, 3000-key resort that extends across 8.7 acres. Also included is a 110,000-square-foot casino, about 300,000 square feet of retail and dining space, a 40,000-square-foot fitness center and spa, a 1,800-seat theater, as well 165,000 square feet of meeting space. The property was designed by the Friedmutter Group with help from Aquitectonica for the exterior design features, while DeSimone Consulting Engineers was responsible for engineering during the construction process.  

Image courtesy of fglv.com



MGM Resorts Unveils Plans for The Park, Promenade Linking New York-New York, Monte Carlo

14 May 2014, 9:51 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

MGM Resorts International recently unveiled plans for a  pedestrian-friendly transformation of part of the Las Vegas Strip. Dubbed the Park, the eight-acre destination will bridge the area between the New York-New York and Monte Carlo resorts, which are adding plaza-like spaces that will feature additional entertainment and dining attractions.

Envisioned as a sun-filled, resort-like promenade, the Park will provide common areas with distinctive landscaping, social spots, relaxation areas and patio-style furniture. Water features will also be part a vibrant atmosphere that will encourage street performers to entertain passers-by.

At night, the Park will turn into an urban walkway, with LED lighting fixtures taking over the landscaping. Shade structures will feature light sequences from above, while live music from the open-air venues will add to the energy. The dining venues that will draw visitors throughout the day include Shake Shack, Bruxie, Sake Rok, Beer Garden, A Robert Mondavi Jr. Wine Experience, Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row and Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar.

The Park will feature eco-friendly initiatives, in keeping with MGM Resorts’ practice of developing LEED-certified facilities. With designs provided by master-planner Cooper, Robertson & Partners, architecture and urban-design firm !melk, as well as Marnell Architecture, the Park will pursue LEED Gold certification.

Rendering courtesy of newyorknewyork.com



SolarCity Expands to Nevada, Will Serve Metro Las Vegas Starting this Fall

7 May 2014, 8:43 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

In recent years, solar power has become a viable power source for residences in sun-drenched California and Arizona. Now, Nevada is seeing serious interest from a major provider. SolarCity recently announced plans to expand its operations in the state, beginning with residences in metropolitan Las Vegas.

SolarCity will begin its homeowners’ coverage for a monthly $30 fee, a rate considerably lower than what a conventional utility would charge. The solar power provider will offer design, installation, financing, insurance, monitoring and a performance guarantee. Installations will begin in October on a first-come, first-served basis.

The company will participate in NV Energy’s SolarGenerations program, which is scheduled to begin this summer. Initially, the program will be available to NV Energy customers in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Spring Valley, Winchester, Paradise, Henderson and Boulder City.  

According to a statement, the move could also boost the market for greeh tech-related jobs. SolarCity will double its current 400-member workforce in the state, thus making Nevada the company’s largest location. The company has been dominant in the solar power-heavy markets of California and Arizona, with a current cap of nearly $4.9 billion.



MGM Resorts Plans $86M Expansion of Mandalay Bay Convention Center

1 May 2014, 12:05 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino plans an $86 million expansion of its convention center that would increase its convention space to more than 2 million square feet.

The project would expand the 1.7 million-square-foot convention center by 350,000 square feet. MGM Resorts International, Mandalay Bay’s owner, said in a statement that additional improvements are planned, including a new underground parking structure and new exhibit space.

Also in the pipeline is a 70,000-square-foot ballroom that can be divided into five sections, allowing greater flexibility and more breakout areas for corporate groups.

When complete, the additions will boost the Mandalay Bay Convention Center’s total square footage from seventh to fifth in the nation, and its expanded 1.1 million square feet of exhibit space will bump up the property from No. 11 to No. 5. Construction is scheduled to begin late this year, followed by the opening of the new exhibit space in August 2015. The rest of the new facilities will come on line in January 2016. The additions will meet LEED Gold standards.

Image courtesy of mandalaybay.com



Revived Master Plan Would Bring 15,000 New Homes to North Las Vegas

24 Apr 2014, 4:09 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

One of the largest residential projects in Nevada has found new life as developers have expressed the intention to break ground on a $3.2 billion master-planned community in North Las Vegas that could encompass up to 15,000 homes.

Originally approved in 2006, the Park Highlands project would occupy 2,600 acres. Despite the backing of the City Council, the project stalled due to a combination of financial problems and the economic downturn. A number of changes to the plan have revived the project, which would be located north of the Las Vegas Beltway near Aliante Parkway. With the final vote for a number of smaller master plans set for May, North Las Vegas could see a 10- to 15 year buildout.

Due to the project’s troubled financial history, the 2,600 acres of land are now under the ownership of eight different entities, The Las Vegas Sun reports. A representative for the owners has since revealed that the developers intend on rolling out a development process with groundbreaking aimed for  late 2014 or early 2015. The Sun also noted that the land has been split into two separate master-plans.

Utilities and storm drains are already in place on the 600-acre western site between Decatur Boulevard and Aliante Parkway, where about 4,000 homes would be built. Work is somewhat less advanced on the 2,000-acre eastern portion of Park Highlands; a pair of commercial and residential landowners hope to develop another 11,000 homes, according to The Las Vegas Review-Journal .



High-end Summerlin Office Property Hits the Market; Gladstein Group Gets Listing

17 Apr 2014, 2:57 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

 

Sam Gladstein, president of the Gladstein Group, was named the exclusive sales agent by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation for its property at 1701 Village Center Circle  in the Summerlin master-planned community. According to a statement, the asking price for the asset is around $11.5 million.

The 43,000-square-foot building is located on a 2.5-acre lot in Summerlin, and offers convenient access to McCarran International Airport, as well as to the 215 Beltway, U.S. 95 and U.S. 15.

The Reynolds Foundation’s property is a high-end office building offering a wide range of amenities that include expansive board rooms, state-of-the-art multimedia capabilities, full kitchen, fitness facilities, an executive dining room and on-site underground parking.

The building’s floor plans are potentially suitable for law, accounting and other professional services firms. The two-story 1701 Village Center Circle building includes executive wings with private offices and conference rooms, open areas designed for roomy cubicles, plus large file rooms, state-of-the-art computer server facilities and break/lunch rooms. Tech fixtures include a 60-ton cooling tower.

The building features prairie-style design, wide overhangs, garden-style landscaping, sandstone, granite, steel and glass flourishes, as well as a slate roof. Master craftsman woodwork and commissioned lighting fixtures adorn the interior.







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