VEGAS INC archives
A company linked to a Silicon Valley software firm has pushed into the Las Vegas real estate market, spending more than $90 million on two recent deals.
WTI Inc. acquired 163 units last month at the Esplanade residential complex off South Durango Drive near the 215 Beltway. It also snapped up the 840-unit Renaissance Villas apartment complex on West Tropicana Avenue near South Decatur Boulevard in late October. The properties are about seven miles apart.
Esplanade sold for $18 million. It has 382 total units, but 219 of them are separately owned condominiums that were not part of the WTI deal. Renaissance, built in 1989 and remodeled in 2006, was sold for almost $75 million.
The deals were WTI’s first in Las Vegas but likely not its last. Las Vegas real estate broker Patrick J. Sauter did not rule out future acquisitions for his client.
“They will get these under their belt, see how they look and then make a decision,” said Sauter, the managing partner at NAI Sauter Cos.
The purchases come on the heels of another big WTI deal. WTI's sister company, Wyse Technology of San Jose, Calif., recently was bought by Texas computer maker Dell for a hefty sum.
WTI appears to be a shell company. It has investors but no visible day-to-day operations.
Its owners held stakes in Wyse and are using proceeds from its sale and other sources to buy real estate, a person familiar with the situation said.
Dell bought Wyse this spring for an undisclosed amount. The person with knowledge of WTI, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Dell paid about $1 billion. A Dell spokesman did not return calls seeking comment.
Wyse, which had about 500 employees when it was bought, was privately held and did not disclose its ownership structure. But public records and interviews link the company to the Las Vegas real estate investors.
WTI’s active business entity filing in California lists the same San Jose address as Wyse’s headquarters. Also, Wyse made real estate deals in San Jose under the name WTI, which formerly was known as Wyse Technology Investments Inc. WTI also is led by former Wyse Chief Financial Officer Lumin Chang.
The Taiwan native reportedly joined Wyse in 1996 and left around the time of the Dell buyout. She has said one of her proudest achievements is helping transform Wyse from a “declining company” to one that’s profitable and growing.
Chang signed off on WTI’s real estate deals in Las Vegas, said Sauter, who described her as the company’s “main person.” She is listed on WTI’s California business entity filing; Nevada state records indicate she is the group’s primary contact.
Efforts to reach her for comment were unsuccessful.