The top Las Vegas real estate deals of 2012
As almost anyone call tell you, Las Vegas’ real estate industry is sluggish.
Office vacancy rates are hovering near 25 percent. Shopping center landlords are offering months of free rent to lure tenants. The housing market is picking up, largely because investors are buying cheap homes in bulk to rent out.
Still, 2012 wasn’t a total wash for real estate owners, as there were several big deals involving residential complexes and commercial buildings.
Properties that traded hands this year include a portfolio of office buildings in Summerlin, Walgreens pharmacies on the Strip, and a hotel and casino at Lake Las Vegas.
Here’s a look at some of the most lucrative deals of the year:
1. Summerlin office portfolio
Price: $119.5 million
Buyer: Hines Interests (Houston) and Oaktree Capital Management (Los Angeles)
Seller: General Growth Properties (Chicago)
In September, General Growth Properties sold its local office portfolio — 32 buildings in Summerlin totaling 1.1 million square feet.
The sale boosted the valley’s commercial real estate sector, partly because it was the largest local deal in years and partly because it marked Hines’ entry into the market. The real estate giant owns high-quality commercial buildings around the world and has offices in 18 countries.
The deal also lets once-bankrupt General Growth focus more closely on its main business: shopping malls. The Chicago-based company owns or partially owns 149 regional malls, with four in the valley, including Fashion Show mall and the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian.
The buildings in Summerlin reportedly were half-vacant at the time of sale. The portfolio also included two development parcels totaling 19 acres.
2. Veer Towers
Price: $119 million
Buyer: Ladder Capital (New York)
Seller: CityCenter Residential (Las Vegas)
The bulk sale of 427 units means almost all the available inventory is now taken. The 37-story luxury high-rises on the Strip are 98 percent sold. The 11 remaining units are penthouses.
Ladder paid around $300 per square foot, but asking prices for individual buyers have started in the $500 range. About 320 of the units sold to Ladder already are being rented.
Veer Towers, which by design lean at a 5-degree angle, have 335 units each. The homes range from about 500 to 3,300 square feet. Amenities include valet parking, exercise facilities, steam rooms and saunas.
The 67-acre CityCenter complex is a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and a subsidiary of Dubai World, a Dubai-owned holding company.
3. Renaissance Villas
5419 W. Tropicana Ave., Las Vegas
Price: $74.75 million
Buyer: WTI Inc. (Cupertino, Calif.)
Seller: ConAm (San Diego)
WTI Inc. bought this 840-unit apartment complex on West Tropicana Avenue near South Decatur Boulevard in late October.
The property was built in 1989 and remodeled in 2006.
About a month after buying it, WTI spent an additional $18 million for 163 units at the 382-unit Esplanade residential complex off South Durango Drive near the 215 Beltway.
The real estate deals came after WTI’s sister company, software firm Wyse Technology of San Jose, Calif., was bought by Texas computer maker Dell.
WTI’s owners held stakes in Wyse and are using proceeds from its sale and other sources to buy real estate, a person familiar with the matter has said.
3339 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas
Price: $71 million
Buyer: BLDG Management Co. (New York)
Seller: Peterson Properties (Albuquerque, N.M.)
BLDG Management, a prominent New York City landlord, acquired at least a 70.5 percent stake in the property through the $71 million deal in early October, Clark County records show.
BLDG founder Lloyd Goldman is helping finance a planned $230 million, 625-foot waterfront Ferris wheel in the New York borough of Staten Island. He also is part of the group that’s redeveloping the World Trade Center site, the Associated Press has reported.
5. Ravella at Lake Las Vegas and Casino MonteLago
1610 Lake Las Vegas Parkway and 8 Strada Di Villaggio, Henderson
Price: $46.9 million
Buyer: Kam Sang Co. (Arcadia, Calif.)
Seller: Deutsche Bank (New York)
Kam Sang Co. bought the 13.8-acre hotel site and adjacent 1-acre casino in November.
The hotel initially was a Ritz-Carlton. Deutsche Bank foreclosed in February 2009, and the Ritz shut its doors in May 2010.
Dolce Hotels & Resorts took over the lease in January 2011 for the 349-room property and gave it the Ravella brand.
Meanwhile, Casino MonteLago closed in March 2010 because of the Ritz’s closure. The casino reopened last year after the Ravella opened.
6. Reflections at the Lakes
2601 S. Grand Canyon Drive, Las Vegas
Price: $30 million
Buyer: Fowler Property Acquisitions (Newport Beach, Calif.)
Seller: The Matteson Cos. (San Mateo, Calif.)
Fowler Property acquired the 326-unit apartment complex in August.
Founded in 1985, Fowler says it has been involved in $3.7 billion worth of transactions involving 60,000 apartment units. Its 82 portfolio properties are in Georgia, Idaho, Colorado and several other states.
The firm says it plans to acquire $900 million of assets through its current investment fund, FPA Apartment Opportunity Fund III LP.
7. Sedona at Lone Mountain
770 W. Lone Mountain Road, North Las Vegas
Price: $28 million
Buyer: Fowler Property Acquisitions (Newport Beach, Calif.)
Seller: Eagle Real Estate Group (Costa Mesa, Calif.)
Sedona, a 321-unit apartment complex, was built in 1999 and is walking distance from the new 150-acre Craig Ranch Regional Park.
Fowler acquired the property in June.
3025 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas
Price: $27.86 million
Buyer: Harbor Group International (Norfolk, Va.)
Seller: Royal Union (Las Vegas)
This Walgreens is at the northeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Convention Center Drive, across the street from the Echelon property.
The sale was recorded in May.
Harbor Group International owns more than 10.5 million square feet of commercial space and more than 24,500 apartment units. Its portfolio is valued at about $3.8 billion, the company says.
9. The Willows at Town Center
9145 Echelon Point Drive, Las Vegas
Price: $22 million
Buyer: RK Properties (Long Beach, Calif.)
Seller: Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. (Milwaukee)
The Willows at Town Center is a 188-unit apartment complex in northwest Las Vegas, near the 215 Beltway-U.S. 95 interchange.
RK Properties acquired the complex in November.
Founded in 1976, the company owns and manages apartment complexes in the western U.S. and Florida.
10. Stonegate Apartments
5075 Spyglass Hill Drive, Las Vegas
Price: $21.5 million
Buyer: Ocwen Financial Corp. (Atlanta)
Seller: Fannie Mae (Washington, D.C.)
Ocwen Financial picked up this 440-unit residential complex from government-controlled Fannie Mae, which buys mortgages and sells them to investors.
Fannie foreclosed on the property on May 23 and sold it the same day to Ocwen’s Blue Valley Apartments Inc., property records show.
Ocwen services “high-risk” mortgage loans and, as of Dec. 26, had a stock market value of $4.55 billion.
11. Monterra Apartments
5250 E. Stewart Ave., Las Vegas
Price: $21.36 million
Buyer: Professional Equity Management (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Seller: LNR Partners (Miami Beach, Fla.)
Professional Equity Management acquired this 18-acre, 344-unit complex in April.
The company, with real estate holdings in 10 states and the Canadian province of Alberta, says it has owned and managed more than $1 billion in assets since its inception roughly 20 years ago.
LNR Partners owns and manages foreclosed properties around the country. It took control of the Monterra complex in April 2011 through foreclosure.
12. Konami Gaming headquarters
585 Trade Center Drive, Las Vegas
Price: $21.06 million
Buyer: Konami Gaming (Las Vegas)
Sellers: CIP Real Estate (Irvine, Calif.) and Buchanan Street Partners (Newport Beach, Calif.)
Konami, which designs and manufactures slot machines and casino management systems, bought its 114,500-square-foot headquarters. The sale was recorded in late March.
The building is in the 420-acre Hughes Airport Center business park near McCarran International Airport.