Trailblazing: Sky Las Vegas
Repositioning Luxury Condominiums in Las Vegas
In the past several years, the glittering lights of Las Vegas have brightened, as a resurgence in tourism has driven strong economic recovery. In 2015, the city welcomed a record-breaking 42 million visitors, an all-time high. With job and population growth outpacing national rates and driving housing demand, Las Vegas ranked fifth in the most recent Ten-X® (formerly Auction.com) Top Single-Family Housing Markets report, which ranks the nation’s 50 largest housing markets. Of the top five markets, Las Vegas was unmatched in year-over-year home sales growth of 22.6%; its nearest competitor, Portland, saw an 11.2% increase. Home prices in Las Vegas also grew 8.3% over this same period. Pathfinder has been tracking various real estate opportunities in the city since 2009 and the recent economic improvement coupled with our discovery of Sky Condominiums created the perfect occasion to make our first investment (we have since acquired a second property in Sin City).
In September, we acquired the remaining 64 unsold condominiums within Sky Las Vegas Condominiums, a 2007-vintage, 42-story, 409-unit luxury high-rise on Las Vegas Boulevard (the “Strip”). The majority of our units are ideally located above the 20th floor including 38 premier corner units featuring large wraparound private balconies with exceptional views of the Strip and surrounding mountains. The units feature high-quality finishes including granite countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms, custom cabinetry, high-end stainless steel appliances and wood flooring. The project boasts a concierge service, valet parking, a spa and fitness facility, billiards room, dog run, putting green, theatre, business center and a pool/lounge area complete with cabanas, a hot tub and fireplace. Sky is located just south of the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and West Sahara Avenue in a section of the strip that is undergoing significant transformation. Across the street, the Las Vegas Convention Center is planning an expansion and to the south, Resorts World Las Vegas has broken ground on the city’s biggest investment in a decade, a $4 billion, 3,200-room resort development opening in 2018. Also across the street is the partially constructed Fontainebleau Hotel and Casino, which Carl Icahn acquired through bankruptcy in 2010. The project has been stalled for nearly a decade and in November, Icahn announced that he would be marketing the property for sale – a positive for the project and the neighborhood.
We plan to initially rent the condos at market rates and then implement a retail sales program following the completion of significant interior renovations – aimed at modernizing our units and differentiating them from the previously sold inventory – in the next 60 days. We have engaged local, best-in-class property management and residential brokerage teams.
Bulk condo purchases in high-rises on the Las Vegas Strip don’t come around every day, and with no new condo towers being built in the area, we believe we’ll reach new heights with our Sky investment.