Las Vegas Condo Sales Still Hot

Apparently, people with money are still willing to pay to own a piece of the Strip. The Las Vegas single-family housing market is slowly picking up again as bargain hunters flock to pick up Las Vegas foreclosures and short sale properties.

Luxury Las Vegas High Rise Condos along the resort corridor, however, are actually flourishing. The first new residents are expected to take ownership of their high-rise one- and two-bedroom units inside the Trump International and Palms Place this month. The Palms Place was such a small boutique project that buyers are lining up to purchase any resales that might become available after closing. Many of these buyers had purchased in the Hard Rock Hotel project, only to be frustrated when Hard Rock owner Peter Morton sold the property to the Morgan's Hotel Group and the project was scrapped.

Luxury condominium sales along Las Vegas Boulevard are also going strong. Sales of the nearly 2,670 residential units within MGM Mirage's $8.1 billion to $8.4 billion MGM City Center development are proceeding at a steady clip.As of last month, buyers had claimed more than half of CityCenter's residential offerings, totaling more than $1.67 billion in sales. CityCenter, a 77-acre site that includes a 4,000-room hotel-casino, boutique hotels, and a massive retail, entertainment and dining pavilion as its centerpiece, doesn't open until November 2009.

"Demand for the residential offerings at CityCenter continues to exceed expectations," said Bob Hamrick, senior vice president of CityCenter Realty Corp. Several multimillion-dollar penthouses have been sold at the Harmon, one of CityCenter's four residential offerings. Residences at the Harmon, which is owned by the Light Group, are attracting a celebrity-laden list of buyers. The Harmon, a nongaming hotel, has 207 residential units, including 15 penthouses.

In addition, the $2.2 billion Encore, CityCenter, the Cosmopolitan, and the $2.9 billion Fontainebleau are all scheduled to open in 2009. These new resorts have the potential to boost Las Vegas' business prospects by quantum leaps as they add more than 120,000 new jobs to the local economy. Experts are predicting that by 2011 Las Vegas will experience another housing shortage and the Las Vegas real estate boom days will be back.

It's no wonder that the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Sands Expo Center are adding convention space. The Las Vegas Sands is planning to replace its 1.2 million square foot Sands Expo & Convention Center with a new $680-million development on an adjacent site. The site could hold 10 to 14 million square feet of development. The Las Vegas Convention Center will undergo another major renovation beginning in the middle of this year. The $890 million project—the largest investment in the center's history—will include the construction of a new grand lobby that will connect all of the center's three halls, and the development of a meeting room concourse, adjacent to the South Hall, that will provide 87,000 square feet of new meeting space, for a total of 321,000 square feet. And the new Echelon development will also add more than 750,000 square feet of total meeting and convention space.

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