The Las Vegas Condo Market -- The Low Down on What's Really Going Up

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Despite strong sales, several high profile Las Vegas condo projects have recently been canceled or suspended George Peter Morton’s Hard Rock Hotel and rumors are that George Clooney's Las Ramblas project may be sold. Over 1,000 bewildered but determined buyers are left up in the air about which projects to invest in next.

Las Vegas condo developers have no problem selling their projects -- building them seems to be another story. In the past few days rumors have circulated that the ambitious Las Ramblas development may be sold to the W Hotel. And a popular suburban high rise project, The Curve, has suspended sales. In these instances sales volume was not the issue -- materials and a massive local labor shortage were cited as the main reason for the cancellations.

Just weeks ago the Hard Rock Hotel announced that their Las Vegas condo hotel sales have temporarily been suspended pending the possible sale of the entire project to a new owner. Buyers were given the option of receiving refunds or staying in escrow to see if the project will be continued. Several condo buyers have been told by unidentified sources that the new project purchasers were hoping that most of the previous buyers would drop out, allowing them to continue the project and resell the units at prices up to 30% more than originally contracted for.

Prior to this several other projects that were more than 75% sold out were also cancelled including Krystal Sands, Liberty Towers, Icon and Aqua Blue. All had the same things in common – plenty of sales but rising construction costs and a severe labor shortage made building impossible.

With the uncertainty of construction, it is hard to identify which projects are "real." According to Todd Grotstein, Director of Prudential Americana’s High Rise Division, there are five vital indicators to help determine a project’s viability.

Q: Does the project have a building permit?

Q: Has the project locked in construction pricing and the construction company?

Q: Is the project paying commissions to cooperating brokers?

Q: Is site work or construction in progress?

Q: How strong is the developer's experience & reputation?

Buyers in existing developments that already meet these criteria can expect to see huge gains in the next few months as their competition dwindles away. The Tonnesen Team High Rise Division at Prudential Americana has compiled a current list of major projects that meet most of the standards above. For details and to register for these and other projects around the Las Vegas Valley contact a certified Las Vegas high rise expert at 702-985-7654 or visit http://www.GreatLasVegasCondos.com.

CONDO HOTELS

The Cosmopolitan - Cosmopolitan broke ground in August of 2005 with estimated completion early 2008. Prices range from the low $600s to $1.9 million.

Residences at MGM - the Residences are priced from $550,000 to over $2.5 million. Towers A and B are under construction and completion of Tower C is estimated for mid-2007.

Trump Towers - construction began on Trump Towers in late summer of 2005. Prices range from the low $600s to over $3 million with estimated completion in mid 2007.

Platinum – SOLD OUT - Platinum is scheduled for completion around June of 2006. There are several units available on resale priced from the $500s.

Palms Place – SOLD OUT - Palms Place is scheduled to start construction in early 2006 with estimated completion in late 2007. Prices started from the mid $500s.

RESIDENTIAL CONDOS

Streamline Towers - in the emerging downtown entertainment district, Streamline broke ground fall of 2005 with estimated completion early 2007. Prices range from the low $400s to $1.1 million.

Panorama - priced from the high $400s to over $2.5 million, Panorama already has resales in the first tower which is due to be completed early 2006.

Turnberry Towers - Turnberry has limited inventory priced from $500,000 to $1.3 million. The project broke ground in June of 2005 and is scheduled for completion in March of 2008.

Allure - on the North Strip Allure has already broken ground and is priced from the mid $400s up to $4 million

Sky Las Vegas - priced from $500,000 to more than $5 million, Sky broke ground in spring of 2005 with estimated completion in late 2006.

Boca Raton - Boca Raton broke ground in November 2004 and should reach build-out by 2009. Prices start in the low $300s.

One Queensridge Place - with 219 custom residential condos, One Queensridge Place ranges from $1.2 million to $20 million. The project broke ground in April of 2005 and phase one is scheduled for completion in late 2006.

Manhattan - already under construction, Manhattan prices start modestly in the low $300s and estimated completion is late 2006.

Loft 5 - Loft 5’s 10 acre site has been fully graded and foundations poured with estimated completion spring of 2006 and prices starting in the $300s.

Newport Lofts - in the downtown arts district, Newport Lofts has started construction with scheduled completion in late 2006. Prices range from the low $500s to $1.5 million.

C2 Lofts - Already under construction in the popular Summerlin area, C2 Lofts will feature residential lofts priced from the $600,000s to over $900,000.

Spanish View Towers - under construction in April 2005, Spanish View Towers will consist of 405 custom residential condominiums. Prices start in the $800s to over $5 million and estimated completion for the first tower is mid 2006.

Vegas Grand - Bella Venezia I and II will encompass 425 luxury residential units starting in the mid $300s. Bella Venezia I is scheduled for completion in early 2007 with Bella Venezia II following later that year.

Other upcoming projects including The W Hotel, One Las Vegas, Urban Village, MGM City Center and Juhl look likely to be completed though they have not yet started construction. According to local Las Vegas real estate expert Diann Tonnesen, "We expect to be in a huge seller's market again in a couple of years when the first wave of baby boomers truly hits retirement. They will be relocating here from California where the prices are still almost double our values, so now is the perfect time to buy property in Nevada."

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