Friday, Dec. 4, 2009 | 3 a.m.
With construction in Las Vegas at a near standstill, a local developer is going to Missouri to find some work.
The Molasky Group has taken over development of the $100 million National Archives and Records Administration National Personnel Records Center.
“There is no more private work that’s going to happen in Southern Nevada for three or four years,” Chairman Irwin Molasky says. “We started looking outside of the state for federal jobs.”
Molasky says one way for Las Vegas developers to survive in this recession is by focusing on government-related work.
Fifteen months ago, the U.S. General Services Administration awarded the contract for 23.5 acres for construction of the almost 500,000-square-foot center. But the project faced many obstacles, including the collapse of the financial markets and downturn in commercial lending, officials said.
Molasky said his firm bought out the project from the Barry Companies. It also includes three other government projects that the firm is eyeing as well, he said.
Molasky pulled architects and contractors together and financed the project through the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association.
The project will be paid for through a 20-year lease with the federal government, he said.
Construction is expected to start in next year, and it is scheduled for completion in May 2011. It will be the largest national archives outside of the Washington area.
Prices to remain steady
First American Core Logic estimates that Las Vegas home prices from September to September 2010 will fall 3 percent, an indication that the market is stabilizing.
Las Vegas home prices, including distressed sales, declined 27 percent in September compared with September 2008. Prices were down 25 percent in August. Excluding distressed sales, the year-over-year decline was 22 percent.
If distressed properties aren’t included, prices would remain flat over the next year, the report says.
In other news
• First American Core Logic reports that nearly 70 percent of all homes were underwater as of September. The firm that tracks mortgage data reports it changed its methodology for gathering the information. Under the old formula, Las Vegas would have had 75 percent of the homes underwater for the third quarter and 69 percent in the second quarter — essentially borrowers owe more on their mortgages than the homes are worth.
• Genworth Financial, a mortgage insurer, reports it saved $34 million in mortgages in Nevada in the 12-month period ending in September. Genworth works with its service partners to prevent mortgages from going into foreclosure.
• A survey of chief financial officers of real estate firms across the county reports that only 12 percent expect to increase hiring in the next six months and 63 percent plan to reduce bonuses. The industry is optimistic about the economy’s recovery with 64 percent saying it will improve in the near future. They are pessimistic about their own industry, however, with 24 percent saying their financial prospects will worsen. The survey shows that 42 percent are reducing health benefits and 32 percent are cutting 401(k) matches. As for salaries, 58 percent said they are reducing the size of raises. The survey was by Grant Thornton LLP.
• UNLV’s Center for Business and Economic Research will hold its semiannual economic outlook conference at 7:30 a.m. Dec. 16 at the M Resort. To register, call 895-3191.
• Gary Banner, a past president of the Commercial Alliance Las Vegas, was recently honored as the group’s member of the year for 2009. Banner works as a senior director at Commerce CRG/Cushman & Wakefield in Las Vegas, specializing in the multifamily housing market and commercial real estate investments. Alliance officials say they selected Banner for his continued support and contributions to the growth of the group, including increasing the number of commercial real estate professionals in the region.
• Colliers International represented Marcelino Duarte in the purchase of an industrial building from Fullerton Commercial Bank. The 5,568-square-foot property at 6645 W. Badura Ave. sold for $520,000.
• Reno and Las Vegas had some of the largest drops in construction jobs in the nation when comparing October 2008 and last October, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. Reno had a 32 percent decline, the biggest drop in the nation. Las Vegas lost the third-most jobs at 24,500. Phoenix lost the most jobs with 33,000.
• United Construction announced it was awarded a $3.18 million contract to design and build a new child development center at Nellis Air Force Base. The 11,200-square-foot project will expand and connect the base’s two existing child care centers. The project will start in August and be completed in January 2011.
Brian Wargo covers real estate and law for In Business Las Vegas. He can be reached at 259-4011 or at [email protected].