Friday, April 2, 2010 | 3 a.m.
While the recession continues in Southern Nevada and lenders are leery of loaning money for projects, news that Donald Trump has secured long-term financing for the Trump International has generated some optimism.
Trump said he has received $190 million from German-based Hypo Real Estate Holdings AG without having to put up any money himself. The money helps lower the $560 million hotel’s mortgage payments.
Trump called it a “great sign for Vegas” and hopefully a precursor of what is to come.
That is the sentiment among Las Vegas analysts.
“It sounds like (the lenders) have a positive view of the project and of Las Vegas, which is bigger news,” said John Restrepo, principal of Restrepo Consulting Group. “I am a bit surprised because the condo-hotel market is a bit tarnished right now.”
The reason it’s significant isn’t because Trump received the money, but because it is the first time in a while there has been long-term financing for any major high rise in the Las Vegas area, said Steve Bottfeld, executive vice president of Marketing Solutions, pointing out the exception has been CityCenter.
“It says a lot about the Las Vegas market that the financial industry is finally beginning to see that maybe Las Vegas, while not hitting bottom yet, is close to it. It bodes well for the future of the Las Vegas Strip,” Bottfeld said.
Through the end of February, the 1,282-unit condominium hotel had only closed on 302 units, according to research firm SalesTraq. It had sold most of the units, but has been hurt by the economy and inability of purchasers to obtain financing and close on the deal, analysts said. Buyers realize that condo-hotels can be difficult investments, he said.
“The long-term financing rescues that project from potential bankruptcy,” Bottfeld said, noting the funding will give Trump more time to sell the units.
Trump International has given indications in the past of a willingness to rent out its units as apartments, but Trump said that won’t happen.
Trump said sales have started to pick up in the past couple of months, and he is anticipating that will continue.
Bottfeld said he thinks renting out units would make the project more successful because there is a market for corporate rentals, especially with those who work at the World Market Center.
Shea Homes expands
Private builder Shea Homes announced it has an agreement to purchase the 532-lot Ardiente master-planned community in North Las Vegas. The guard-gated community will be known as Shea Homes at Ardiente.
The previous owner, Centex Homes, shut down the project in 2008.
California-based Shea is opening a temporary sales center in the community’s clubhouse and will debut three model homes midyear.
Shea said it is counting on retirees migrating from California to buy homes at Ardiente.
In other news
• Prudential Americana Group was recognized for having seven of the top 10 sales teams among Prudential Real Estate Affiliate companies in North America in 2009. Prudential Americana’s William Jorgensen was the top selling team in North America with 460 sales in 2009. The other six teams in the top 10 were the Beeten team, the McCollough group, Steve Howell team, Woolston team, Zand Group and Craig Tann group. The seven teams sold 2,624 homes in 2009.