Las Vegas’ Lights Aren’t Shining So Bright

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor Las Vegas is definitely one of the nation’s most troubled real estate markets these days; a recent report indicates that one-third of the home sales in the city during the first quarter of 2011 were for [...]

Las Vegas is definitely one of the nation’s most troubled real estate markets these days; a recent report indicates that one-third of the home sales in the city during the first quarter of 2011 were for less than $100,000. Adding to this troublesome statistic, a sharp decline has been recorded in new-home sales, with current predictions for the year indicating the number will barely break 3,000. In contrast, the 2005 peak in new-home sales saw 38,705 deals trade.

During such tried times, the local government has been constructing new city halls. Both Las Vegas and North Las Vegas have begun major developments on formerly distressed sites in an attempt to make a statement regarding the area’s sustainability and efficiency. The moves come at a time when public spending is intensely scrutinized, and all major moves are met with a serious degree of contention from the public.

The two new city halls will be built in compliance with the latest green technologies, making it clear that policy is shifting to a heightened level of awareness and responsibility toward the environment. Also, building green can decrease operational costs at a time in which all expenditures are at a minimum. The difficult economy Las Vegas faces is shaping the way in which building will be approached from now on, and the statements in this direction must be made from the top.

In lighter, more optimistic real estate news, the likelihood that Las Vegas will have a new multi-sport complex at the Southern end of the Strip is increasing. The proposed project will have three arenas, including a 9,500-seat baseball stadium, a 36,000-seat soccer stadium and an additional arena that will most likely serve as the new venue for the National Finals Rodeo and the Professional Bull Riders finals. Financing is currently pending, as the developer has contacted Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to serve as lenders for the operation. The investor has already held negotiations with the 12 banks that own the 63-acre site, and an offer has been made, according to a Las Vegas Business Press report.