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Homebuilders snapping up land deals in early 2014

Big homebuilders have been busy in early 2014 snapping up land.

First, there’s KB Home, which bought 40 acres at the southeast corner of West Hacienda Avenue and South Fort Apache Road for $17.5 million, or $437,500 an acre.

And DR Horton grabbed two separate parcels — a 20-acre site at the southwest corner of Durango Drive and West Patrick Lane, and a 5-acre plot at the northeast corner of Riley Street and Post Road. The builder bought the Durango lot for $7.2 million, or $360,000 an acre, and the Riley parcel for $2.1 million, or $420,000 an acre.

Brokers with Colliers International were involved in all three deals.

Dennis Smith, president and CEO of local real estate analysis firm Home Builders Research, said the purchases show stabilizing local land prices.

“Those prices have pretty much been the cost of raw land in that area for most of the last year,” Smith said. “It’s significant that prices haven’t really increased. The market has found its point. If you’re going much over $400,000, you’d better have a A-grade location, and you’d better have some density.”

Also buying big in southwest Las Vegas this month was American West Development, which scooped up 27.5 acres for $4.7 million, or $171,000 an acre, at the Jan. 16 Bureau of Land Management auction.

Smith said American West’s buy made sense.

“That’s one of those build-and-they-will-come deals. If you believe in the long-term growth of Las Vegas, it’s a magnificent deal,” he said.

Builders should be grabbing parcels when they can in 2014, although Smith said land buys have slowed from 2013’s frenzied pace. It’s harder to find parcels that make sense now, and builders who went on buying binges last year need to “take a breath and get caught up on development.”

Plus, as long as home prices stay steady, builders won’t be able to pay much more for land than they’re investing today, Smith said.

“There will be some big land deals this year, but they won’t change the way the market in general has been going for residential builders,” he said.

■ Craig Promenade has a new owner.

The 86,395-square-foot shopping center at 525-785 W. Craig Road sold for $10.1 million in a deal arranged by advisory firm Faris Lee Investments.

The company marketed the center as part of a $51 million, three-property portfolio for California-based seller TNP SRT Craig Promenade LLC. The other centers in the portfolio were in Hawaii and Colorado.

RREF II-KI Promenade LLC, a joint venture between Rialto Capital and Kismet Investments, bought Craig Promenade.

Rick Chichester, Faris Lee’s president and CEO, said his firm sold the buyer on “value-add opportunities” both at Craig Promenade and in the broader Las Vegas market.

“Over the last few quarters, the Las Vegas retail market has continued to improve, with expectations that we will continue to see positive momentum as the national and local economies gain traction,” he said. “We’re now at the front end of this recovery. This momentum bodes well for the asset due to its infill location and long-term potential for more development due to existing vacant land parcels.”

Craig Promenade came with two vacant parcels along Craig Road between Revere Street and Kings Hill Road. A long-term exit strategy for the new owner includes an option to break up the center into four parcels.

The locally based Faris Lee team that handled the deal included Rob Moore, senior managing director; Lisa Brady, managing director; and Katie Brase, director.

Moore said West Coast buyers are taking notice of the local market’s improving fundamentals.

“The Las Vegas market is experiencing some of the strongest interest from California buyers based on the area’s long-term growth potential,” he said.

■ Dan Doherty, SIOR, Jerry Doty and Chris Lane of Colliers International represented tenant Aura XM in its $955,851 lease for 53,583 square feet of industrial space at 4151 Industrial Center, inside the Las Vegas Corporate Center. Greg Tassi and Donna Alderson of CBRE represented landlord Prologis TLF LLC in the 65-month deal.

Also signing a 65-month lease was Colonial Life. The company took 4,717 square feet of space inside Tivoli Village, at 400 S. Rampart Blvd. Colliers broker Taber Thill, SIOR, represented the tenant, while Brad Peterson, SIOR, of CBRE handled the landlord side for Great Wash Park LLC. The lease is worth $720,000.

Phillip Dunning, CCIM, of Colliers International helped a medical firm sign a 60-month lease for 8,000 square feet of retail space at 31 N. Nellis Blvd., in Charleston Commons. Ellis, Bandt, Birkin, Kollins and Wong DBA Desert Radiologist signed a $709,360 agreement for the suite.

American Cargo Express inked a 36-month deal for 31,200 square feet of industrial space in the Craig Distribution Center II at 4340 Lamb Blvd. Mike De Lew, SIOR, and Greg Pancirov, SIOR, of Colliers International represented American Cargo.

Doherty, Doty and Lane represented landlord Roberts Ranch Venture LP in the $328,845 lease.

Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at Follow @J_Robison1 on Twitter.