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Vigorous activity helped make 2013 hot for property

It’s been a year of big real estate deals in Las Vegas, as the city’s economic recovery gained steam in 2013.

November and December have been no exception, with investors closing on a flurry of buys as 2013 drew to a close.

Colliers International brokers Joe Bonifatto and Frank Marretti announced on Dec. 13 that they helped broker the $39.8 million sale of Tropicana Centre, a 589,191-square-foot, Walmart-anchored power retail center at Tropicana Avenue and Pecos Road, to Arilex Tropicana Associates LLC of New Jersey.

That was a day after California-based KBS Strategic Opportunity REIT JV said it dropped $20 million to finish building a portfolio of 1,265 developable acres in the proposed Park Highlands master plan in North Las Vegas.

Also, Colliers brokers Robert Torres, Scott Gragson and Dan Doherty, SIOR, helped Sloan Ventures 90 LLC buy 90 vacant acres in late November at Sloan Road and Las Vegas Boulevard South for $11.75 million.

And Derek Rafie, first vice president of CB Richard Ellis’ local land team, said on Dec. 16 that he’d helped arrange the $14.8 million sale of 38 acres of NV Energy-owned land near South Buffalo Drive and the 215 Beltway to Ryland Homes for residential development.

The recent deals join an already-sizable list of big 2013 sales, including Blackstone’s $347 million buyout of the Hughes Center on Paradise Road in September, and Stoltz Real Estate Partners’ $50.5 million purchase of the 513,000-square-foot Deer Springs Town Center retail project at 7090 N. Fifth St.

Whether investors continue their local shopping spree in 2014 will depend on a few factors. A Dec. 12 report from financing, leasing and advisory firm CIT cited investor concern about five key indicators: interest rates, jobless levels, the Affordable Care Act, foreclosures and consumer confidence.

Interest rates could rise if the Federal Reserve reins in its bond purchases in coming months. Jobless rates remain above their pre-recession averages both nationally and in Nevada, which has the nation’s highest unemployment rate. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, has some important milestones ahead in 2014, as the employer-coverage mandate kicks in. And local banks continue to hold notes to thousands of area homes that are in some stage of default.

Put those factors together, and there could be some economic uncertainty in the months ahead.

■ The Nevada Association of Realtors feted its top members at a Dec. 12 awards event.

The group named long-time local agent Patty Kelley its Nevada Realtor of the Year. Kelley, the state group’s 2013 president, is also a past president of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors and has served on numerous state and local committees. She and her husband, Keith, run local real estate firm Kelley &Associates.

The state association also gave Reno agent Ken Amundson, of Exit 500 First Choice, its Nevada Distinguished Realtor Award for ongoing service to the group and the profession. Mark Ashworth of Trans-Action Realty 500 in Reno, received the Realtor Active in Politics Award for leading government-affairs initiatives that support private-property rights.

Myrna Kingham of Vegas Group Realty won the Joe Nolan Award for spirit, passion and professionalism in serving fellow Realtors. Elite Realty’s Kolleen Kelley — a local broker who’s no relation to Patty Kelley — won the Realtor Achievement Award for outstanding service to local and state associations. And Greg Martin, an agent with Coldwell Banker Algerio/Q Team Realty in Elko, won the LeadershipNVAR Outstanding Graduate Award.

■ Colliers brokers represented several investors in some recent, smaller deals.

Tom Naseef and Jeff Naseef helped George Lin/LLV Jones Desert LP buy a 78,408-square-foot retail building at 3300 S. Jones Blvd., in the Bonita Plaza. Chris Clifford and David Amezquita of Equity represented the seller, National Solutions LLC, in the $3 million deal.

Brian Riffel represented Cameron 2 LLC in its $1.47 million sale of an 18,760-square-foot industrial building at 5321 Cameron St. Derek Rose of Aston Commercial represented the buyer, Series C of Eggworks Holdings LLC.

David Grant represented landlord Aliante Marketplace LLC in its 60-month lease of 1,696 square feet at 6955 Aliante Parkway to All About Paws LLC. The transaction was valued at $125,000.

Spencer Pinter represented landlord EJM Arroyo North II Property LLC in its 37-month lease to Cenegenics Product &Lab Services LLC. The $121,243 deal is for 5,865 square feet of light distribution space at 7575 W. Sunset Road, inside the Arroyo North Business Center.

Pinter also represented EJM Arroyo South I Property LLC in a 38-month lease of 4,043 square feet of light distribution space at 7060 W. Warm Springs Road to B.D. Trautman LLC. The transaction’s value was $112,078.

Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at Follow @J_Robison1 on Twitter.