IDB gets loan extension for One Queensridge Place

IDB Development Corp. has reached an agreement with its banks to extend repayment of a loan on One Queensridge Place, a luxury condo tower at Rampart Boulevard and Alta Drive in Las Vegas, until May 2009.

The rate of interest on the loan, now amounting to $101 million of the original $380 million, will be 3.75 percent over the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, for the first six months and then rise to 4.5 percent for the remainder of the term, IDB said in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

"Where can you get that? You have to take it. It's good business," Yohan Lowie, chief executive officer of Queensridge developer Executive Home Builders, told the Review-Journal.

Executive Home Builders, backed by the $27 billion IDB company, is building the $850 million Tivoli Village at Queensridge mixed-use development across Rampart Boulevard with cash equity, Lowie said.

Construction of the 219-unit Queensridge towers began in 2006.

Median new-home prices in Las Vegas fell to $269,900 in June, down 16.7 percent from a year ago, according to Home Builders Research. There were 112 high-rise units that closed escrow during the month at an average price of $686,292.

Lowie said none of the units at Queensridge, which started at $1.2 million, have depreciated in value. Additionally, he expects to see $46 million in escrow closings in the next 90 to 120 days.

"There is a group of foreign investors coming to this city right now for serious investment in real estate," he said. "I just met with two different groups, very affluent groups, that are trying to buy real estate. It's surprising for us to see that you can buy homes today for less than the construction cost for just the structure, not including the land."

IDB said it has purchased an additional 18 percent in the Queensridge project from unidentified partners for $13.5 million. Another option to buy 25 percent more of an adjacent shopping center called Great Park Wash for $8 million was extended to the end of July 2009.

WORST TO COME: Las Vegas has roughly 5,000 homes a month headed for foreclosure and isn't even close to getting out of the forest, using California as a bellwether.

Outstanding ARMs, or adjustable rate mortgages, total about $500 billion in the United States, with about 60 percent of them in California, according to a recent report from Credit Suisse. Monthly option recasts are expected to accelerate starting in April 2009 from $5 billion to a peak of about $10 billion in January 2010.

"What's after the 5,000?" Bob Reeve of Realty One Group in Las Vegas said. "Will we be past the ARMs? I see stability once we get past the loans that are either going to reset ... owners suck up the higher payments or they walk."

Preforeclosure filings nationwide surpassed a million in the first half of the year, nearly double the number from a year ago, California-based reported. Nevada had 20.3 filings per 1,000 households, a 167 percent increase from a year ago.

CONSTRUCTION JOBS: Nevada construction employment fell to 123,100 jobs in June, down 9 percent from 134,500 in the same month a year ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in July.

Previously, BLS had reported that construction employment fell 5.9 percent nationally during that span. The largest percentage gains over those 12 months were in Wyoming (10 percent), Louisiana and Oklahoma (4 percent each).

The largest percentage decreases were in Arizona and Florida (14 percent each), South Carolina (11 percent) and California (10 percent).

Contact reporter Hubble Smith at or 702-383-0491.


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