Investment bank hired to sell Vantage Lofts

A California investment banking firm has been retained to sell the $37.5 million first mortgage on Vantage Lofts, a luxury condominium development in Henderson that stopped construction and filed for bankruptcy last year.

The note is already in advanced stages of default, and foreclosure on the 20-acre property may be completed in a short time at the discretion of the first mortgage holder, said David Rifkind, principal and managing director of George Smith Partners.

R.E. Loans, a Lafayette, Calif.-based private mortgage fund, is considering selling the note at a discounted rate, rather than taking on additional expense of completing the 110-unit first phase of Vantage Lofts, Rifkind said Friday.

"They think there's value in their position," he said. "The investment opportunity advantage is to take this property down now and come on with lower-priced units in 2010."

Rifkind said he has 20 parties bidding on the note. It's suited for an investor who will acquire units that are nearly completed and looking to sell into the housing recovery, he said.

The first two 40-unit buildings are about 90 percent complete and a third 30-unit building is about half finished. Thirty-four other units are approved for the south parcel. The first phase was originally scheduled for completion in early 2007.

Slade Development started the 300-unit project at Gibson Road and Horizon Ridge Parkway in 2006, but ran into financial problems in February 2008 and filed for bankruptcy in June.

Rifkind has visited the property about a dozen times and said it's in a good location, near the Las Vegas Beltway and U.S. Highway 95, with elevated views of the valley.

With contemporary design and luxury amenities, the lofts are targeted to young professionals who don't want the single-family home lifestyle, Rifkind said. They were originally priced from the $400,000s.

A second note for about $32 million is held by Scripps Investments of La Jolla, Calif.

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