Once-rundown Las Vegas office complex is spruced up and on the market

Updated April 13, 2018 - 6:32 pm

The squatters, withered landscaping and broken windows are gone. But inside the once-rundown office complex, a nameplate remains: Edwin Fujinaga, President & CEO.

Fujinaga owned MRI International, a medical billing-collections firm that was based in the suburban Las Vegas complex. But federal regulators and prosecutors went after him, accusing him of running a massive Ponzi scheme, and the offices emptied and fell into disrepair.

Today, the property on Durango Drive at Hacienda Avenue is spruced up and on the market, ready to close the chapter on its blighted, beat-up past.

Well, save for the old boss’s nameplate, which is being kept as a joke, listing broker Bridget Richards said.

“We’re comedians at heart,” she said.

Insight Investment Partners and Northcap — two Las Vegas companies that bought the 8-acre property from a court-appointed receiver last year for $12 million — recently wrapped up their overhaul of the southwest valley complex.

They painted the buildings, resurfaced and restriped the parking lot, cleaned the HVAC system, added parking spaces by demolishing a courtyard and finished construction of the two-level garage.

The roughly 131,000-square-foot complex, now called Tribeca Parc, has three office buildings and is listed for $27.5 million.

Even Richards doesn’t expect an investor to buy the whole place at that price, but she said prospective users who have eyed it include labor unions, insurance companies, law firms and an international art gallery.

“Right now I have a church calling me about the property,” said Richards, a principal with Perry Guest Cos.

Northcap founder John Tippins said, “Everything feels brand new” at the complex, even the smell. But he also guessed that, before the overhaul, maybe 10 to 15 windows had been broken.

Troubled past

MRI’s “purported” business, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission, was buying unpaid medical accounts at a discount from health care providers and trying to collect payments from insurance companies.

The agency sued MRI and Fujinaga in 2013, alleging they ran “an extensive and egregious Ponzi scheme” that defrauded thousands of investors, primarily in Japan.

A federal judge in 2015 ordered Fujinaga and MRI to pay more than $580 million in the case. Later that year, a federal grand jury indicted Fujinaga and two MRI executives in Tokyo, alleging they ran a $1.5 billion Ponzi scheme.

Fujinaga is scheduled to go to trial Oct. 29, court records show.

MRI’s offices, meanwhile, emptied and became a target for vandals. Door locks were broken, windows and toilets were smashed, electronics went missing, and vandals busted through ceilings and walls to steal copper pipes and electrical wires.

Most of the landscaping died or deteriorated, homeless people showed up, and hypodermic needles were found around the bushes, according to court filings.

“It was a disaster, an absolute disaster,” Richards said this week.

She used to work in an office nearby and said it “was always kind of a mystery what was going on over here.” It was a beautiful property, she said, but she never saw cars there.

When her group went in to remove the cubicles, the computers weren’t plugged in, as if it were a staging area with fake work stations to show investors, she said. One building even featured a “massive,” fake safe that anyone could bust through.

Still, the complex is great real estate, Richards said.

“They did a good job developing this property. … But, you know, their loss is our gain, ultimately,” she said.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Tech Park innovation building breaks ground
Construction on the first innovation building at the UNLV Tech Park is underway. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars Forum Meeting Center
Caesars broke ground Monday on its $375 million Caesars Forum Meeting Center (convention center) just east of the High Roller observation wheel. (Caesars Entertainment)
Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump’s tariffs could raise costs for real estate developers, analysts say
President Donald Trump made his fortune in real estate, but by slapping tariffs on imports from close allies, developers in Las Vegas and other cities could get hit hard.
Las Vegas business and tariffs
Barry Yost, co-owner of Precision Tube Laser, LLC, places a metal pipe into the TruLaser Tube 5000 laser cutting machine on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Nevada Film Office Connects Businesses To Producers
The director of the Nevada Film Office discusses its revamped locations database and how it will affect local businesses. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Opendoor isn't the typical house flipping company
Unlike most house flippers, the company aims to make money from transaction costs rather than from selling homes for more than their purchase price.
The Venetian gondoliers sing Italian songs
Gondolier Marciano sings a the classic Italian song "Volare" as he leads guests through the canals of The Venetian in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Building In Logandale
Texas homebuilder D.R. Horton bought 43 lots in rural Logandale. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter announces plans to retire
Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the LVCVA, on Tuesday confirmed a Las Vegas Review-Journal report that he is preparing to retire. Richard N. Velotta/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Cousins Maine Lobster to open inside 2 Las Vegas Smith’s stores
Cousins Maine Lobster food truck company will open inside Las Vegas’ two newest Smith’s at Skye Canyon Park Drive and U.S. Highway 95, and at Warm Springs Road and Durango Drive. Cousins currently sells outside some Las Vegas Smith’s stores and at Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas home prices to continue to rise, expert says
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, gives homebuyers a pulse on the Las Vegas housing market. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NV Energy announces clean energy investment
The company is planning to add six solar projects in Nevada, along with the state's first major battery energy storage capacity. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
3 Mario Batali restaurants on Las Vegas Strip to close
Days after new sexual misconduct allegations were made against celebrity chef Mario Batali, his company announced Friday that it will close its three Las Vegas restaurants July 27. Employees of Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria, all located in The Venetian and Palazzo resorts, were informed of the decision Friday morning. Bastianich is scheduled to visit the restaurants Friday to speak to employees about the next two months of operation as well as how the company plans to help them transition to new positions.
Nevada has its first cybersecurity apprenticeship program
The Learning Center education company in Las Vegas has launched the first apprenticeship program for cybersecurity in Nevada. It was approved by the State Apprenticeship Council on May 15. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas union members voting to authorize the right to strike
Thousands of Las Vegas union members voting Tuesday morning to authorize the right to strike. A “yes” vote would give the union negotiating committee the power to call a strike anytime after June 1 at the resorts that fail to reach an agreement. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Small businesses struggle to find qualified candidates
A 2018 survey found that over two-thirds of small businesses in Nevada find it somewhat to very difficult to recruit qualified candidates. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like