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Businessman, GOP backer buys new corporate offices for $17.5M

Las Vegas construction-equipment tycoon Don Ahern has bought a new corporate headquarters, giving him space to house staffers of an enterprise that racks up more than $1 billion in annual revenue.

Ahern, whose holdings include Ahern Rentals and Xtreme Manufacturing, bought the nine-story office building at 333 N. Rancho Drive, just off U.S. Highway 95, for $17.5 million, property records show.

The sale, by the city of Las Vegas, closed last month.

Ahern — a GOP supporter who made headlines last year when two of his businesses faced fines for hosting Trump campaign events that defied state-imposed pandemic restrictions — owns a portfolio of 26 companies, according to a presentation he made in July to the Las Vegas City Council.

Ahern Rentals has more than 100 locations across the United States, and the company has sales and service operations in Japan, Chile, Germany and other countries, the presentation shows. His holdings also include the Ahern Hotel near the Strip.

All told, his Ahern Family of Companies generates $1.33 billion in annual revenue, the presentation indicated.

Ahern said in a statement Wednesday to the Review-Journal that his plan for the Rancho building is to “relocate our Ahern Rentals corporate headquarters from its current facility” on Martin Luther King Boulevard, along with some other office-based roles from around the valley.

He expects to have around 250 employees based in the new building, which would also be home to his firm’s new educational trade school, Ahern said.

“Any surplus space will be available to rent,” he added.

The building, formerly home to Las Vegas’ Development Services Center, spans 144,000 square feet and includes a four-story parking garage, according to a March news release from city officials that the property was for sale.

It had an appraised value of $17.3 million, the release noted, well below the city’s $26.5 million purchase price in late 2007, shortly before the real estate market crashed and the economy spiraled down into the Great Recession.

The building also made a cameo as the home of the Las Vegas Police Department in the Jamie Foxx crime thriller “Sleepless.” (The department’s real name includes Metropolitan, and the 2017 film was panned by critics as “listless” and “stylishly hollow.”)

Ryan Smith, Las Vegas’ acting director of economic and urban development, told the Review-Journal this week that besides Ahern’s offer, the city also received a $7 million bid for the property.

“Obviously it wasn’t a tough review of the two offers,” Smith said.

Ahern’s name might be familiar to people who have seen construction equipment bearing his logo at various job sites and storage yards in the valley. A few of his businesses have also been in the spotlight for political-related reasons during the pandemic.

Last month, for instance, Ahern Hotel hosted a QAnon-linked convention where people made unfounded claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election and cast doubt on COVID-19 vaccines.

The conference was previously scheduled to be held at the Caesars Forum convention space near the Strip, with tickets selling for $650 to $3,000, but casino giant Caesars Entertainment dropped the event in August, the Review-Journal reported.

Extremism experts had raised concerns about a major resort company such as Caesars hosting the event, expressing worries about it further spreading the organizers’ strong anti-mask and anti-vaccine beliefs.

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

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